Despite being in the middle of football season, there were plenty of quality athletic performances from seven other sports among the 16 athletes honored as October Stars of the Month by the San Diego Sports Association (formerly the Hall of Champions).
Mount Miguel grad Cory Littleton, a key member of the Los Angeles Rams, was joined by drag racing standout Ron Capps, golfer Xander Schauffele and high-scoring San Diego Gull Sam Carrick on the pro front.
Littleton had 10 tackles, two sacks and a blocked punt in a win over the San Francisco 49ers while Capps captured the NHRA Carolina Nationals with a top time of 328.86 mph. Schauffele, last year’s Rookie of the Year, won the HSBC championship in Shanghai and Carrick led the Gulls in scoring, including the tie-breaker giving the club its 100th win since moving to San Diego.
On the amateur front, record-setting Anthony Lawrence of the University of San Diego and SDSU kicker John Baron were two of six honored for their achievements.
Also recognized were Cal State San Marcos golfer Jaime Jacob, UC San Diego soccer player Natalie Saddic, San Diego Mesa College conference cross country champion Isaiah Labra and University of Oregon freshman CJ Verdell, a Mater Dei Catholic grad, led the Ducks into conference contention.
High school athletes honored included section golf champion Brianna Navarrosa of Mater Dei Catholic, football standouts Brian Driscoll of Torrey Pines and Josh McCurty of Eastlake, La Costa Canyon cross country runner Jacob Stanford, Torrey Pines volleyball setter Emily Fitzner and Scripps Ranch field hockey player Megan Connors.
CORY LITTLETON, Football, Rams, Mt. Miguel alumnus—A key member of the Los Angeles Rams, Littleton had a monster game against the San Francisco 49ers when he collected 10 tackles, had a pair of sacks and blocked a punt in the 39-10 victory. For the season he has 66 tackles and three sacks.
RON CAPPS, NHRA, Drag Racing—With a victory in the NHRA Carolina Nationals in Concord, Capps collected his 60th career Funny Car victory but even more important, amassed 121 points to jump into third place in the Countdown to the Champions. He was clocked at 328.86 mph in the finals.
XANDER SCHAUFFELE, Golf, PGA, Scripps Ranch Alumnus—Collected birdies on his final three holes, including a two-putt from about 30 feet on the 18th hole in sudden death, to win the HSBC championship in Shanghai. The 25-year-old SDSU grad captured his first tournament in 13 months.
SAM CARRICK, Gulls, Ice Hockey—By scoring goals in the Gulls’ first three games and points in their first six, Carrick collected a team-high nine points. A native of Canada, he scored the tie-breaking goal as the Gulls won their 100th game since moving to San Diego with a 3-2 victory over San Jose..
ANTHONY LAWRENCE, Football, USD, Grossmont alumnus—A four-year starter, Lawrence became the school’s all-time leading passer when he pushed his career mark to 11,234 yards against Jacksonville. He finished the month among the top three of all FCS quarterbacks in multiple categories while leading the Toreros to four straight victories.
JOHN BARON, Football, SDSU—The senior kicker made 6-of-7 field goals and all eight of his extra points in addition to sending 15 of his 21 kickoffs for touchbacks as the Aztecs posted a 3-1 mark. His longest field goal was a 51-yarder that beat San Jose State. He was twice MWC Kicker of the Week.
JAIME JACOB, Golf, CSUSM, La Costa Canyon alumnus—Last year’s CCAA Champion, Jacob is currently ranked No. 13 among NCAA Division II golfers She was the CSUSM Fall Classic medalist at Woods Valley Golf Club after carding 10 birdies in two rounds to turn in a career-best and program-record mark of 9-under 135.
NATALIE SADDIC, Women’s Soccer, UC San Diego, Torrey Pines alumnus—A unanimous All-American last year, the center defender started all eight games and led the Tritons to six shutout wins while also collecting a pair of decisive assists in back-to-back victories.
ISAIAH LABRA, Cross Country, Mesa College, Bonita Vista alumnus—A freshman, Labra led the Olympians to the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference men’s team championship. Labra won the individual title, clocking a time of 20-minutes,09.4-seconds in the 4-mile race.
CJ VERDELL, Football, Oregon, Mater Dei Catholic alumnus—A freshman, Verdell stepped right in to help the Ducks become contenders for the Pac-12 North title. He rushed for 111 yards and two TDs in an overtime victory against Washington. He gained 690 yards with five TDs through October.
BRIANNA NAVARROSA, Golf, Mater Dei Catholic—Shooting a 7-under-par 137, the Crusaders’ junior captured the section championship for the second time. Navarrosa dominated to win by six strokes over two rounds at Admiral Baker South.
JOSH McCURTY, Football, Eastlake—One of the major reasons the Titans went undefeated in October was the play of the senior linebacker. McCurty, a Cal commit, was credited with 65 tackles, 3 sacks and a fumble recovery for a TD.
JACOB STANFORD, Boys Cross Country, La Costa Canyon—The clear front-runner for the section, the BYU-bound senior captured every race but one while leading the Mavericks boys to a second place finish in the Mt. SAC team sweepstakes.
MEGAN CONNORS, Field Hockey, Scripps Ranch—A senior captain headed to Cal, Connors was the team’s leading scorer with 37 goals and 16 assists. The Falcons were 9-0 including a 1-0 overtime victory over Serra for the Western League title.
BRIAN DRISCOLL, Football, Torrey Pines—Undefeated and ranked No. 1, the Falcons looked to the 6-4, 285-pound senior on the offensive line. Torrey Pines rushed for 2,895 yards, a large chunk behind Driscoll.
EMILY FITZNER, Volleyball, Torrey Pines—Concluding a perfect 9-0 month, the 6-foot senior setter contributed 185 assists, 55 kills and 22 digs. For the season she has 566 assists, 221 kills and 136 digs for the state’s No. 4-ranked team.