Football

Bay Area News Group high school football player of the year: Luke Baker, San Ramon Valley

DANVILLE — Luke Baker accounted for 51 touchdowns this season while leading San Ramon Valley to section and regional championships and overtime of a state title game.

Even when the Danville school lost, accolades followed the 5-foot-11, 180-pound junior quarterback.

“Luke Baker is a heck of a quarterback,” Granite Hills-El Cajon coach Kellan Cobbs said after his team held off San Ramon Valley in overtime to capture the Division 2-A state championship.

McClymonds coach Michael Peters praised Baker similarly after his team edged San Ramon Valley 45-42 in early October.

Baker threw for 3,733 and 46 touchdowns, completing 270 of 420 attempts (64.3%). He also ran for 237 yards and five TDs.

San Ramon Valley finished 12-3, a resume that included a 35-21 victory over previously undefeated Campolindo in the North Coast Section Division II final and a 19-17 win over Marin Catholic for the NorCal 2-A title.

In the 2-A state final, Baker threw two TD passes and ran for a TD as San Ramon Valley charged back to force overtime before losing 31-24.

It all added to a clear decision for our staff: Baker is the Bay Area News Group’s 2022 high school football player of the year.

The youngest of three brothers who have started at quarterback for San Ramon Valley – Zack Baker (2014) and Clark Baker (2016 and 2017) also made a home behind center for the Wolves – Luke has separated himself from the pack.

“He’s the best. He’s the best I’ve ever coached,” Aaron Becker, San Ramon Valley’s head coach since 2013, said about Luke after the state championship game.

A Santa Clara University baseball commit, Baker took the loss in the state final hard, saying through tears that he wanted to win for the seniors.

“I wish I could have done a little more to make that happen for the guys,” Baker said.

One of those seniors, receiver Trevor Scott, had nothing but appreciation for the QB.

“Luke showed tremendous leadership all year,” Scott said. “I am really proud of him and excited to see what he’ll do next year.”

Baker is rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com. He has no football offers, according to the website.

With another season like this fall, maybe that’ll change.

ALL-BAY AREA NEWS GROUP FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Monday, Jan. 9

Kickers/punters

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Athletes

Tuesday, Jan. 10

Utility players

Linebackers

Running backs

Wednesday, Jan. 11

Defensive backs

Wide receivers/tight ends

Quarterbacks

Bay Area News Group coach of the year

Thursday, Jan. 12

Alameda County player of the year

San Mateo County player of the year

Santa Clara County player of the year

Bay Area News Group player of the year

WHO IS ELIGIBLE

Those eligible for all-Bay Area News Group recognition come from leagues based predominantly in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. For corrections, please email highschools@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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