With starting senior quarterback Rio Ruiz expected to miss at least three football games against La Mirada, Damien and Cathedral while he is away with the U.S. National U-18 baseball team in Colombia for nearly a month in September, Amat coach Steve Hagerty said sophomore Koa Haynes and juniors Ross Barrera and Angelo Rodriguez will battle it out for the starting quarterback job in Ruiz’s absence, with Haynes likely to get the nod, though Hagerty won’t know for sure until he watches them in pads. (To continue click thread)
Below: Amat soph Koa Haynes could be taking over in Ruiz’s absence
Hagerty said he was pleased with his conversation with Ruiz in terms of him leaving the team, “I wish I could tell you how easy it will all work, but Rio is a big part of our team and like any family member, he’s one of us and we’re going to work through it. This is a special situation and a dream of his, and we understand that. It’s a unique situation.”
Ruiz will continue at quarterback until he leaves, meaning he will quarterback the team in the first two games against Garfield and Servite, though Hagerty isn’t guaranteeing that at this point. When Ruiz returns against Venice followed by the three Serra League games, that’s when the big decisions have to be made. “I can’t forecast what’s going to happen,” Hagerty said. “Rio and I talked about it and came to an agreement that based on the development of the quarterback that is playing in his absence and how we’re doing, we will reevaluate the situation when he returns and do what’s best for our team. That was Rio’s idea, which explains the kind of kid that he is. He wants to do whatever it is he can to help this team. He wants to play football and doesn’t want to let his teammates down. He said ‘this is important and I don’t want to miss it, I want to see it through.’ That tells me he’s playing for the right reasons.”
Hagerty said it’s too early to name a front runner between Haynes, Barrera and Rodriguez, but he is confident any of the three can step in and perform.