2021 Chronicle Excessive College Soccer Regional Participant of the Yr
San Francisco: Jack Burnett (St. Ignatius)
He entered St. Ignatius as a chubby newbie who had never played tackle football. The 6-foot-4,300-pound center and nose guard are considered to be one of the most dominant two-way lineman in Northern California.
The Air Force Commit controlled both sides of the line, leading the Wildcats to a 3-1 spring and final No. 9 Chronicle ranking. Burnett, who played first-team in the All-West Catholic Athletic League as a junior, would have been the league’s Lineman of the Year in 2021 if one had been selected, said St. Ignatius coach John Ignalia.
“He’s a great football player,” said Seta Netane, St. Ignatius team-mate and All-Metro first-team selection. “He’s so physical and has great feet and hands for his size. It’s amazing how far Jack has come. Sky is the limit for this guy. “
Peninsula: Hassan Mahasin (Serra)
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound junior runs back, slot receivers and strong security is nicknamed “The Missile” for good reason. It was the most explosive offensive weapon on the field throughout the season for the runner-up Padres (6-0), collecting a total of 745 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Although Mahasin is blessed with natural talents, an unyielding work ethic has made him progressively taller and faster, said coach Patrick Walsh. It’s a big reason Mahasin has nine college offerings and its college recruitment is growing rapidly.
“Sheer talent plus hard work plus karma is synonymous with ‘The Missile,'” said Walsh. “He’s one of the toughest workers I’ve ever trained. He doesn’t like being attacked. He’s great at catching and blocking. He’s the whole package. … He is the epitome of a role model. In practice, in the weight room, in the classroom, he never says anything. He just makes it. He is there for his teammates. And he comes to the end zone. “
East Bay: Dreyan Paul (McClymonds-Oakland)
A rookie since his junior year, the 5-11, 170-pound junior quarterback went from game manager to double-threat big play game changer, making over 1,800 yards and in just five games 30 touchdowns. He led the multi-year state power of the small schools to a 5-0 record and No. 8 in the Metro rankings.
According to coach Michael Peters, Paul “took possession” of his ability to play chunk games while passing for 1,453 yards and 24 touchdowns and racing for 397 yards and six additional TDs 16 times. He only threw an interception during a season in which the three-time state champions defeated local opponents 246-14.
“Dreyan has taken all necessary steps to improve on its previous performance,” said Peters. “He’s a naturally gifted thrower who has increased his soccer IQ year over year, making him one of the most efficient quarterbacks in Northern California.”
North Bay: Tsion Nunnally (Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa)
The 6-2, 195-pound senior receiver ended an impressive three-year career with 25 passes for 520 yards (third in the North Coast Section) and an NCS-leading seven touchdown. Nunnally, the 70th best senior recruit in the state, also had 20 tackles from his cornerback place, adding five kickoff returns for 234 yards (46.8 average) and a TD.
The Washington State signatory helped the Cardinals to a 5-0 record and a # 7 Chronicle rankings, one season after winning a State Division 3 AA Bowl Championship. As good as all the numbers were, his trainer Paul Cronin said they were pale compared to Nunnally’s character.
“Tsion is one of the best team-mates I’ve ever trained,” he said. “His ability is breathtaking, but nothing like his qualities as a young man. He is an amazing person. “
– Mitch Stephens