It’s easily the worst offseason I’ve ever seen in my time at the Tribune. And the bad luck of the Bishop Amat football team just reared its ugly head again late last week when top offfensive lineman Matt Brayton suffered a shoulder injury and could miss significant time. Brayton is a verbal commit to UNLV and preseason Tribune All-Area selection.
Sadly, this is just the latest problem Amat has encountered in an offseason that’s been about as bad as it gets. Here’s your tally …
— Lancers lose out on opportunity to hire Brigham Harwell as an assistant coach. He goes to Alemany instead.
— RB Torreahno Sweet is kicked off the team for most of the offseason and doesn’t return until deep into the summer.
— All-Area defensive end Andrew Vasquez’s knee injury suffered against Corona Centennial in last year’s semis never fully heals and now he’s likely lost for the season.
— Brayton injury (see above)
— QB battle rages on. Maybe Ryder Ruiz is the starter. Maybe it’s Damian Garcia. Whomever it ISN’T will automatically become the most popular player on the team. QB battles ruin chemistry. QBs cannot split time. This is still an ongoing saga.
— Trevon Sidney misses significant chunk of fall practice with a hamstring injury that NOBODY seems to knows when or how it happened happened in the championship game of a 7-on-7 tournament in late July. Sidney may be ready for Mater Dei, but how close to 100 percent is he?
Given all the hype and high expectations, this wasn’t supposed to be how the offseason went down. This isn’t type of offseason ANY team wants to have, especially one with a lot of pressure on it. The Lancers had better be a resilient bunch or all the talk about being overrated will begin quickly.
Doesn’t it sometimes feel like the Pac-5 walls are closing in around Bishop Amat?
On Wednesday it was learned that Malik Henry, a Florida St. commit and No. 1 QB in the class of 2016, is headed to Long Beach Poly. Henry played at Westlake last year and was at IMG Academy in Florida earlier this year.
This wouldn’t be so significant around here if Amat weren’t one of the favorites in the Pac-5. But now you can add another team to the mix … assuming Henry is LB Poly’s QB. So, that makes Corona Centennial, St. John Bosco, Mater Dei, Serra and LB Poly all legit Pac-5 title contenders … along with Amat.
The division is always strong but this year it’s looking particularly nasty.
The Bishop Amat High School football pipeline to USC is back up and running.
Standout wide receiver Tyler Vaughns became the second big-time Lancers’ recruit this summer to give a verbal to USC. Vaughns announced his decision on Wednesday at a lunchtime ceremony in front of his Amat classmates.
“It feels like home to me and it’s good to stay local,” Vaughns said when asked why he chose the Trojans. “My parents can come see the games. My parents blessed me with the opportunity to get here to this stage, so I felt like I could give them an opportunity to see me play and not have to go across the country.”
Indeed, Vaughns was a national recruit. The 6-3 receiver had 15 offers and is considered to be on the top receiver on the West Coast. He narrowed his selection down to Alabama, Georgia, Washington and USC.
In late July, Vaughns’ Amat teammate Trevon Sidney, also a receiver, gave a verbal commitment to USC.
Amat is no stranger to sending its top talent the Trojans’ way. In the late 1980s and throughout the ’90s, many former Lancers played their college ball at USC. The school is also famous for sending legendary quarterback Pat Haden and receiver JK McKay on to stellar careers for the Trojans.
Vaughns caught a school record 83 passes last season for 1,183 yards and 12 touchdowns.