With less than a month before the playoffs, I’m going to list ten players in the running for player of the year. If you’re not on this list, that doesn’t mean you won’t win it. So much can change once the playoffs begin, but if it ended today, these are the top ten in consideration. In no particular order of course.
Above: Azusa QB John Chavez, who is having a terrific season for the Aztecs.
Michael Ball, QB, Rowland — He’s played enough and done enough to warrant consideration. Who knows, if he returns in the second or third round of the playoffs, assuming the Raiders are still alive, it’s not out of the question that he could do something magical and lead the Raiders to a title. Wishful thinking? Probably, but possible.
Tre Evans, RB/WR, San Dimas — He does a little of everything for the one-loss Saints, ranked No. 2 in the Mid-Valley Division. If the Saints win it all, he could very well end up CIF player of the year. He leads the team in rushing, second on receiving and is among their top tacklers.
Geoffrey Vaughns, RB/WR, South Hills — Moving the receiver to running back was the best thing to happen to the Huskies. He already has three 100-yard plus games rushing, but now is more of a combo threat with 502 rushing yards to go with 402 receiving yards. He’s also huge on defense and the most complete player they have.
Manny Salcedo, QB, Baldwin Park — Like the Saints, the Braves are a one-loss team and Salcedo is a huge reason. He is averaging a 143 yards passing, and has thrown over 100 yards in every game while almost averaging 50 yards on the ground. If the Braves win the VVL, he’s your league MVP
Adam Muema, RB, Charter Oak — Though he almost always seems injured, he continues to be the straw that stirs the drink for the defending champions. He leads the Valley with 950 yards, averaging 118 a game. He could have so much more, but he rarely plays a full game because the outcome is usually decided by the fourth quarter.
Darian Johnson, WR/DB, Bishop Amat – The most electrifying player in the Valley. What he did against St. Bonaventure, the return kick and INT for a touchdown is what legends are made of. He doesn’t have the amazing stats, he just makes amazing plays, the kind that knock the wind out of your opponents.
Steven Rivera, QB, Arroyo — There is no QB with numbers that really compare, and this kid is just a sophomore. He’s already thrown 1,306 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging almost 200 yards a game for the soon-to-be-crowned Mission Valley League champs. I still say the Knights are the Mid-Valley Division sleeper.
Jay Anderson, RB, Bishop Amat – If Anderson doesn’t move the chains as consistently as he does for the Lancers, they’re not undefeated, not even close. He has over four 100-yard plus games, averages 100 yards, and that’s against competition most on this list no nothing about, unless of course if you’re a Lancer.
John Chavez, QB, Azusa – The Aztecs QB does a little of everything for the soon-to-be back-to-back Montview league champs. He’s averaging 120 yards passing, is third on the team in rushing and second in tackles. What more could you ask of your two-way player?
Chad Jeffries, QB, Glendora -- Only a junior, he already has led the Tartans on two dramatic game-winning drives, and is among the area leaders in passing, averaging 130 yards with two 200-plus games. If the Tartans protect him, he’ll deliver.