San Diego Chargers linebacker Donald Butler and NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson topped the list of 16 professional, amateur and high school athletes honored as Stars of the Month for October by the San Diego Hall of Champions.
Professional Stars of the Month
DONALD BUTLER (Pro football, San Diego Chargers)—A third-round selection in the 2010 draft, Butler is quickly establishing himself as one of the strengths of the defense. Through the first seven games, Butler was credited with 46 tackles, 26 of them solo. He also had a sack and an interception, resulting in a touchdown.
ALEX SMITH (Pro football, San Francisco 49ers, Helix High grad)—In leading the 49ers to a two-game lead in the NFL West, Smith was as close to perfect as you can get against Arizona to close out the month. He went 18 of 19 passing for 232 yards and 3 TDs. In four games he was 69 of 92 for 875 yards and 7 TDs.
JIMMIE JOHNSON (Motor Sports, NASCAR, Granite Hills High grad)—Capturing his seventh career victory at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, the El Cajon native moved into the Sprint Cup lead. Johnson led the race eight times for a total of 193 of the 500 laps. He has won the Sprint Cup five times.
BRIAN BURROWS (Shooting, Trap, Fallbrook High grad)—By hitting 258 of 275 targets in the men’s trap event, including the last 24 of 25 targets, the Fallbrook native won USA Shooting’s Fall Selection Match in Kerrville, Tx., qualifying for the International Shooting Federation championships in March in Acapulco, Mex.
Amateur Stars of the Month
MEGAN JURADO (Women’s Soccer, San Diego State)— The San Diego State senior leads the team with eight goals and three assists for a team-high 19 points. She also five game-winners on the season and is in a first-place tie for shots taken on the team with 32. The Aztecs ended the month with a No. 6 national ranking.
ERNIE COLLINS (Football, University of San Diego)—Collins scored a team-best 30 points as the Toreros went 3-1 in Pioneer League play. He went 6-for-8 in field goals with his only two misses from over 50 yards. He was a perfect 12-for-12 in PAT kicks; averaged 39.6 yards on 11 punts and averaged 60.2 yards on 21 kickoffs with 5 touchbacks.
JAKE FELY (Football, San Diego State, Oceanside High alum)—The sophomore linebacker led the Aztecs to a 4-0 record and a tie for second in the MWC. Fely led the team in tackles (39), solo tackles (30), tackles for loss (6.0) and sacks (4.0), and was the only player with both a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Fely twice earned MWC Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors.
DANIELLE DAHLE (Volleyball, UCSD, Grossmont High alum)—Averaging 4.03 kills, 2.88 digs and 4.50 points per set, the freshman outside hitter led UCSD to a 7-2 record, including a six-match win streak. Dahle posted double-doubles in five of nine matches played and had at least 12 kills in all but one contest.
KELLI LeCLAIR (Volleyball, Point Loma Nazarene)— A freshman, the outside hitter has been the mainstay of the Sea Lions with 4.43 kills per set, recording double-doubles in six of 10 contests. LeClair was dominant as PLNU upset No. 16 Grand Canyon twice. LeClair had 24 kills and 16 digs in the win at Phoenix, then followed it up with a 27-kill, 17-dig match at home.
IZZY POZURAMA (Women’s Soccer, UCSD)—A sophomore forward, Pozurama scored all eight of her goals this season over her team's past seven games. Each of the goals have come in six wins, including a pair of two-goal performances, as the Tritons have gone 6-1 to capture their 11th CCAA South Division title in 13 years.
High School Stars of the Month
ROYCE FREEMAN (Football, Imperial High)—There are those who say it’s almost unfair as Freeman makes rolling up big yardage look easy. The through the season’s first nine games, the junior running back amassed an even 1,900 yards on just 128 carries—an average of close to 150 yards a game—scoring 26 TDs for the Tigers.
CHRIS MARTIN (Football, Otay Ranch High)—When you average better than a quarter of a football field with each catch, chances are you’re going to get double- and triple-teamed. It hasn’t really mattered, though, as the senior ran his season totals to 1,102 yards on 43 receptions (25.6) and 12 TDs for the Mustangs.
JUSTIN WILLIAMS (Football, El Camino High)—By finishing the month with a 327-yard rushing game, Williams pushed his season totals to a whopping 1,506 yards and 19 TDs as the Wildcats made a late run at the Avocado West title and a high playoff berth behind the senior running back.
HALEY MOORE (Golf, San Pasqual High)—Just a freshman, she played like a veteran the entire month, posting several eye-popping scores before teeing it up for two-day section championships. There was no let-down as the 9th-grader led after the first day by firing a 3-under par 69 over the Coronado Municipal course before finishing third overall.
NICHOLAS HOWARD (Water Polo, Hilltop High)—By the end of the month, the 6-foot-3 Lancers senior had moved to No. 7 all-time in section single-season scoring with 171 goals with the playoffs looming. Howard has converted better than 50% of his shots and contributed a whopping 182 steals to go with 73 assists.
ERIKA CONNERS (Volleyball, Francis Parker)—A stalwart of the Lancers offense, the 5-foot-10 senior setter led Parker to a 15-0 mark to bring the season record to 29-2 with one game remaining before the playoffs. Headed to UC Davis, Conners had 342 assists, 51 kills 18 aces and 89 digs in the 15 matches.