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Thursday, Mar 14 2013 04:10 PM

McCall named Gatorade State Player of Year

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Ridgeview High's Erica McCall is fired up after Ridgeview beat J.W. North from Riverside to advance to the D II Southern California finals.

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

The honors keep rolling in for Ridgeview senior Erica McCall in what's been a banner senior year.

The latest: McCall was named Thursday morning as the Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year by a panel of Gatorade and USA Today voters. It's an honor that puts her at the top of her class in a powerful girls basketball state and makes her a finalist for Gatorade's National Player of the Year award, which will be announced later this month.

McCall, a three-time Californian Player of the Year and a McDonald's All-American, is averaging 18.1 points, 15.0 rebounds and 9.1 blocks per game for the Wolf Pack (29-3), which plays Lynwood at 10 a.m. Saturday in Ontario for the CIF Division II Southern California championship. McCall, who will play for Stanford next year, is Cal Hi Sports' state record-holder in blocked shots, and she ranks third all-time in Central Section history in points, according to section historian Bob Barnett.

This announcement continues a pretty remarkable trend for Kern County high school athletics: McCall is the third local athlete honored as Gatorade State Athlete of the Year in a given sport in the past four years. Shafter's Anna Jelmini won it for girls track and field in 2009 — and went on to win the national award. Cody Kessler of Centennial won the state award for football in 2010, and now McCall can be added to that list.

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