No shortage of worthy candidates for L4 Boys Athlete of the Year

Photos by Ray Hamill/

By Ray Hamill — It was another fun sporting year in the Little 4, with several standouts in multiple sports, including our finalists for the 2023 Humboldt Sports Little 4 Boys Athlete of the Year.

The list of finalists includes six multi-sport student-athletes who all had memorable years for their respective schools.

And, as with our list of Little 4 Girls finalists, four schools are once again represented on the prestigious list.

A big shoutout to Mendes Supply, DelReka Distributing and The Stove Doctors in McKinleyville for helping to sponsor this year’s awards and pay for the trophies.

Thanks to their generosity all of our award winners this year — including Big 5 girls and boys athletes of the year, Little 4 boys and girls athletes of the year, and H-DNL coach of the year and team of the year — will receive a trophy or plaque to commemorate their achievements.

We’ll be announcing all of our category finalists in the coming days, and we will begin announcing the winners in all six categories late next week.

Here then are our finalists for the 2023 Humboldt Sports Little 4 Boys Athlete of the Year.

All six finalists are seniors.

Kannon Christiansen

Ferndale, Senior

Christiansen played three sports as a senior and was a first-team all-league selection in two of them — football and basketball.

Competing alongside fellow Ferndale senior Jack Westfall, Christiansen was an inspirational leader in those two sports before competing in golf for Ferndale in the spring.

Tyler Dimmick

St. Bernard’s, Senior

Few H-DNL players had as big an impact for their team as Dimmick did in baseball, where he was a well-deserved league MVP.

He also had a huge impact for the Crusaders in football — on offense, defense and special teams — on his way to a first-team all-league selection, and he earned a league honorable mention in basketball.

All in all, it was quite an impressive year for the SB graduate.

John Harding

South Fork, Senior

One of the most gifted athletes in the Little 4 this year, Harding enjoyed sensational seasons in football, basketball and baseball.

He was a league MVP on the basketball court after leading the Cubs to a second straight Little 4 title.

He also received all-league first-team honors in baseball and was arguably South Fork’s best football player.

Gerard Marshall

Hoopa, Senior

Marshall was a top-12 heavyweight state wrestler for the Warriors for the second straight year, after winning a second straight North Coast Section championship.

He also was an all-league selection in football — where he was arguably the best lineman in the Little 4 — and enjoyed a big league championships in track and field, where he was the second best L4 thrower in the shot put and the fourth best in in the discus.

Owen Shanahan

St. Bernard’s, Senior

The standout senior was an all-league first-team selection in football and followed that with an honorable mention on the basketball court, although in fairness he played at an MVP level in the latter for much of the season.

He displayed his athletic prowess with a big season in several events in track and field after just taking up the sport this spring.

Jack Westfall

Ferndale, Senior

Like Christiansen, the talented Westfall was an inspirational driving force for the Wildcats in both football and basketball, while also playing a pivotal leadership role on both teams.

And like Christiansen, he was named to the all-league team in both sports and was a very worthy honoree in each.

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