He's qualified because: No other player impacted a team like the 6-foot-1 floor general for the Bears. A first-team All-Tri-River Athletic Conference choice, Ferrari had a hand in more than 90% of the offense and registered an astounding 1,149 assists, including 42 in the Southern California Regional championship victory. After the Bears lost the first two sets in the regional final, he settled down the team for 3-2 comeback victory. Ferrari flashed his all-around brilliance this year with an additional 192 digs, 125 kills, 69 blocks and 51 aces.
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Fiery Jonathan Ferrari, cool and combative under pressure, refused to let Buchanan High go down in the Southern California Regional championship.
The top-seeded Bears lost the first two sets to Otay Ranch-Chula Vista in the Division I final while taking verbal abuse from a noisy Mustangs crowd that packed three-quarters of the Irvine Valley College gymnasium.
"Our people feed off Jon and he stayed calm and kept the guys under control," Bears coach John Jay said. "He stayed in their faces, encouraging them all along. He really hates to lose and finds ways to get it done."
Buchanan rallied for a 3-2 victory – winning 15-12 in the fifth set – behind Ferrari's 42 match assists to capture the championship and earn the No. 2 national ranking in the final ESPN RISE poll.
Ferrari, a 6-foot-1 junior setter, was the catalyst of a 39-3 season that ranks No. 1 in Central Section history, and for that he is The Bee's Player of the Year.
The 6-foot-1 junior setter edged out teammate Tim Moses for the award. Moses, a junior middle blocker and ferocious hitter, led the Bears in kills and was voted Tri-River Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player.
But the nod went to Ferrari based on his outstanding all-around contributions and the fact that his superb assists enabled Moses and senior Dakota Smith to combine for 556 kills.
"He's the guy we all wish we had," Clovis North coach Jason Powell said of Ferrari. "Without Jon, nobody gets the ball."
Ferrari is involved in almost every play. And when he's not setting, he's creating his own kills, blocking, digging out hits or scoring on his power serves.
Numbers don't lie: 1,149 assists, 192 digs, 125 kills, 69 blocks and 51 aces on 85.4% accuracy.
Buchanan had the talent to make a deep run in the playoffs, but Ferrari was the missing piece. He's been playing since age 5 and it was in his blood; his sister mom, Melissa, played in college; and sister Chloe was the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year at the University of San Diego last fall.
"I knew early we had a dream team together," said Ferrari, who said he's being recruited by Long Beach State, Pepperdine and Cal State Northridge. "Everyone knew his role, so all I tried to do was give the ball to the right guy at the right time.
"When Coach Jay asked us our goals at the start of the season, everyone had the same ones. Win TRAC, Valley, and state. With talent at every position, it was easy to build off each other because everyone wanted the same thing."