This season’s edition of Friday Night Lights is going to have a lot more of a California feel to it after several years of southern based recruiting from Sonny Dykes’ staff. With a renewed focus on holding down the state of California, let’s see how the (mostly) California based kids started the 2017 season.
Nikko Remigio: WR, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA)
Remigio and the Monarchs kicked off their season August 25 with a road game against the Bishop Amat Lancers. Predictably, Mater Dei dominated the Lancers 31-7 with Remigio catching 7 passes for 99 yards.
On September 1, the Monarchs welcomed national powerhouse Bishop Gorman — riding a 55-game winning streak — to Santa Ana Stadium in a titanic early-season showdown. Fox Sports West aired the clash and Remigio relished the spotlight as he notched 6 receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
JT Shrout: QB, Hart (Newhall, CA)
On September 1, Shrout and the Hart Indians took on Downey in what was Shrout’s first career game as Hart’s starting QB. Unfortunately for Shrout, it ended in a 42-35 loss. Here’s what the Los Angeles Daily News had to say about the game:
Hart quarterback and Cal commit JT Shrout was 26 for 40 with 282 yards with three touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in his first start after being backup quarterback the past two seasons.
Shrout also had two interceptions, including one to Kevin Caldwell near at the end of the fourth quarter to close out the game for Downey.
“I thought he did a good job and he has a long way to come,” Hart coach Mike Herrington said, “For him, my expectations were very high and he made a couple great plays and a couple plays I was disappointed in.”
Will Craig (OL) and Evan Tattersall (LB/RB): Granite Bay (Granite Bay, CA)
The Granite Bay Grizzlies are off to a great start this season as they claimed victories over Jesuit (31-21) and Whitney (24-10).
Tattersall ran for a thirteen yard touchdown against Jesuit and caught another during the win over Whitney.
Chigozie Anusiem: CB, Sonora (La Habra, CA)
Anusiem caught a touchdown pass in a 19-8 win against Whittier on August 25. The Raiders then went on to defeat Brea Olinda 26-20 to improve to 2-0 this season. Awuzie catches his second touchdown of the season in spectacular fashion 30 seconds into the highlight video below from the Brea Olinda game.
McCallan Castles: TE, South Tahoe (South Lake Tahoe, CA)
South Tahoe opened its season with a resounding 53-7 win over Sparks High School from Nevada on September 1. Sparks, as if you couldn’t tell from the final score, is completely overmatched in this one and Castles takes full advantage of it to tally three touchdowns. According to the Tahoe Daily Tribune, here’s what the South Tahoe head coach had to say about his star pass catcher:
"Sometimes it feels like it's unfair, like tonight," said South Tahoe head coach Louis Franklin about what kind of weapon Castles is on offense. "They did everything they needed to, that kid just made plays we don't see very often, if ever. He's a type of kid, and I've coached some kids and against kids that play on Sundays, if he loves the game, we'll be able to tune in on Saturdays and watch him on college and hopefully on Sundays too. That was pretty special tonight even though he's not even 100 percent."
Omari Harris: RB/LB, Antioch (Antioch, CA)
Harris helped Antioch to a season-opening 24-0 win against Lincoln by carrying the ball six times for 73 yards and one touchdown to go along with an interception and 27 receiving yards.
Antioch continued their winning ways with a 35-14 win against Soledad. Harris rushed 13 times for 69 yards and one touchdown, while adding one reception for 12 yards.
Nick Alftin: DE, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, CA)
Alftin and Archbishop Mitty suffered a substantial 47-21 loss to Sacramento, during which Alftin recorded three tackles and one tackle for a loss.
Archbishop Mitty recovered to defeat Menlo-Atherton 30-23 to improve to 1-1 this season. Alftin recorded four tackles, one sack, and two quarterback hurries.
Atonio Maffi: DT, Junipero Serra (San Mateo, CA)
Serra started their season in less than ideal fashion as they were on the receiving end of a 41-13 sucker-punch from St. Mary’s. They did get back on track, though, with a 42-21 win against Elk Grove to improve to 1-1.
Miles Owens: OL, Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, CA)
Owens and the Bishop O’Dowd Dragons dominated Kennedy 56-14 to open their season with an emphatic victory.
Brandon Mello: OL, Clayton Valley Charter (Concord, CA)
Ugly Eagles; that’s Clayton Valley Charter’s nickname. Ugly is exactly how they’ve started their season. The Ugly Eagles are 0-2 after losing 38-22 to Reed (Sparks, NV) and 49-30 to Mililani (Mililani, HI).
JH Tevis: DE, Menlo (Atherton, CA)
Tevis did just about everything one person could possibly do to lead their team to victory, but to no avail as Menlo fell 16-9 to East Nicolaus. Tevis’ herculean effort included seven tackles, four tackles for a loss, and two sacks.
Menlo then recovered to slaughter Stevenson 56-6, with Tevis recording four tackles, two tackles for a loss, and one sack.
Jasper Friis: OL, Aquinas (San Bernardino, CA)
The Aquinas Falcons are off to a dominant start this season as they registered resounding wins against Big Bear (48-8) and Crespi (41-21).
Matthew Cindric: DE, Skyline (Sammamish, WA)
Skyline, typically a powerhouse in Washington, opened their season with a surprising home defeat at the hands of in-state competitor Mount Si by way of a 41-30 scoreline.
Slater Zellers: OL/LS, Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, AZ)
Zellers and Notre Dame Prep wasted no time in getting into the swing of things this season, as they have already played three games when most others are still on one or two games played. The early bird has definitely been getting the worm, though, since Notre Dame Prep has won all three games. The first game saw Notre Dame Prep smash Shadow Ridge 41-10 on the road. Next up, they squeaked past Desert Ridge 27-21 in overtime. Desert Mountain was next on the list and were dispatched of as well, by way of a 41-17 scoreline.
Check back next week to see what the current crop of Cal commits are up to!