California has been home to some of the greatest athletes in sports history, including one of the greatest golfers, the greatest home run hitter and the greatest pure hitter in baseball history. They are among the five more dominant high school athletes in the history of the Golden State.
Five most dominant high school athletes in California history Tiger Woods, Western (Anaheim), 1994
As spectacular as Woods has been in his career as one of the greatest golfers the game as ever seen, he was even more impressive at the high school level. In four seasons at Western, Woods won the Southern Section championship an unprecedented three times (1991, 1993, 1994) including a section record 5-under par 66 his senior year. A four-time Orange League champion, he won the league his senior year by 20 strokes. During his high school years, he also won three Junior PGA championships. As a professional, Woods has won 14 Majors (second all-time) and 80 PGA Tour events (second all-time). He has been PGA Player of the Year a record 11 times.Barry Bonds, Serra (San Mateo), 1982
A three-sport athlete at Serra, playing football and basketball, but excelling in baseball. He batted .515 as a senior with 10 home runs and was a second-round pick by the San Francisco Giants. Instead of going pro out of high school, Bonds attended Arizona State and earned All-American honors while leading the Sun Devils to the College World Series. He was the No. 6 overall pick in the 1985 MLB Draft by the Pirates and went on to play in 14 All-Star games with the Pirates and Giants and earn seven National League MVP awards. He holds the Major League record for career home runs (762), home runs in a season (73) and walks in a career (2,558).Ted Williams, Hoover (San Diego), 1937
A star hitter and pitcher at Hoover (San Diego), playing high school ball during the spring and participating in the Pacific Coast League during the summer. He eventually caught the eye of the Boston Red Sox and made his Major League debut in 1939. He went on to play in 19 All-Star Games, win two Triple Crowns and six American League batting titles. Williams, the last player to hit .400, was elected in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.John Elway, Granada Hills Charter (Granada Hills), 1979
Elway moved from Washington early in his high school career when his father Jack got a coaching job in Southern California. As a quarterback at Granada Hills, Elway earned All-Los Angeles City honors as a junior and was second team as a senior due to a leg injury. He earned All-American honors by both Parade Magazine (for football) and Rawlings (for baseball) his senior year. He went on to an All-American career at Stanford and was the No. 1 pick in the 1983 NFL Draft. He played in nine Pro Bowls, won two Super Bowls and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2004.
Jason Kidd, St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda), 1991
Kidd ended Southern California's dominance in the state championships by winning two straight Division 1 championships. He was a two-time state Player of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports and was the national Player of the Year by Naismith, Parade and USA Today. He scored 2,621 points in his high school career. He was a consensus first-team All-American at California and was the No. 2 overall player selected in the 1994 NBA Draft. He was a 10-time NBA All-Star and made first-team All-NBA five times.Also considered:
Jackie Robinson, Pasadena, football, basketball, track, baseball; Bill Walton, Helix, basketball; Tony Gwynn, Long Beach Poly, baseball, basketball; Ronnie Lott, Eisenhower, football; Bob Mathias, Tulare; Mark Spitz, Santa Clara, swimming; Cheryl Miller, Riverside Poly, basketball; Lisa Leslie, Morningside, basketball; Billie Jean King, Long Beach Poly, tennis; Marcus Allen, Lincoln, football.Note:
Pete Sampras and Joe DiMaggio were not considered because they did not finish high school before turning professional.