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Smooth transition for Valencia quarterbacks

Vikings in a good position no matter who starts at QB

Posted: August 7, 2013 9:54 p.m.
Updated: August 7, 2013 9:54 p.m.
Cole Parkinson, left, and Jake Wallace, right, are competing for the Valencia starting quarterback job. Cole Parkinson, left, and Jake Wallace, right, are competing for the Valencia starting quarterback job.
Cole Parkinson, left, and Jake Wallace, right, are competing for the Valencia starting quarterback job.

As of today, there is a quarterback competition at Valencia High School, with senior Jake Wallace holding the lead over sophomore Cole Parkinson.

And with Wallace having experience on his side, he will likely be under center for the Vikings’ first game on Sept. 6 against Northern Division foe Palmdale.

But history has shown that whoever the quarterback is, Valencia’s going to have success.

The Vikings have a history of taking non-prototypical quarterbacks and winning with them — the latest being sub-6-footer Sean Murphy, who won two Foothill League titles, including a 2011 championship in which he passed for just six touchdowns and 1,577 yards.

His predecessor Alex Bishop, another thin, sub-6-footer, won two Foothill titles and amassed 7,492 passing yards.

“I think it’s the way we’re coached,” Wallace answered on all the success from the quarterback position at Valencia. “Every day we have to be the first ones in and the last ones out. We have to lead by example. Coach (Larry) Muir does a great job of teaching us how to read things and understand the game.”

Interesting, coming from a man who was a linebacker at UCLA.

But Muir said when he was at UCLA, he knew his future was in coaching, so he learned by watching UCLA offensive coordinator Homer Smith that he would have to take a cerebral approach to coaching. Also being a scout team defender, he got a front row seat studying quarterbacks and finding their weaknesses.

After coaching nearly every position on the field, he took over coaching quarterbacks at Valencia in 2004 — the first signal caller being the eventual state all-time passing yardage leader Michael Herrick.

Wallace, a 5-foot-11-inch senior, said no other coach has his fingerprints on the quarterback position more than Muir, and with a transition at the position this season, his past success is a major positive for this 2013 team.

But other positives are Wallace and Parkinson themselves.

With Valencia’s success last year, Wallace was able to get action in blowout victories.

But he was also the Vikings’ goal line quarterback.

He played in eight games last season.

“Wallace has been in the system. He understands it. He has good arm strength. He’s a very athletic quarterback. He’s got a good rapport with a lot of the players,” Muir said.

Parkinson is the son of former Canyon High star and offensive lineman Brent Parkinson, who was a two-time All-CIF selection and won CIF titles with the Cowboys in 1983 and 1984 before playing at USC.

Cole was the Valencia freshman team offensive MVP in 2012, throwing 31 touchdowns and around 1,800 yards and running for another nearly 600 yards.

“I like a challenge,” he said in terms of the quarterback competition. “(Wallace) helps me a lot, though, to help get the offense down. It’s really competitive, but we both get along really well.”

Muir is high on Parkinson, but there’s not a ton of pressure on him.

Nor is there on Wallace.

Valencia has the luxury of having four receivers — Nick Jones, Malik Townsend, Jay Jay Wilson and Ethan Yoo — who are not only diverse in their abilities, but could each be a No. 1 receiver at most schools.

Needless to say, the Vikings are in good shape at quarterback, despite the change.


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