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Adamczyk leads Canyon to second-place finish at Saugus Passing League Tournament

Posted: June 22, 2008 2:06 a.m.
Updated: August 23, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Canyon quarterback Jordan Adamczyk throws a pass during the Saugus "Under the Lights" Passing Tournament on Saturday evening against Oaks Christian High of Westlake Village at Central Park in Saugus.

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When you've got a cannon for an arm like Jordan Adamczyk, passing league can be a whole lot of fun.

The Canyon quarterback spent last season holding a clipboard as the backup, and didn't have much of a chance to air it out.

Last night at the Saugus "Under the Lights" Passing League Tournament at Central Park, the senior to be got his opportunity to launch.

Despite missing his top receiver Kevin Voogt for the last three games because of a groin injury, Adamczyk led the Cowboys to a second-place finish in the 24-team bracket, narrowly losing to perennial powerhouse Oaks Christian 30-18 in the championship game.

"It's fun just to be out here and have all the people come out to watch and we get to just make plays," Adamczyk said.

As his team huddled up after the game, second year coach Chris Varner told his team to give themselves a hand.

"I'm not upset at all," he said. "We gave them everything."

"That Oaks Christian team is one of the best teams you'll see and we had them in the game," he said later. "I couldn't ask for anything more."

On their way to the finals, Canyon beat Palmdale 32-28, and top seed Muir 28-24, as well as a 38-26 win over Westlake in the semifinals. Without Voogt, Canyon's other receivers stepped up to the challenge. Chris Rivas made several spectacular catches for touchdowns against Westlake and Charlie Cusamano had a few big grabs against Oaks Christian. Sophomore tight end Will Kirkpatrick got into the action as well.

"That gives me so much confidence in them," said Adamczyk who backed up Sean Gavin last year. "I know I can throw to them play after play even if they do make a mistake. I can go back to them, I can always depend on my receivers."

With new offensive coordinator Jeff Taladay installing plays and working with Adamczyk, the Canyon offense appears crisp early in the summer.

"It's changed a lot," Adamczyk said of the offense. "(Taladay's) helping me out a lot, he's my quarterback coach, he makes sure I do all the right things."

Adamczyk's also noticed a change in the attitude of the team. From the weight room to the practice field, the team wants it more, he said.

As Varner's footprint is being etched into the culture and he spends his first full offseason working with the team, the Cowboys are getting back to the top- in passing league of course.

"It's moving more toward my vision," Varner said.

Though none of the coaches put too much on emphasis on a tournament with no pads, Varner used it as a chance to talk about developing character.

"When the going got tough in all of our games today and they did not quit and that's just a step in the right direction for the season in terms of attitude," Varner said.

Four other Foothill league teams competed in the tournament. Hart fell in the quarterfinals to Westlake 26-12 after beating Saugus 30-24. Valencia beat Alemany 46-24 before being bounced out by Long Beach Poly 34-18 in the quarters, and Saugus reached the consolation semifinals before running into Palmdale. West Ranch played in a lower eight team consolation tournament and went 1-1.

Saugus coach Jason Bornn was happy with the way his team competed, regardless of the results.

"We're going to do what we're going to do Friday night, we're not going to do stuff just to win a passing league game," he said.

From a passing standpoint, Bornn is one of the few coaches who already has an idea of what he'll have in the fall. Quarterback Desi Rodriguez returns to a team that finished second in the Foothill League last year.

"It definitely helps us in terms of stability in our program and knowing what we need to do," Bornn said.

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