The All-City Freshmen of the Year award has been a great predictor of success the last two years, with previous winners Camille Lindsay, Maya O’Dea, Jason Parra, and Sammie Hamilton all continuing to dominate the Moore League this year (all four won Moore League Player of the Year or individual championship honors in 2021-22).
We feel similarly confident that the two frosh being honored this year will be forces in the city for the next three years.
Boys’ Freshman of the Year: Jovani Ruff, Long Beach Poly Basketball
Long Beach Poly had one of the best seniors around this year in Moore League Player of the Year Christian Watson, but they had one of the best freshmen in the state, too. Jovani Ruff showed up and showed out in his first year of high school basketball, averaging 14 points per game, six rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block.
He was named Cal-Hi Sports’ second-best freshman in the state at the guard position, and the 6-5 combo guard picked up some serious national attention as well, as ESPN ranked him No. 14 nationally in the freshman class, a four-star recruit who is the No. 5 player in the nation at his position.
Girls’ Freshman of the Year; Jillene Wetteland, Long Beach Poly Track & Field
We’ve honored Moore League individual champions with this award before, but Long Beach Poly’s Jillene Wetteland wasn’t just a league champion in the high jump, she was a CIF Southern Section Division 1 champion as well, after a personal-best 5-8 clearance at the CIF-SS Finals.
Wetteland has focused more on volleyball throughout her young sports career, but may have an even brighter future on the oval. She was named a MileSplit California Future Star of the Week after a 5-6 clearance, which was the state’s best for the 9th grade class until she leaped 5-8. Wetteland was also an All-City champion in the event at the middle school level, where she was also a strong 400 runner.