It's a Los Alamitos sweep for the two major statewide underclass football honors. Defensive back Randy Estes is the State Junior Player of the Year and wide receiver Jeremy Childs is the State Sophomore Player of the Year.

The most talked about player on the field in the CIF Southern Section Division I championship game was Los Alamitos High junior safety Randy Estes. While quarterback Jeff Kline did a lot of damage against opponent Mater Dei with his running and passing, it was Estes' rock ‘em, sock ‘em hits, sure-tackling and pass coverage that had observers in a buzz.

A 6-2, 190-pounder who played as a sophomore at Long Beach Poly, Estes racked up 13 tackles against the Monarchs and intercepted a pass. He finished with 96 tackles for the season with three interceptions. Estes has been named the Defensive Player of the Year by the Orange County Register and is expected to receive a similarly high honor from the Long Beach Press-Telegram once its annual Dream Team is announced.

In the Griffins' semifinal victory over Los Angeles Loyola, Estes was equally dominant and wound up with 12 tackles. He should be one of the nation's top college prospects for next year and may be ranked No. 1 among defensive backs. He's certainly comparable to the free safety that preceeded him at Long Beach Poly, Darnell Bing, and is on track to become one of the highest rated defensive backs ever from Southern California.

Estes also had spot duty as a running back for Los Al and scored six touchdowns rushing. He may see more action as a running back next year since leading rusher Ryan Bagley is graduating.

Los Al head coach John Barnes has already said that Childs is further advanced as a sophomore than any other receiver that has come through the program. This includes former Oregon standout Tony Hartley and current Oregon standout Keenan Howry.

In the final game against Mater Dei, Childs made a diving catch for a 23-yard score from Kline to account for the team's second touchdown. He also had an impressive touchdown catch in the Griffins' 21-21 tie vs. Newhall Hart in their first game. Childs' score gave them a 21-14 lead and would have been a game-winner had Hart not scored on a Hail Mary pass to end the game. Childs ended the season with 68 catches for 997 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The selection of Estes and Childs is the first sweep of the state's top junior and sophomore honors from the same school. Los Alamitos' only previous top underclass pick was for 1994 when quarterback Kevin Feterik was chosen State Junior Player of the Year.

Last year's major underclass choices were Steve Smith from Taft of Woodland Hills for juniors and Damon Morton from J.W. North of Riverside for sophomores, both receivers. Morton was a leading contender for the junior honor this year as was fellow Riverside County junior Terrell Jackson from Centennial of Corona, a running back. But Morton and Jackson were recently named co-Players of the Year by the Riverside Press-Enterprise and we decided not to break that tie for our own selection, especially since Estes was such a strong candidate in his own right.

Coming Sunday, Jan. 5:

First Team All-State

Second Team All-State

Medium Schools All-State

Small Schools All-State

All-State Underclass

All-State Sophomores

Golden State Preps Top Stories