Banning's Hawkins Named City 4-A Co-Player of Year

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Banning High tailback Shayzar Hawkins, who set a school record for rushing yards in a season, has been named L.A. City Section 4-A Division co-player of the year with Dorsey running back Sharmon Shah, it was announced today.

Hawkins led a contingent of five Banning players on the All-City 4-A team, as selected by the Amateur Athletic Foundation/First Interstate Bank board of sportswriters. Carson placed four players on the squad.

Quarterback Rino Marconi was among three San Pedro players chosen to the 3-A team. Washington quarterback Sheldon Anderson was named 3-A player of the year.

Hawkins, a 6-foot, 175-pound senior, led South Bay rushers with 1,798 yards in 222 carries to eclipse the Banning record of 1,761 yards set by Stanley Wilson in 1977. He also led the area with 27 touchdowns and 162 points.

Despite an outstanding season and high rating from scouts, Hawkins said he has received little recruiting interest from colleges. That may be because he has yet to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test and needs to improve some of his grades, he said.

"If I do what I have to do, I can go to a four-year (college)," he said. "I'm waiting on taking the SAT in February. After I take that, then I'll see what's up."

Hawkins was at his best in the 4-A playoffs, rushing for 684 yards and 12 touchdowns in four games to help Banning (12-2) reach the City final for the third time in four seasons. Dorsey beat the Pilots, 33-30, for the title.

"I try not to think about it," Hawkins said of Banning's season-ending loss that was marred by three turnovers. "Everywhere I go, somebody always asks about it. I just tell them we ran out of time.

"We feel like we had too many mistakes. I felt we were the better team, but sometimes the better team doesn't win."

Dorsey (11-1-1) beat Banning behind the play of Shah, who rushed for 140 yards and three touchdowns before a capacity crowd at El Camino College. He finished the season with nearly 2,000 yards rushing.

Nonetheless, Hawkins felt he deserved player of the year honors over Shah because he was a two-way starter at tailback and free safety. Shah primarily played offense.

"(Dorsey) won the championship and all, but I went both ways," he said. "I was up there leading (the team) in tackles and rushing."

Hawkins said the bad feelings that developed after Banning forfeited its Nov. 1 game at Dorsey's home field because of the fear of gang violence did not carry over when the teams finally met in the City final.

"We didn't talk to each other that much during the game," he said. "I've seen some of the (Dorsey) boys outside of football. We're friends. There is no animosity between each other. We laugh."

Other Banning players chosen to the All-City 4-A team were offensive tackle Fitu Toomalatai, defensive end Tawan Hall, linebacker Jason Grayson and strong safety Brandon Moore.

Dorsey also placed five players on the team.

Carson had four players chosen--wide receiver Tony Knox, tailback/receiver Theron Hill and defensive tackle Eric Taulua and his twin brother Eran, the Colts' middle linebacker and leading tackler.

The All-City 3-A team included Marconi, who passed for 1,779 yards, and two of his San Pedro teammates: tight end Mike Coppola and linebacker Chris Lopez. The Pirates finished 8-5 and reached the City semifinals for the first time.

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