Summit reaching for new heights

The building process from an overmatched team of freshman and sophomores to a championship-level force has been a gradual one for Summit coach Tony Barile. But as Summit gets ready for its fifth season fresh off an upset of No. 1 seeded Citrus Hill in the first round of last year’s Eastern Division playoffs, Barile sees one thing that the SkyHawks need to do to reach the next level.

“We needed to get stronger,” Barile said. “The reason we have lot to Palm Springs the last two years in the playoffs was because we weren’t strong enough and we wore down in the fourth quarter. That’s the one thing we’ve been doing this summer – hitting the weight room and getting stronger. We want to be able to outlast our opponents.”

Strength is important to the SkyHawks because they have the speed and skill necessary to do damage with a little bit of open space. Athletes dot the Summit roster throughout, led by senior quarterback Devon Blackmon.

The 6-foot, 175-pound Blackmon is one of the top recruits in the nation at wide receiver, as he is rated No. 20 according to Rivals.com and has an offer list that includes the likes of USC, UCLA, Oregon, Washington, California, Miami, Florida and Alabama among others. He’ll play quarterback, defensive back, return kicks – whatever the SkyHawks need.

“Devon is a special athlete and the things he can do on the football field are amazing,” Barile said. “We are going to play him whereever he can make the most impact. When you have an athlete like him, you want the ball in his hands all of the time.”

Blackmon isn’t the only big-time athlete that Summit has. Running back Montigo Alford (5-9, 170) ran for 1,146 yards and 17 touchdowns a year ago while cornerback Donte Deayon (5-9, 150) returns after picking off six passes as a junior. Senior Jameel Erving (6-1, 180) returns at wide receiver while Joseph Henderson (5-11, 190) will get time at running back, wide receiver and defensive back.

The SkyHawks are led up front by hulking senior Gary Dixon (6-3, 285), who has been offered by New Mexico and is receiving attention from Boise State and Arizona. Junior Devon Swan (6-2, 240) and senior Paul Ibarra (5-10, 235) return up front while Nick Shaw (5-11, 215) will lead the way at linebacker.

Summit 2010 schedule (Home games in CAPS, * indicates league game)

Sept. 2 – ETIWANDA
Sept. 10 – REDLANDS
Sept. 17 – at Fontana
Oct. 1 – SILVERADO
Oct. 8 – MURRIETA MESA
Oct. 15 – PATRIOT*
Oct. 22 – at Bloomington*
Oct. 28 – JURUPA VALLEY*
Nov. 5 – at Kaiser*
Nov. 11 – at Norte Vista*