Damien running back Dylan Thigpen chooses Idaho

Damien star running back Dylan Thigpen has made a verbal commitment to University of Idaho.

Thigpen led the Baseline League and entire West Valley Division in rushing with 1,855 yards on 260 carries (7.1 avg.). The yardage total was that much more impressive given that the Spartans offense was reliant on him. He was a first-team All-Baseline and Inland Valley selection last year as a junior.

Thigpen has not yet visited the school but plans to do so in the near future. The head coach and recruiting coordinator made a home visit this week and Thigpen liked what he heard.

“I really liked that they had family values and it was a place I could picture myself being,” Thigpen said. “I liked how they treat their athletes and the way they plan to use me in the offense.”

Thigpen also visited Nevada and had been talking to others schools such as Virginia Tech and Minnesota. He is happy to have the decision behind him so he can focus on preparation for college

“I want to work hard on getting bigger and stronger so when I get there I can compete for playing time,” he said.

Thigpen, a resident of Rancho Cucamonga, plans to major in criminal justice.


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Damien looking for better showing second year in Baseline

The Baseline League is noted for tough competition top to bottom, no matter what the sport. But when it comes to football there are few better.

Damien was thrown into the mix last year. It was tough going for the Spartans who settled for fifth, finishing 4-6 overall and 1-4 in league play with that lone win coming over Los Osos.

They’re hoping for a better showing the second time around.

“We definitely learned a lot,” third-year coach Mark Paredes said. “We knew going in that all the teams were good and we had to rise to the challenge. Our guys really know now what they will be up against every week.”

Dylan Thigpen

Paredes and the Spartans do have two strong factors weighing in their favor and both are on the offensive side of the ball. Senior running back Dylan Thigpen is coming off a season that saw him rush for 1,254 yards and 12 touchdowns, which earned him first-team All-Inland Valley honors. He just got his first offer from Idaho.

Liam Ryan

The Spartans also have a couple offensive linemen returning, the most notable being senior Liam Ryan, a 6-foot-6, 270-pounder who also played center for the state championship basketball team in the spring. He has a handful of offers from eight schools including Washington State.

Paredes is also excited about the showing of senior guard Evander Achen.

Last year the veteran coach used two quarterbacks – Will Bryan and Mark Boragine. He has settled on the sophomore Bryan as the starter, with Boragine being his backup but also seeing time at wide receiver.

The Spartans also have a couple of receivers who should figure prominently in seniors Chris Gregg and Cameron Record.

The defense will be led by senior linebackers Nicholas Provenzano and Andrew Hernandez.

The defensive line is the biggest concern right now.

“We’re a lot smaller there,” he said. “That’s not to say we don’t have good players there but we’re smaller and more inexperienced.”

The Spartans open the new season on Sept. 4 against Eastvale Roosevelt, which was just 2-8 last year. The first Baseline contest will be at home on Oct. 9 against Rancho Cucamonga.







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