With everything San Pedro High football senior running back & linebacker Joshua Ward has accomplished in his four-year prep career, his latest and most important achievement and came Wednesday morning at San Pedro High.
The 2019 Marine League Most Valuable Player & 2018 CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division 1 Player Of The Year joins a successful recruiting class for the UC Davis football as one of sixteen prep football seniors who signed with the Aggies, who went 5-7 and placed fifth in the Big Sky Conference. UC Davis finished ninth in the country among FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) teams in 2018.
UC Davis is coached by former Boise State & Colorado coach Dan Hawkins.
"(UC Davis) had every thing I was looking for," said Ward, who helped guide the Pirates to a 10-2 record, the Marine League title (thanks to a forfeit win over Narbonne) and the CIF-LACS Open Division semifinals. "It is a school of high academics and great football. The coaches are amazing people, and when I went to visit Davis, I felt like I was at home."
Ward has racked up a large grocery list of accolades... and broken tackles during his prep career at San Pedro.
JOSHUA WARD - SAN PEDRO HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL CAREER ACCOLADES (2017-2019)
Third All-Time In Rush Yards (2,724)
First In Rushing Touchdowns (41)
Ninth In Tackles (209)
Second For In-Game Rushing TDs (5 vs. South Gate - 11/16/2018)
Longest Kickoff Return Touchdown (99 vs. Taft - 9/6/2019)
2018 CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division 1 Player Of The Year
2019 Marine League Player Of The Year
2018 Cal-Hi Sports All-State
Ward will forever be remembered for one particular play, the infamous multiple tackle-breaking 29-yard touchdown run in the 2018 CIF-LACS Division 1 championship win over Dorsey where he eluded seven tackles before sprinting to the end zone in the second quarter.
There was only one thing on Ward's mind when he took the hand-off from quarterback Justin Bernal...
"Keep on going and score. It was all or nothing. Go big or go home. I prefer to always play 110% on every play."
That in itself alone should tell you the kind of player Ward is.
In 2019, Ward rushed for 1,061 yards on 124 carries, an 8.6 yards per carry average, and 19 touchdowns, while also scoring in three other ways: a reception against Banning in a game where Ward rushed for three more scores, plus an interception return defensively and a 99-yard kickoff return against Taft. Ward busted loose for five rushing touchdowns of 50 or more yards.
On defense Ward led San Pedro with 109 tackles, while also picking up four sacks, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, also blocking an extra point attempt against eventual CIF-Southern Section Division II champion Sierra Canyon.