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Sutter softball star Riley Wickum is SBLive’s Northern Section Athlete of the Year

Wickum went 25-1 with 303 strikeouts and a 0.41 ERA from the circle this spring.

Welcome to a continuing tradition at SBLive California – honoring the male and female athletes of the year in every CIF Section.

Because the SBLive crew gets so immersed in specific sports seasons, it is nice to take a step back to pick a Section honor on a broader scale.

The criteria isn’t too expansive: The starting point is finding athletes who are all-league/all-state performers. Totality of career is also a factor as is winning. Administrator/coach/fan recommendation plays a role as well.

Enjoy as we honor some of California's top athletes!

What happens when a previous Athlete of the Year award winner follows up their breakout season with an even better one?

They win again. 

After earning the Northern Section Female Athlete of the Year award in 2021, Sutter softball standout Riley Wickum took her game to the next level in her senior year. As a star pitcher and hitter, Wickum led her Huskies team to both Section and Regional CIF titles this spring. Sutter ended the year with a 31-1 record. In Wickum's four years on varsity Sutter went 88-6.

In 154 innings of work as a senior, Wickum posted a 25-1 pitching record with 303 strikeouts and a 0.41 ERA, allowing only nine earned runs all season. On offense, Wickum hit .470 with 18 extra-base hits and a 1.170 OPS. 

"I'm really honored to win this again," Wickum said. "It shows that all of the hard work is paying off. This couldn't be possible without my team behind me and everything and my coaches always pushing me to do my best. This is an honor."

Wickum cut her junior year ERA in half as a senior going from a 0.89 to the 0.41. She credits the targeted pitching workouts she went through in the offseason for her senior year jump. 

"Working on my location and trying to make every pitch where I want it to be and just like working on my speed from working out, putting in more work this year, definitely paid off. I've worked on what I needed to work on."

Following her dominant senior year, Wickum reflected on one memory that stood out above the rest -- earning a win in the circle in Sutter's 2-1 CIF regional championship victory over Central Fresno. 

"We made history for our school since this was the first year that it was ever possible to win a regional title," Wickum said. 


School: Sutter

Sport: Softball

Next step: Cal State Northridge Softball

Season highlights and accolades: Division 4 Northern Section Softball champion, Division 3 CIF State Northern Regional Softball champion

GPA: 3.6



Central Section Male: Nate Johnson, Clovis

Central Section Female: Jazmine Soto, Strathmore

Central Coast Section Male: Mikey Mitchell Jr., Archbishop Mitty

Central Coast Section Female: Jessica Oakland, St. Francis

LA City Section Male: Dylan Kordic, San Pedro

LA City Section Female: Jillian Kelly, El Camino Real

North Coast Section Male: Nico Torrez, De La Salle

North Coast Section Female: Natalie Pasco, San Ramon Valley

Sac-Joaquin Section Male: Jadyn Marshall, Stockton St. Mary's

Sac-Joaquin Section Female: Jzaniya Harriel, Antelope

San Diego Section Male: Nick Herrmann, Torrey Pines

San Diego Section Female: Elise Miller, San Pasqual

Southern Section Male: Thomas Southey, Mira Costa

Southern Section Female: Alyssa Thompson, Harvard-Westlake

2021-22 Northern Section Athlete of the Year: Riley Wickum, Sutter