Already an All-American, Mission Prep running back Patrick Laird garnered an honor closer to home Monday.
The 6-foot, 205-pound senior was one of three running backs chosen to the small schools All-State Team chosen by CalHiSports.com.
“California is a competitive state football-wise no matter what division you’re in,” Laird told The Tribune. “So to get First-Team All-State is a big honor.”
The accredited prep sports website — in its 35th year picking the top football players in the state based on school size — landed on Laird, who ran for more than 3,000 yards in leading the Royals to a sectional title game this season.
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“I’m also proud to be a part of Mission Prep’s program that’s grown over the past four years,” Laird said. “Earning these accolades and bringing more respect to Mission Prep football has been one of the most rewarding parts.”
Laird is still undecided on his college plans, although he said he has narrowed his search to only schools in California.
Laird had heavy interest from Brown and was contemplating visiting other Ivy League schools on the East Coast, but ultimately chose to stay in his home state to study business.
He will take an official visit this weekend to Cal — which Laird said offered him a preferred walk-on spot — and plans to make a decision shortly after.
Lompoc’s Ainuu Taua was named to the medium schools All-State Team as a defensive lineman. The 6-foot, 280-pound senior has committed to play at UCLA.
Tigers boys soccer team still ranked No. 1 in poll
The San Luis Obispo High boys soccer team remained atop the Division 5 rankings in this week’s CIF-Southern Section poll.
The Tigers are 11-2-3 on the year and are tied with Arroyo Grande and Pioneer Valley for the PAC 7 lead with a 5-1 league mark.
San Luis Obispo travels to Pioneer Valley on Wednesday night before hosting Atascadero at 7 p.m. Friday.
Templeton 52, Santa Maria 47
Matt Jardini scored a game-high 23 points, including 15 in the second half and the final seven of the game for the Eagles (7-11, 4-3 Los Padres League).
With the game tied 45-45 and less than a minute to play, Jardini stole the ball and converted an and-1 layup to put Templeton up by three. He then went 4 for 4 from the free-throw line to close out the victory.
Will Merhing registered a double double, scoring 14 points and recording 10 rebounds.
Templeton 60, Santa Maria 39
Mari Stewart scored a game-high 32 points and pulled down 17 rebounds to help the Eagles (17-2, 7-0) remain undefeated in league play.
Templeton led 44-13 at halftime, cruising to victory without making a 3-pointer.
Autumn Russell scored 10 points, and Paige O’Sullivan chipped in six assists and two points.
GIRLS WATER POLO
Paso Robles 7, Nipomo 6
Seven players scored for the Bearcats (9-12), who held off the Titans despite yielding four goals in the final quarter.
Devin Corea, Laileha Vermy, Lauren Sowerby, Jessica Reeves, Lauren Reed, Shannon Rees and Zoe Zepp each registered a goal for Paso Robles. Kelsey Lewis made seven saves in net.
Sam Baker scored four times for Nipomo. Rebbecca Gonzales and Savannah Rans also scored for the Titans.
Coast Union 2, Orcutt Academy 2, Tie
Remy Corbet and Itzel Saavedra scored for the Broncos (5-11-2). Paulina Torres assisted both goals.