The games on Oct. 2 will mark the mid-season point of the high school football season, which means there’s no better time to for a look at who is making the grade. Here are the SportStars Mid-Season Football Honors for both the Sac-Joaquin and Bay Area regions.
Bay Area: Miramonte-Orinda “” We believed the Matadors would be improved, but not score-40-points-a-week improved. With junior QB Tim Tague (345 passing yards/game) leading the way, Miramonte opened the season 5-0 while averaging 485 yards of total offense.
Sac-Joaquin: Antelope “” The Titans opened 4-0 behind a balanced offense that has produced 11 passing touchdowns and 11 rushing touchdowns. The defense is also keeping opponents in check to the tune of 8.75 points per game.
Bay Area: Justin Alumbaugh, De La Salle-Concord “” Before you spit out your coffee, hear us out. No NorCal team is playing a tougher schedule than the Spartans, and getting them back to dominating form after losing the Texas opener has been impressive.
Sac-Joaquin: Jeff Evans, Granite Bay “” The first-year coach has led the Grizzlies to a 3-1 mark, with the lone loss being a narrow defeat to defending state-champion Folsom in the Sierra Foothill League opener. He has kept the Grizzlies rolling after graduating lots of talent and losing his starting QB to injury in Week 2.
LARGE SCHOOL MVP
Bay Area: Najee Harris, RB, Antioch “” No player has had a larger singular impact on his team’s success than Harris. He’s averaging 224 rushing yards and 18 points a game. The real deal.
Sac-Joaquin: Ryan Robards, RB/DB/K, Elk Grove “” The multi-talented multi-sport star has been a workhorse, rushing for 756 yards and 10 TDs to lead Elk Grove to a 4-0 start. He also has a receiving TD, returned both a punt and interception for scores, is averaging 50.6 yards per punt and is 3-for-3 on field goal attempts.
SMALL SCHOOL MVP
Bay Area: Julian Ison, RB/DB, Moreau Catholic-Hayward “” The Mariners blazed to a 5-0 start behind a dominant rushing game led by the 5-8, 185-pound junior. He rushed 88 times for 1,004 yards and 17 TDs over the first half. He also had 21 tackles and two sacks on defense.
Sac-Joaquin: Adam Olsen, QB, Oakdale “” While the Mustangs are better known for their running game, the senior QB has been stellar in leading the perennial power to a 4-0 start. Olsen tossed five TD passes in a 54-14 win over defending Valley Oak League co-champion Sierra-Manteca on Sept. 25.
Bay Area: Ben Wooldridge, QB, Foothill-Pleasanton “” For a sophomore replacing a Division-I talent behind center, Wooldridge hasn’t blinked in leading the Falcons to a 5-0 start. The East Bay Athletic League will be a different proving ground, however.
Sac-Joaquin: Derrion Grim, WR, McNair-Stockton “” The senior opened the season with a 10-catch, 238-yard, 6-TD performance and has 50 catches for 1,144 yards and 18 TDs through four games. With five more regular season games and one to two playoff games, he could threaten the state record of 34 TD catches in a season set by Folsom’s Cole Thompson last year.