“One and done” doesn’t quite have the same connotation in the case of Rancho Cucamonga High School football as it does college basketball. But the Cougars are incorporating a senior transfer quarterback for the second straight season courtesy of Gage Pucci’s transfer from Damien.
Adam Friederichsen, a transfer from Carlsbad La Costa Canyon prior to last season, completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,849 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions before walking on at Arizona following his lone season at Rancho Cucamonga. Pucci’s numbers in two seasons as a starter at Damien don’t measure up, but the 5-foot-11, 195-pound rising senior will be surrounded by much more talent at Rancho Cucamonga, one of the best two or three programs in the Inland Valley.
As a junior at Damien, Pucci completed 47 percent of his passes for 1,498 yards with 15 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
“He’s learning the offense, picking it up pretty well,” Rancho Cucamonga coach Nick Baiz said. “He’s a leader. He’s a tough kid. I think our biggest issue will be if we can put together an offensive line that will keep him upright.”
Ryan McMahon, a safety who walked on at USC following his football career at Damien and played his final two years of college football at Sacramento State, was signed by the Green Bay Packers on Thursday.
McMahon had multiple scholarship offers when he graduated Damien, but I remember the conviction in his voice five years ago when he explained to me his belief that he could play at a higher level. Apparently that attitude has carried him a long way.
He must have made an impression at the Packers’ rookie orientation camp in May, where he earned an invite to training camp. Of course, he still has a long way to go to make the 53-man roster, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who didn’t envision McMahon ever signing an NFL contract. At the very least, his look in this Sacramento State bio picture looks like something that would fit in Green Bay.
With 44 schools from which to choose, only three were removed from the Mt. SAC area this year. All three are Catholic affiliated.
This is the argument lawyers representing Damien and St. Lucy’s will utilize in a federal lawsuit they hope will prevent their clients’ athletic teams from being placed in leagues with parochial schools in the fall of 2014, according to San Gabriel Valley Tribune Staff Writer Aram Tolegian’s story. The decision was ostensibly based on competitive equity, something the schools’ lawyers find questionable when the obvious common thread is the schools’ religious affiliation.
The reasons cited for the lawsuits are one thing. The reasons Damien and St. Lucy’s would like to remain in their current arrangement is another.
Both are competitive in the Sierra League, but if forced to move in the fall of 2014, could land amongst a group of private schools with a reputation for a higher level of play in all sports. Apparently that level is high enough that the two schools – along with Westlake Village Oaks Christian and Ventura St. Bonaventure – are willing to take the CIF State, CIF-Southern Section and CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod to court.