“I’m glad he’s on our team. It’s unfortunate it didn’t work out for him because I know it’s something he really wanted to do. We were prepared to move on without him, but we don’t have to do that now. We’re glad he’s here. He’s one of our leaders and best players.” — Amat coach Steve Hagerty
By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
With Bishop Amat High School quarterback Rio Ruiz locked in for the entire season, Lancers coach Steve Hagerty is anxious to put the saga of his star quarterback’s playing status in the past and continue preparations for Friday’s showdown against Servite. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Cerritos College. Ruiz was expected to miss Amat’s games against La Mirada, Damien and Cathedral so he could compete in the COPABE Pan American 18 and Under baseball championships in Colombia from Sept. 12 through Oct 2. But with the tournament now pushed back to November, Ruiz announced over the weekend he will be sticking with football. Ruiz came off the bench in Amat’s season-opening win over Garfield to lead two touchdown drives in the Lancers’ 14-0 win. With Ruiz not expected to miss any time, the chances of him being fully cranked by the time Serra League play roll around have greatly improved. And that also means any notion of Ruiz being rusty due to missing three games have gone by the wayside.
“The more time he puts in, the better he’ll be,” Hagerty said. “Every game Rio plays at quarterback is better for us. The more reps he gets, the better he gets.”