2020 has been a tough year, so as the year winds down, the Sports Central team wants to remind our viewers of all the great things we’ve seen from valley athletes and teams so far this century. Each weekday through Dec. 30 during our 6 pm newscasts on KSEE24 and CBS47 (and during our 11 pm newscasts on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), the Sports Central team is counting down the 20 best central valley sports stories over the last 20 years, something we’re calling 20 in ’20. Checking in at No. 19 on the list on Tuesday was a season to remember for a Tulare Union High School senior.
TULARE, Calif. — In 2017, Tulare Union’s Kazmeir Allen had a senior year for the ages. Tulare went 13-and-0 against Central Section competition that year, on its way to capturing the Division II Central Section title. The Tribe’s offense was nearly unstoppable, averaging over 55 points per game, with Allen scoring about every fourth time he touched the football. On the ground is where he did the most damage, rushing for 3,336 yards, a Tulare County single-season record and third most in Central Section history, while also finding the end zone 62 times rushing, highlighted by a single-game school record 434 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns in a section playoff win over Sunnyside. He averaged over 13 yards per carry on the ground, a ridiculous number in itself, but one that paled in comparison to his explosiveness as a receiver, where he averaged nearly 29 yards per catch and scored nine more times. Throw in one more touchdown as a kick returner, and it all added up to 72 total touchdowns, breaking the national single-season record of 71 that had stood for 16 years. Harry Kargenian, Tulare Union’s public address announcer since the early 70’s, told the Visalia Times-Delta Allen was the “fastest high school football player he’d ever seen.” And Allen added more credence to Harry’s words several months later, when he finished off his Tulare Union athletic career by winning the 100-meter dash at the CIF State Track meet, the first Central Section sprinter to win that event since 1995, and doing it in a time of 10.44 seconds, just .01 away from tying the section record.