Quarterbacks: Rowland’s Michael Ball proved himself as a sophomore, is the best yet to come?

Of the impact positions, quarterbacks in the SGV are not nearly as deep as years past. Gone are so many talented seniors like Chris Allen, Cameron Deen, Jose Garay, Terry Paradez and Drew Kaluzny, so we’ll have to wait to see who emerges as the season continues. But there are five QBs that will stand out (well six if you consider the Charter Oak situation), so here you go, the area’s top five quarterbacks.

1. Michael Ball, Rowland, Jr.
The San Antonio League first-team selection is a dangerous run/pass threat after throwing for 1,871 yards and 17 touchdowns, and rushing for 671 yards and 11 touchdowns. He earned valuable experience by leading the Raiders to the Southeast Divisional semifinals as a sophomore. The only question is with so many players departing around him, can he be as successful? We will find out, it will probably take a monster season numbers-wise to keep the Raiders fighting for a San Antonio league title.

2. Jerry McClanahan, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Extremely confident and smart, McClanahan is a playmaker who threw for 1,174 yards and ten touchdowns, helping the Lancers to huge victories over Orange Lutheran and Crespi, and leading the Lancers back to the CIF-Southern Section playoffs. There is a sophomore you all know about named Rio Ruiz who is pushing McClanahan, but expect McClanahan to win it out. After all, it was coach Steve Hagerty who wondered why McClanahan isn’t considered among the Valley’s best QB’s. Well coach, here ya go.

3. Chad Jeffries, Glendora, Jr.
A prodigy of well-known quarterbacks coach Chris Rix, Jeffries replaces veteran Drew Kaluzny and earned rave reviews in summer passing leagues and has a talented blend of receivers at his disposal. It won’t be surprise at all if he’s the key element that leads the Tartans to a Sierra League title. Everything that I hear suggests he might have the most upside as far as the next level, so lets enjoy and watch this young man develop.

4. Travis Santiago/Josiah Thropay, Charter Oak
What a great situation the defending champs are in, both these quarterbacks could start for just about anyone in the Valley, and the Chargers can take their time grooming the one they decide to go with because they have Adam Muema and Brandon Golden in the backfield. The word is that sophomore Santiago has a slight edge over the junior Thropay, but the key word is slight.

5. Jacob Shirley, South Hills
Assuming he returns, he’s a top five. He started as a sophomore for West Covina High School and earned second team San Antonio league honors before transferring to South Hills and sitting out his junior season. A terrific athlete who can run and pass, he might be rusty at first, but he has arguably the best group of receivers and a fine running back in Jordan Canada and coach Steve Bogan to get him sharp again. He should be firing on all cylinders once the San Antonio league heats up.

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