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Who will start at QB for Hart?

Sholes, Souza shoot for vital spot

Posted: July 2, 2008 2:10 a.m.
Updated: September 2, 2008 5:03 a.m.

A teammate watches on as Senior Hart quarterback Spenser Souza hands off the ball to senior Demitri Diamond, during last night's match versus Cleveland High School, at the Hart Passing Tournament at College of the Canyons.

Darren Sholes and Spenser Souza have been in a quarterback battle for the past seven years.

Just because the tussle of signal callers is now at the varsity level doesn't change anything.

The competition has been nothing but pleasant for the two seniors, who've swapped quarterbacking duties since they were 11 years old, while playing for the Warriors in the PYFL.

"We've always been good friends," said Sholes after Hart went 3-1 on the first day of the Hart Passing Tournament on Tuesday at College of the Canyons.

On the freshman team, both played quarterback. At the beginning of the junior varsity season, they took turns calling the shots as well, until injuries forced Souza into playing wide receiver.

"He was my No. 1 target," Sholes said.

While both want the job, held last year by B.R. Holbrook, there's no animosity. In passing league, each plays two series before giving way to the other. When one is hot, Hart head coach Mike Herrington lets him ride. The other quarterback is always right behind, going through the progressions and the reads, playing the game inside his head.

"Even when we're out we're still in the huddle," Souza said. "We're still there mentally."

"Sometimes it's a blessing too if you're not in," Sholes added. "It's a good chance for the other to come and you get to cool off."

Sholes is more of your prototypical quarterback. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds, he's the dropback passer with the big arm. Souza, a 6-foot, 180 pounder, who played safety and wide receiver for the Indians last year, is the better athlete of the two. There's a possibility that there will be no winner in this fight. And also no loser. Herrington has left the door open for a two-headed system. With their differing styles, each brings his own brand of quarterbacking to the table.

Per quarterback competition rules, the two are playing the company line. In this case, though, it's actually genuine.

"If we're going to be able to go out there and compete and win with both of us quarterbacking, it doesn't matter to me," Souza said.

Added Sholes: "Whatever helps the team."

West Ranch's challenge

Ask West Ranch coach Mike Kane what obstacles his team faces in building a winning program and he starts going down the list: "Valencia, Canyon, Hart, Saugus , Golden Valley," the first year head man rattled off.

"This valley is unbelievable for athletes. You look at every program and there's good athletes. That's tough. Is there enough athletes in this valley to go around? Maybe, but time will tell."

The biggest difference Kane has seen since passing league last summer is very fundamental. Catching the ball.

Kane, a former COC assistant, has the luxury of having a two year starter in place for his senior season, and that starter, senior-to-be Jake Bernards has the luxury of receivers who hold on to the ball. Troy Wise returns as Bernard's top target, and Frankie Madero, who dabbled in basketball before returning to the gridiron as well as Zach Snell have shown talent thus far.

The Wildcats went 1-1-1 Tuesday, losing to Valencia.

"Each year you want to progress a little," Kane said. "I'd like for that to happen. Is it? I don't know."
Valencia went 3-0 in the passing tournament, beating Crescenta Valley Grace Brethren, and West Ranch. Canyon went 2-1 on the first day, beating Kennedy and Monroe, and losing to Alemany.

After the whistle

According to, Saugus junior running back Ryan Zirbel received his first college offer this week.
Portland State, which is coached by Jerry Glanville, extended a scholarship to the All-SCV first teamer.



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