Throughout the school year, SoCal Prep Legends has been recognizing the best high school student-athletes in Southern California. As the end of the spring sports season approaches, SoCal Prep Legends will announce award winners in 11 categories, including boys and girls Athlete of the Year winners.
In the weeks ahead, we’ll announce finalists for the awards from KABC and the Southern California News Group that includes 11 news outlets throughout Southern California.
Here are the nominees for Play of the Year:
Redland’s Brandon Morris makes crazy TD Catch
It’s hard enough for a wide receiver to catch a football in the back corner of the endzone while a defender is draped all over him. But Brandon Morris’ catch makes that task sound like a walk in the park after his extraordinary snag off the back of a Palm Desert defender. As the ball approaches Morris, he reaches around the Palm Desert defensive back to catch the ball as he is backpeddling. Face to face with the defender, Morris essentially gives the Palm Desert player a hug while simultaneously catching the ball for six points.
La Habra’s Hail Mary TD pass on last play wins CIF Championship
La Habra’s Hail Mary finish had everyone talking and few believing what they witnessed following the CIF-SS Southwest Division championship game on Dec. 4 against San Clemente. La Habra quarterback Eric Barriere scrambled to safety with no time and casted the football into the night’s sky from the San Clemente 27-yard line. Down by three, wideout Prince Ross was on the receiving end of the Barriere pass that seemed destined to end up anywhere but a La Habra player. Ross dragged his feet beautifully as he reeled the football into his chest and gave La Habra a dramatic 39-36 victory on the final play. The play has over 10,000 views on Youtube.
Long Beach Poly’s Jack Jones jumps over defender
Jack Jones from Long Beach Poly, an All-American USC-commit, brought the crowd to its feet on Sept. 26 when he caught a pass in the flat and eluded a defender with a remarkable display of athleticism. He sized up the Wilson defender with an approach the same way a basketball player would attempting a dunk or block. In a vertical style, Jones leaped the defender without being touched. The play alone has accumulated over 5,200 views on Youtube.
Chaminade’s Leaonna Odom’s game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer The stakes were high. A Southern California Regional title on the line, and a trip to the Open Division State championship game was up for grabs. Leaonna Odom, a future Duke Bluedevil, showed nothing but ice in her veins in the waning moments of the game against Long Beach Poly. With just seconds left and her team down two, Odom created space with a stepback dribble and shot a 3-pointer from the top of the arc. After a multitude of bounces on the rim, Odom’s shot fell through and pandemonium ensued as the Eagles won at the buzzer, 50-49.
Palos Verdes’ Natasa Eleftheriou 40-yard free kick
In the opening round of the CIF Southern Section division 2 playoffs, Palos Verdes defender Natasa Eleftheriou scored a goal that would be impossible to recreate, even in the FIFA soccer video game. A pulverizing left-footed boot was the power behind a free kick that hit the bottom side of the crossbar on the fly, and bounced straight down behind the goalline. More impressively, Eleftheriou’s strike didn’t come from a huge run up, but just a couple approach steps before unleashing the 40-yard dazzler.
SCPL Awards Show: The year will be topped off by an awards show hosted by SoCal Prep Legends and sponsored by Toyota on June 10 to recognize the nominees and winners for each category. Location and time of the show is still to be announced.
Leading up to the SCPL awards show, we will announce the remaining nominees for the following categories weekly:
-Boys Athlete of the Year
-Girls Athlete of the Year
-Scholar Athlete of the Year (Boy/Girl)
-Most Outstanding Individual Performance
-Best Student Section/School Spirit (Fan Vote)