It’s midseason in high school football, which means time to reveal which players have been reaching or exceeding expectations.
Since linemen rarely receive attention unless their number is mentioned for a holding penalty, let’s start by singling out the Huntington Beach Edison duo of Makai Sagiao and Nathan Gates for their blocking contributions in helping lead the Chargers to a 5-0 record.
Gates, who is 6 feet 5 and 275 pounds, had plenty of accolades before the season. Sagiao, a 6-2, 297-pound junior transfer from Newport Harbor, was so anonymous that he wasn’t even listed on Edison’s MaxPreps roster going into this week.
He started his first two years at Newport Harbor and has played every line position at Edison, though offensive guard is his primary position.
“He’s raised the level of our play across the board,” line coach Kody Afusia said of Sagiao.
His agility has made him an effective pulling guard. Going full steam ahead, he’s been taking care of defensive ends on run plays and loving his job.
“The best part is hitting people,” Sagiao said.
Elijah Brown of Santa Ana Mater Dei is 22-0 as a starter the last three seasons and is completing 70% of his passes with 15 touchdowns and two interceptions in five games.
Christian Lundsberg of Anaheim Canyon has 23 touchdown passes with just one interception.
Freshman Brady Smigiel of Newbury Park has led his team to a 5-0 record by passing for 1,356 yards and 19 touchdowns with two interceptions while completing 69% of his passes.
Richard Munoz of Covina Charter Oak has passed for 1,086 yards and 15 touchdowns. Christian Hunt of Redondo Union has 10 touchdown passes and no interceptions.
Delon Thompson of Ventura St. Bonaventure has been on a tear from the first game. In five games, he has rushed for 1,271 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging 9.0 yards per carry.
Eric Terrazes of Baldwin Park Sierra Vista is averaging 11.9 yards, amassing 1,129 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns.
Jordon Davison and Nathaniel Frazier at Mater Dei have given the Monarchs an impressive alternative to Brown’s passing.
Trey Pinkney of Bellflower has benefited from the double wing, helping lead the team to a 5-0 record with 756 yards rushing and eight touchdowns.
Cincere Rhaney of Gardena Serra continues to run over defenders. He had 203 yards rushing against Westlake Village Oaks Christian.
Christian Guarascio of Dana Hills has recorded four consecutive games of more than 200 yards rushing for a total of 924 yards.
Makai Lemon of Los Alamitos is a one-man wrecking crew. His speed and elusiveness is requiring opponents to devote extra resources to cover him. He’s still producing.
Marcus Brown of Mater Dei didn’t catch a single pass last season. He has 17 receptions this season and six touchdowns.
Kory Hall of Reseda Cleveland has been one of the best players in the City Section with seven touchdowns. He’s averaging better than 30 yards a catch.
Xavier Jordan of L.A. Cathedral has 27 catches for 693 yards and 10 touchdowns against quality competition.
Tiger Bachmeier of Murrieta Valley is up to 39 receptions for 671 yards and six touchdowns.
Matayo Uiagalelei of Bellflower St. John Bosco is doing a good imitation of Aaron Donald. You need help to block him on pass plays and run plays.
Nick Fernandez of San Pedro is the best two-way player in the City Section at tight end and defensive end. He thrives in the trenches.
TJ Ford, a 300-pound junior at West Hills Chaminade, is becoming an immovable big man in the middle.
Frederick Williams of Gardena Serra has contributed three sacks going against top opponents.
Sinn Brennan of Los Alamitos has been an effective defensive end, applying pressure to quarterbacks.
Chase Martin of Thousand Oaks has been a tackling machine for the 4-0 Lancers.
The St. John Bosco trio of Deven Bryant, Jordan Lockhart and Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa has been unstoppable.
The Mater Dei duo of Nasir Wyatt and Leviticus Su’a will be playing Saturdays and Sundays one day. Jordan Whitney of Oxnard Pacifica has recorded 35 solo tackles. Dylan Williams of Long Beach Poly is making tackle after tackle. Samarai Anderson leads Corona Centennial in tackles, averaging nine a game.
Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra has used his speed and instincts to be the best of the best at cornerback.
Daylen Austin of Long Beach Poly is one tough dude who can cover anyone.
Ty Lee of St. John Bosco and Marquis Gallegos of Chaminade are safeties making a weekly impact with their tackling.
Travis Anderson of Mission Viejo has contributed five interceptions.
Dieter Kelly of Orange Lutheran has made all 14 of his conversion kicks and five of seven field-goal attempts while also averaging nearly 40 yards on punts.
Ryon Sayeri of Chaminade has been booming kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks, made a game-winning field goal, is three for four on field-goal attempts and is averaging better than 50 yards punting.
Kristian Johnson of Redlands Citrus Valley is five for five on field goals.