See Photo gallery from the Southern California Toyota Dealers SoCal Prep Legends Awards from Friday night
The Southern California News Group teamed up with KABC and the Southern California Toyota Dealers to celebrate the best-of-the-best at the inaugural SoCal Prep Legends awards show which aired on ABC7 following Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday.
SCNG and SCPL are part of Southern California’s largest newspaper group that includes the Los Angeles Daily News, Orange County Register, Riverside Press Enterprise, Pasadena Star-News, Long Beach Press Telegram, South Bay Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, San Bernardino Sun, Redlands Daily Facts and Whittier Daily News.
Friday’s SCPL Awards was a culmination of weekly winners for players of the week, video plays of the week and players of the year for every sport leading to the celebration of the best of the 2015-16 Southern California high school sports season.
Jimmy Kimmel, Erin Andrews and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts were just a few of the sports celebrities that helped present awards for best boys and girls athlete, team of the year, best individual performance and other categories, including best boys and girls scholar athletes.
The following are the 2015-16 SoCal Prep Legends award winners. For more on the finalists in every category, visit our SoCal Prep Legends homepage.
Boys Athlete of the Year – Lonzo Ball, Chino Hills basketball
Regarded as one of the best high school basketball players in the country, Ball led his Chino Hills Huskies to an undefeated season (35-0) while averaging 23.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 11.5 assists, 5.1 steals and 2 blocks per game. The UCLA-bound point guard totalled 16 triple-doubles and capped off the season by winning the CIF Open Division State title. Ball was named USA Today’s All-USA Basketball Player of the Year, MaxPreps National Basketball Player of the Year, and Naismith Boys High School Player of the Year.
Girls Athlete of the Year – Courtney Corrin, Harvard-Westlake soccer/track
Corrin is a two-time defending CIF State long jump champion and three-time Los Angeles Daily News Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year. The USC-bound athlete is also a standout in soccer, which earned her an All CIF Division 1 selection after leading the Wolverines to the quarterfinals. Despite an injury to her toe in her senior season, she is recognized as one of Southern California’s best female prep athletes by the Southern California News Group prep staff.
Team of the Year – Chino Hills, boys basketball
Finishing the year undefeated and being regarded as the No. 1 team in the country by a plethora of publications, the Chino Hills Huskies’ list of accomplishments is a mile long. Led by UCLA-commit Lonzo Ball, who averaged a triple-double this season, the Huskies won the CIF Southern Section Open Division title, the Southern California Regional Open Division and the CIF State Open Division championship.
National praise doesn’t come without a national victory, and Chino Hills obtained that marquee win over Montverde Academy (Fla.) in the The City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. on Dec. 21 in a nail-biting 83-82 victory while Montverde was ranked No. 1 at the time.
Boys Scholar-Athlete of the Year – Alexander Mattison, San Bernardino
Mattison carries a 4.38 GPA and is in the dual-immersion program, taking classes in English and Spanish. In addition, he has been in the Spanish national honors society the last three years and was the overall winner of the prestigious Ken Hubbs Award, which goes to the top senior scholar-athlete among 25 high schools in the San Bernardino area. Mattison is a three-sport athlete, competing in football, wrestling and track. He rushed for 2,057 yards and 22 touchdowns, earning a scholarship to Boise State.
Girls Scholar-Athlete of the Year – Alison Chang, Walnut
Chang helped Walnut win three CIF Southern Section girls golf championships and finished second in the CIF-SS individuals and helped Walnut to two runner-up CIF State finishes. Chang’s 4.70 GPA has made her a valedictorian candidate and also a state finalist for scholar-athlete honors. She is on the school newspaper, is the yearbook editor-in-chief and will continue her athletic and academic career at Princeton.
Game of the Year – Chaminade vs. Long Beach Poly girls basketball
Chaminade’s Valerie Higgins crossed halfcourt with time winding down in the CIF Southern Section Open Division SoCal Regional title game against Long Beach Poly, then made a great decision. Higgins passed to Duke-commit Leaonna Odom, who stepped back to create space and let it fly. The shot bounced several times off the rim, eventually falling through for a dramatic 50-49 victory. The victory moved Chaminade into the State Open Division final, which it won a week later.
Play of the Year – Eric Barriere to Prince Ross, La Habra football
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.
With La Habra down by three points, quarterback Eric Barriere scrambled to safety with no time left and threw the football from the San Clemente 27-yard line. Wide receiver 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 caught the ball and gave La Habra a dramatic 39-36 victory on the final play. The play has over 10,000 views on Youtube.
Best Individual Performance – Darnay Holmes, Calabasas football
Holmes saved his best for the CIF Southern Section Western championship, scoring five touchdowns in a variety of ways as the Coyotes beat Palos Verdes 42-3 at home to clinch the school’s first CIF football championship. Holmes had a receiving touchdown, rushing touchdown, two punt returns for touchdowns and a 68-yard interception return for a score in the third quarter.
Most Inspirational Athlete – Jacob Beltran, Upland
Diagnosed as having an arteriovenous malformation, Beltran had an extra vein in his brain that was nonfunctional. One morning before a baseball showcase in Orange County blood started to flow through that vein and his body didn’t know how to react, resulting in a seizure. The seizure caused Beltran to slip into a 24-hour coma that caused the right side of his body to be partially paralyzed. After more than seven months of rehabilitation, multiple invasive operations and several weeks in a hospital bed Beltran made it back to the baseball diamond.
Coach of the Year – Jeff Sink, Brea Olinda girls basketball
Sink guided his team to jaw-dropping heights this past season, with just one senior and one junior. Brea Olinda won the CIF State Southern California Division 1 Regional title and the CIF State Division 1 crown. Sink turned a team filled with youth and talent into a champion. It helped that the lone senior on the team was 5-foot-7 guard Reili Richardson, who’s committed to play at Arizona State next year. But Sink’s ability to teach the game to a crop of freshmen and sophomores in a way that they could retain and execute was an outstanding display of coaching.
Best School Spirit/Student Section – Los Alamitos
Tallying a total of 48,713 votes in the Best School Spirit/Student Section fan online poll, Los Alamitos high school proved it had the loudest and most loyal fans in Southern California. Los Alamitos edged out Palos Verdes Peninsula by just 73 votes.