Elway tops star-studded list of all-time SoCal athletes

Sep 24, 2021, 7:17 PM
PALO ALTO, CA - AUGUST 1982: John Elway of the Stanford Cardinal poses for a feature highlighting h...
(Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

It’s time for John Elway to make some more space on the mantle for another all-time accolade.

Marking 45 years covering prep sports in Southern California, Los Angeles Times columnist Eric Sondheimer released on Friday a list of his top 13 high school athletes he’s covered from the area.

And at the very top of the exclusive list is No. 7 — or, as he was known back in his high school days at Granada Hills, No. 11.

Sondheimer recalls Elway leading his high school baseball team to the 1979 City Section title at Dodger Stadium after becoming the top quarterback prospect in the country and before moving on to Stanford.

Famously Elway, a standout for the Cardinal on the diamond as well, threatened to turn to professional baseball if the Baltimore Colts did not trade him after being selected No.-1 overall in the 1983 NFL Draft.

“The Duke” would eventually land in Denver with the Broncos, and three Super Bowl championships later (two playing and one as an executive), the rest is history.

Among the players Elway beat out for the top spot include New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, two-time Cy Young Award winner Bret Saberhagen, Olympic runners Allyson Felix and Marion Jones, and hoops stars Cheryl Miller and Russell Westbrook.


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Elway tops star-studded list of all-time SoCal athletes