ANSWER: If you said South Hills, you’re correct … keep reading!
I stopped by both Amat and South Hills this afternoon to catch a glimpse of practice. I went to South Hills first because Capri Deli is strategically located nearby (roast beef and provolone, toss the bread). As soon as I got to Huskiesville, Director of Football Operations Jimmy the E dragged me into head coach Steve Bogan’s office, and there he was – Chris Rix. I asked Jimmy the E “What’s he doing here?” His response was “He’s just helping us out with the quarterbacks.” We all promptly made our way out to the field. Once there, I got a private moment with Coach Bogan to ask questions about the players. Then, I asked about Rix and basically got the same “He’s helping us out with the quarterbacks” answer. OK, Rix isn’t officially on Bogan’s staff yet, but he could be headed that way. Interesting …On to my impressions. First off, some attorney somewhere should consider legal action against the Huskies on the grounds that Bogan has a quarterback monopoly. With so many other Valley teams needing only a signal caller to have a big season, i.e. Los Altos or Amat, it’s comical that South Hills has three! All three of these guys would start almost anywhere in the Valley, and probably beyond our borders, too. Rix and former South Hills QB Kevin Mort were working with Brandon Parham, Cameron Deen and Chris Willison. This was one impressive site. I’m not kidding you, all three QBs have good size and good arms. You really don’t see three at the same place like this almost anywhere. If you have a chance, go watch a South Hills passing game. The rest of the team passed the look test, too. The one who impressed me the most was Evan Heard. Here I thought Heard’s role would diminish with Anthony Drake vying for time. But Heard’s physical development this off-season is just stunning. He’s morphed into a Michael Johnson-type frame and he’s only entering his JUNIOR season!!! Also, Damon Kuklinski looked much bulkier (in a good way) and his footwork is still all there. I could not be more impressed with what I saw. On to Amat … I was most interested in the QB situation. I can tell you, for what it’s worth, any one of South Hills’ QBs would be Amat’s frontrunner. That’s no knock, but it is what it is. I don’t really know names when it comes to most of Amat’s roster. But I saw four QBs in throwing drills and the smallest one (name?) looked the best by far. He threw the nicest ball with the most velocity. Looks like a good fit. What impressed me most were the bookend tackles – Dominique Austin was one of them and I don’t know who the other is. Amat has the makings of a very good line. I only saw Marcus Wagner play defense, but I’d hate to tackle him if he were a running back. This is another kid who looked as though he didn’t miss a weight room session. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t blown away by Amat’s talent as compared to South Hills or Charter Oak. I think the Lancers probably have more overall horses, but I saw a myriad of kids at both South Hills or CO who would definitely start at Amat. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. About the coaching, I’d like a tour of the players from head coach Mark Verti like I got from Bogan, but I’m not sure that’ll happen during practice. Verti remains very hands-on. I noticed the coaching staff was very intense. That’s understandable considering the pressure these guys are under.