View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Around the SCV: Wildcats kicker boosts national profile

Stuart ties for first at National Kicking Event in mid-January; TMC adds several local recruits

Posted: February 7, 2010 8:48 p.m.
Updated: February 8, 2010 4:55 a.m.
West Ranch junior Brady Stuart may have just put himself on college football’s national radar.

One of the few pure kickers in the Foothill League, Stuart tied for first place in the kickoff portion of the eighth annual National Kicking Event for junior competitors in Las Vegas, which was held from Jan. 15-17.

For the young player with college ambitions, the performance adds credence to his growing potential.

“To win that is a big deal. To say that in my letter (to colleges) is a good thing to say,” Stuart said. “Then coming back and telling my high school coaches is a good thing because they have a bunch of confidence in me on kickoffs.”

Stuart finished with an average distance of 63 yards and average hang time of 3.66 seconds to tie James Hairston Jr. from Texas.

The competition also included field-goal kicking and punting portions, with more than 400 contestants from the United States, Canada and Australia.

Stuart trains with Chris Sailer Kicking, which has produced such talents as Arizona State’s Thomas Weber and UCLA’s Kai Forbath, winners of the last two Lou Groza awards.

The Lou Groza Award is presented to the nation’s top kicker.

Additionally, Chris Sailer Kicking has trained Dallas Cowboys kicker Nick Folk and Kansas City’s Ryan Succop, among many others.

In 2009, Stuart was named first-team All-Foothill League and second-team All-Santa Clarita Valley, and he is currently Chris Sailer’s No. 11 national recruit for the class of 2011.

He hopes to one day attend UCLA or San Diego State and has sent out letters to schools nationwide.

However, he said he would prefer to stay in California.

“Everyone bags on kickers and when I’m at practice everyone is bagging on me saying I’m not doing much,” Stuart says with a laugh. “But when you get in the game, we only get one chance. .... When you get put into the game, it is really nerve-racking. At the same time, it is one of the most awesome things to do.”

TMC lands two local recruits

From the moment Zach Schroeder took over The Master’s College’s cross country and track programs, his vision has been twofold.

The head coach wants to build a national competitor and do so with local talent.

Those goals took a big step forward with the recent signing of two Canyon High School runners, Hayley Parkinson and Tyler Tockstein.

While both are expected to be strong contributors to TMC’s up-and-coming program, the signing of Parkinson comes with extra significance.

“This is the very first local girl that we have ever brought into the college here,” Schroeder said. “That is really my vision, one that I really want to see is to bring in local athletes and maintaining that local pride in what we are doing here.”

Parkinson said it was Schroeder’s vision that made the decision to commit to TMC an easy one.

“Mainly the coaches, I absolutely love them,” she said of her signing. “I like the idea that he has for the team. His goal and plans for what he wants the team to have is exactly what I want. … He just really wants a close-knit team, plus his workout plan.”

Parkinson spent most of last season recovering from a stress fracture in her right foot.

That hasn’t stopped her from dreaming big. Parkinson said her main goal is to become an All-American during her career.

Tockstein was a consistent scorer for the Cowboys this past season, when they finished fifth at the CIF State Division II meet.

Parkinson and Tockstein will be joining former Cowboy Anthony Pizzo, who ran for the Mustangs last season in his first year with the program.

“I just would really look at her and recognize that this is really part of a new era on the women’s side of the running program here at The Master’s,” Schroeder said. “I really see her sparking a new movement into the community.”

Grizzly headed to Wildcats

The Foothill League has not had much of a chance to see Golden Valley senior soccer player Natalie Lagunas this season, but the Big Ten soon will.

Lagunas, who is now playing with Mexico’s Under-20 Women’s National Team, has signed on to play for Northwestern University.

Lagunas is the athletic program’s fifth college signing and first in soccer.

Lagunas joins a recruiting class of seven new players for the Wildcats, who finished with an overall record of 7-10-2 and 4-5-1 in conference last season.

As a member of the Mexican national team, Lagunas scored the game-winning goal against Trinidad and Tobago on Jan. 21, and nearly netted another one on Jan. 25 in a 2-1 loss to the United States.

Both games took place during the opening round of the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship.

Mexico finished 3-2 in the tournament, with its second loss coming 1-0 to the United States in the championship game on Jan. 30.
Lagunas’ sister, Joanna, is a freshman on Golden Valley’s soccer team.

Hart baseball player commits to TMC

Hart High baseball player James Scott is just starting to bloom.

His progress has now earned him a spot with The Master’s College.

Scott, a first baseman and pitcher who will be playing on the varsity team for the first time in 2010, verbally committed to The Master’s College this past week.

“Good arm. Really high upside,” said Hart High head coach Jim Ozella. “I think The Master’s is getting itself a real gem here down the road.”

Ozella said the right-handed pitcher began his career at Hart as a 100-pound freshman, but he has bulked up and grown to 170 pounds and 6 feet, 2 inches.

He played junior varsity last year, but with his fast improvement looks to be an everyday player for the Indians in 2010.


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...