There’s a three-player race for the starting quarterback job at Temple City. Almost a week into fall camp, Temple City football coach Mike McFarland said he still hasn’t seen any of the three emerge as the front-runner. The quarterback position seemed to be the one position the Rams were not so worried about when last year’s disappointing season came to an end. Brandon Cox, a 6-foot-2 speedy passer, was expected to take the reigns from Justin Smith. Cox was to provide another element to the Rams’ dynamic with his elusiveness and playmaking ability.
But wasn’t to be. Cox transferred to Pasadena where his father is now a strength and conditioning coach under first-year Pasadena coach Randy Horton. Suddenly, Pasadena goes from having the talented Aaron Simpson taking snaps to Cox creating a quarterback competition. It’s looking a lot like Cox will be the Bulldogs’ quarterback this season.
Pasadena looks set, but what about Temple City?
Senior Alec Vigil, senior Bruce Pacilio and sophomore Mike Quintanilla are the three vying for the starting spot. McFarland said after Tuesday’s practice that Temple City didn’t start fall practice as if from scratch. The Rams have played together and built cohesiveness since the start of spring and throughout summer camp. Still, between the start of the year and through summer, neither Vigil, Pacilio nor Quintanilla have taken ownership of the position.
That can be taken in one or two ways: All three are creating such a competitive atmosphere and each one has their own unique talent that so far it’s been difficult to pinpoint one particular QB as the front-runner. That’s great and all, but with pads ready to go on Saturday, McFarland hopes someone starts separating himself from the pack, given the season is only a few weeks away.
“These guys are all getting reps,” McFarland said. “But I’m still not ready to catapult anyone to the top. It’s still very much a competition.”
Should someone have taken an edge anyway, McFarland still wouldn’t have had a clear picture of his new quarterback.
“We gotta be in pads to make that assessment and see what they look like,” he said.
Vigil was a junior wide receiver/defensive back on varsity last season. He’s the lone player in the three-man rotation with varsity experience, and that could play to his advantage. He recorded 24 tackles on the defensive side. Pacilio was on the junior varsity last season and Quintanilla was a freshman.
Whichever quarterback emerges, one thing is for sure: replacing Justin Smith won’t be easy. Smith completed nearly 60 percent of his passes (99 of 170) for 1,737 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also rushed for 419 yards and six touchdowns.
Temple City scrimmages El Monte on Sept. 3 and opens the season Sept. 10 at home against Arroyo.