By Ray Hamill — Tennis, football, soccer and volleyball are all represented in this week’s Humboldt Sports Athletes and Team of the Week, sponsored as always by College of the Redwoods Athletics.
Our two athletes of the week have been consistent driving forces for their teams all fall, including one who has done so on a couple of different teams.
First up, our boys athlete of the week is Arcata junior Dayquan Dunn, who has established himself as a key figure on the Tigers’ conference championship football team.
Dunn and the Tigers found themselves trailing by three TDs at halftime of the game, but they quickly put a disappointing first-half performance behind them with a dominating second-half display.
And Dunn was huge on both sides of the ball, making several big plays at linebacker to keep the Wildcats offense scoreless over the final two quarters and adding a huge TD catch at receiver to kelp key the comeback.
Our girls athlete of the week, meanwhile, goes to one of the most consistent and talented Little 4 athletes in recent years.
St. Bernard’s senior Madelyn Shanahan has been outstanding all fall both on the soccer field and on the volleyball court, helping to lead the Crusaders to league championships in the two sports.
The SB girls will play for a first-ever section crown in volleyball at St. Bernard’s on Saturday night, one day after the Crusaders girls soccer team plays a section semifinal as they look to secure an historic fourth consecutive Division-3 title.
Our team of the week has arguably been even more impressive this fall.
The Arcata girls tennis team has been unstoppable in the H-DNL in recent years and that continued to be the case recently, as the Tigers secured all six league singles titles and all three doubles titles.
Not surprising really for a program that has not lost a league match in six straight years.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Arcata Football, Junior
One year after establishing himself as a key member of the Arcata boys basketball team, Dunn has been even more impressive on the football field.
And he’s getting better as the season goes on.
“He’s turning into something special at linebacker,” Arcata head coach Matt Magers said after Saturday’s league-clinching performance. “He’s really coming into his own. He’s making it happen.”
Dunn now has five interceptions, which leads the H-DNL and is tied for the second most in the NCS.
For more on his big week, see Deja vu, as Tigers rally again to clinch the Little 4 championship …
St. Bernard’s Volleyball and Soccer, Senior
One of the most reliable athletes in the H-DNL right now, Shanahan led the Crusaders to a straight sets win over San Domenico in Wednesday’s NCS volleyball semifinal.
The senior standout, who has been outstanding all season, finished with a game-high 15 kills to go with three solo blocks and three aces.
The busy Shanahan, who was named Humboldt Sports Little 4 Girls Athlete of the Year as a junior, is just getting better and better and also has played a key role on the SB soccer team this year.
For more on her big week, see In search of history, Crusaders advance to Section championship …
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Arcata Girls Tennis
No H-DNL team has dominated in recent years as much as the Arcata girls tennis program.
Except maybe the Arcata boys tennis team, but that’s a story for another day.
Under the guidance of head coach Onawa Gutierrez, the Arcata girls swept all nine H-DNL titles this fall, and dropped just two games on the way to winning the three doubles finals last week.
For more on their big week, see Nave and Donnelly crowned league doubles champions …