Coach Aaron Skinner figured that senior Rylan Bohnett was the smart choice to make the calls for his defense on the Bishop Diego High School football team.

Bohnett’s grade-point average, after all, is a heady 4.67.

“He’s the quarterback of our secondary,” said Skinner, the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator as well as the school’s athletic director. “He’s obviously not the biggest guy, but he makes up for that with his brains.”

Rylan Bohnett, star defensive safety for the Bishop Diego High football team, was honored as the school’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Rylan Bohnett, star defensive safety for the Bishop Diego High football team, was honored as the school’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year. (Noozhawk Photo)

Bohnett, a 5-foot-11 safety and wide receiver, was honored for his academics by the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table on Monday when he was introduced as Bishop Diego’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The award is sponsored by The Gamberdella-Spruill Group at Merrill Lynch.

He’s started for the Cardinals in three different sports, serving as a team captain in both basketball and football.

He helped lead the basketball team to a CIF championship in 2021 and a runner-up finish in 2019, winning Tri-Valley League championships both years. He’s also been part of two league championships in football and is expected to earn his fourth varsity letter in volleyball next spring.

Bohnett, the son of Dominic and Darci Bohnett, was honored by Bishop Diego as its English Student of the Year in 2019 and he received Multimedia Student of the Year honorable mention in 2020. He’s made the school’s honor roll and has been recognized as a National Merit Scholar during all four of his years at Bishop.

He’s also participated in the Global Leadership Conference as well as the Pepperdine Youth Conference, and has served as a School Ambassador. He’s earned Class Marshall status as one of Bishop’s top-10 rated students.

Bohnett has volunteered for both the Boys & Girls Club Christmas program and Direct Relief. He’s also coached in the FNL (Friday Night Lights) youth flag football league.

He has especially enjoyed working for BDTV — the daily news program which is broadcast on the Bishop Diego High campus.

“I’ve loved creating videos and sports announcing,” he said.

Bohnett is also a founder of Bishop’s Public Speaking Club, a skill that Skinner has put to good use on his defense.

“He’s a true leader for us and handles all our communications,” he said. “He knows where to be and when to be there, and that counts for a lot, especially in high school football.

“As a defensive coach, you need to trust the guys back there to make the right calls, and communicate well, so it’s great having him back there.”

He started for a Bishop football team that won last year’s Camino League championship and finished in the top-25 of the Cal Preps state rankings. The Cardinals are 4-2 so far this year with rankings of No. 62 in the state and No. 39 in the CIF-Southern Section.

Mark Patton

Mark Patton, Noozhawk Sports Columnist

Noozhawk sports columnist Mark Patton is a longtime local sports writer. Contact him at The opinions expressed are his own.