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The Age of Excellence: Ryan Wolfe, male athlete of the decade third place

SCV Sports: The Decade in Review

Posted: December 30, 2009 10:21 p.m.
Updated: December 31, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Hart's Ryan Wolfe won a CIF football title in 2003 and led the basketball team on an improbable run to the 2005 CIF title game.

 
Asked to describe UNLV wide receiver Ryan Wolfe, ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. said: “Ryan Wolfe is ... one of the best clutch performers in all of college football with those great hands.”

But Kiper is far from the first person to call Ryan Wolfe both clutch and sure-handed. Sports fans in the Santa Clarita Valley have been using these words to describe Wolfe since he made his presence felt at Hart High School in the middle part of this decade.

And Wolfe’s career wasn’t just defined by his greatness on the football field, where he displayed the same athletic prowess NFL scouts will evaluate this winter to see if the former Indian has what it takes to make it in the NFL.

Wolfe’s finest hour came on the basketball court, where he led the Hart boys basketball team to the most improbable of runs, going from a wild card to the CIF-Southern Section IAA title game in 2005. While the Indians lost the championship game 60-45 to an Etiwanda team that featured four future Division I hoopsters, including current NBA players Darren Collison and Jeff Pendergraph,

Wolfe’s talents were on display throughout the postseason run.

He finished the tournament with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the title game, while even being asked at times in the game to guard the speedy Collison who played in three Final Fours at UCLA.

And while Wolfe — who played basketball and football with the sort of body control rarely seen in high school athletes — didn’t win a CIF title in basketball, he did secure one on the gridiron. And the run the Indians had on the court wasn’t the first time Wolfe showed that he could pull off the improbable.

After having missed the entire regular season with a knee ligament injury, the big receiver returned just in time to catch not one, but two touchdown passes in the Indians’ 25-7 CIF championship win in 2003.

Wolfe recently finished his collegiate career with a Mountain West Conference-record 283 catches.

If the NFL scouts see even half the determined athlete we saw here in the SCV, there’s little doubt Wolfe will get his shot somewhere next year.
 
Grant Parpan was The Signal’s Sports Editor from 2004 to 2006.

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