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Takeaways from the Bay Area Top 100 Showcase

Menlo-Atherton's Skyler Thomas was named the Defensive Back MVP. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Menlo-Atherton's Skyler Thomas was named the Defensive Back MVP. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

The second rendition of the Xclusive Speed Bay Area Top 100 Showcase was a remarkable success for all involved on Saturday. Here are some takeaways from the event:

Skyline’s Fonteno cannot be stopped

There was nothing anyone could do to stop Skyline junior defensive lineman Darius Fonteno.

All morning long, Fonteno decimated everyone in his path with his sheer strength and overall ability, earning him his second straight MVP award from the Bay Area Top 100 Showcase – he won Defensive MVP at the first one before being tabbed as the Defensive Line MVP at this one.

Skyline head coach Joe Bates posted that Fonteno has won MVP at every camp he has attended the past two years.

Fonteno recorded 18 tackles and 3.5 sacks his sophomore campaign, helping the Titans to a 9-3 overall record and a trip to the Silver Bowl.

Abundance of talent in Pittsburg QB room

Two new Pittsburg quarterbacks – Eli Brickhandler and Jaden Rashada – both displayed why they are rated as some of the top players in their respective classes.

Brickhandler, who transferred to Pittsburg after throwing for 2,259 yards and 18 touchdowns his junior year while helping Whitney to a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship appearance, delivered accurate pass after accurate pass around some of the region’s – and country’s – top athletes.

Brickhandler garnered two-star recognition by 247Sports and has an offer from La Verne.

Meanwhile, Rashada – who is back in the Bay Valley Athletic League following a brief stint at IMG Academy – displayed his talents and showed why 247Sports rates him as one of the top 100 players nationally in the 2023 class.

Arizona State, Auburn, Cal, San Diego State, San Jose State and Utah have all offered the young signal-caller.

Additionally, two more quarterbacks stand right alongside Brickhandler and Rashada in the Pirates’ deep quarterback room in junior Khamani Blakney – a three-sport athlete who dominated the summer travel schedule – and senior Dominic Guay, who has fully recovered from shoulder surgery. 

Menlo-Atherton’s defensive backs shine

No matter which one would have been chosen between the two, both Menlo-Atherton standouts were more than thrilled to watch each other shine throughout the course of the showcase.

Menlo-Atherton junior Jeremiah Earby – also a wide receiver – and senior Skyler Thomas proved themselves in every single aspect, and it was Thomas who earned himself Defensive Back MVP recognition from the coaching staff.

Thomas currently boasts an offer from UNLV and said he expects this performance to provide an extra lift for him heading into the rest of this offseason and his senior campaign.

Earby also dominated nearly every rep he received during the competition portion of the showcase and hauled in multiple interceptions.

Bright future in store for De La Salle lineman

With only one year complete at the high school level, De La Salle sophomore offensive lineman Derek Thompson displayed the force he will be for the next three years as a member of the Spartans program.

Thompson squared off with some of the best linemen – many in classes above him – and held his own and won most of his battles in the competition period, which led to his being named the Offensive Line MVP.

More back-to-back winners

For a second consecutive showcase, two local players impressed coaches and fellow players dazzled – just like Fonteno.

Players and fellow quarterbacks rallied around Cosumnes Oaks quarterback Anthony Grigsby Jr., whose leadership combined with his ability at the quarterback position stood out to all of the coaches involved and played a key role in his selection as the Quarterback MVP.

Grigsby Jr., who said he worked out five times per day earlier in the offseason, threw for 2,713 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2019 and now holds offers from Idaho, Missouri State and Southwest Minnesota State.

Meanwhile, Castro Valley running back Michael Lewis was the third player to receive back-to-back MVP honors in his group.

But Lewis’ talent on the field only tells part of his story, as the student-athlete whose offer list includes Claremont McKenna, Puget Sound and Whittier also fields a 4.5 GPA in the classroom.

Seeley’s growth paves way to award

At the first Bay Area Top 100 Showcase, the potential was shown from Clayton Valley Charter linebacker Dylan Seeley.

At the second showcase, Seeley’s remarkable growth manifested itself in each and every drill he was a part of to be named the Linebacker MVP winner.

Seeley notched more than 100 tackles during his junior season in Clayton Valley’s incredible run to a state title at the Division 2-AA level.

From PA to CA, Stokes’ talent on display

Mickey Stokes came to California all the way from Pennsylvania, and the distance didn’t matter for the college freshman.

Stokes, who tallied 402 receiving yards at Manheim Township, is now playing junior college football at Foothill College – where Brandon Younger, one of the coaches at the showcase, is on staff.

Link to photo gallery

Award winners

Defensive Back MVP: Skyler Thomas (Menlo-Atherton)

Defensive Line MVP: Darius Fonteno (Skyline)

Linebacker MVP: Dylan Seeley (Clayton Valley Charter)

Offensive Line MVP: Derek Thompson (De La Salle)

Quarterback MVP: Anthony Grigsby Jr. (Cosumnes Oaks)

Running Back MVP: Michael Lewis (Castro Valley)Wide Receiver MVP: Mickey Stokes (Manheim Township, PA)

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