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Smith did it all for the Rebels

Flintridge Prep's Kenyatta Smith was the most feared and dominant athlete in the area in 2010-11.

August 23, 2011|By Andrew Shortall and Mario Aguirre, andrew.shortall@latimes.com and mario.aguirre@latimes.com

Basketball took center stage — or court — in La Cañada Flintridge this year. Flintridge Prep and La Cañada High's gyms always seemed to be filled to capacity when the Rebels and Spartans tipped off for postseason action.

Depending on the game, the Prep or Spartan faithful could be heard chanting the names of their star athletes. Both teams ended the season with a championship, La Cañada winning a CIF Southern Section Division III-AA title and Flintridge Prep a Division V-AA crown.

The two squads found success in different ways. Prep boasted the biggest and most dominant threat in Division V-AA, while La Cañada's unlikely championship cast consisted of a group of gifted athletes who pulled out several dramatic, underdog victories.

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Of course, there were plenty of other local teams and individuals that experienced success this year, from James Knowles leading an incredible run through CIF for St. Francis track and field to the Golden Knights soccer squad, Prep's volleyball team and La Cañada's golf and soccer team.

Each team had at least one athlete to turn to when the pressure was turned up and their performances in those situations and throughout the entire year led to plenty of individual honors.

Here are the Valley Sun top-10 male high school athletes of the year:

1 — Kenyatta Smith, Flintridge Prep basketball and volleyball, senior

Smith was the most feared athlete in the area this year. The 6-foot-8 senior was nearly always the tallest player in the gym and he dominated on both the Rebels' basketball and volleyball squads from the center and middle blocker positions.

Smith's presence on the basketball court led Flintridge Prep to its first CIF Southern Section Division V-AA championship. He averaged 19.6 points, 14.8 rebounds and 4.8 blocks per game this season and was named the All-CIF V-AA Division Player of the Year, the John R. Wooden High School Player of the Year for CIF Southern Section Division V and the All-Area Boys' Basketball Player of the Year.

"I've had guys who could score in the past, but his all-around game, from scoring to rebounding to blocking shots, was incredible," Flintridge Prep Coach Garrett Ohara said. "He alters shots and he's been a force on both ends of the floor."

When it came to volleyball, Smith earned his first All-CIF Southern Section Division V honor as a senior.

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