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Summer gains

Injuries can’t stop Valencia from winning tournament

Posted: July 3, 2008 1:51 a.m.
Updated: September 3, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Valencia High School's receiver Zack Tartabull runs the ball toward the end zone, as he makes his way past two Alemany High players, during Day Two of the Hart Passing Tournament on Wednesday at College of the Canyons.

It was a hot, long, tiring day.

And that was just the coaches talking.

Fighting fatigue, after playing 17 games in five days, and injuries to two of their top three wide receivers, Valencia found enough energy to stage a comeback and beat Crescenta Valley 32-12, for the Hart Passing Tournament Championship Wednesday at College of the Canyons.

The Vikings were down 12-0, early before senior quarterback Dominick Solley started slinging it out to his wide receivers.

Junior Zack Tartabull was and will be his favorite target.

"Tartabull is better than good," Vikings coach Larry Muir said.

With Tartabull serving as his comfort blanket, Solley has progressed quickly.

Without ever taking a snap at quarterback, partly due to a broken finger last year - Solley ended up playing cornerback for two games- the 5-10, 160 pounder has watched enough film and heard enough yelling to make the reads he needs to make.

That he can control.

His height, 5-10, "on a good day," and his weight, "I want to be 170," he joked, aren't up to him.
"Size doesn't matter, if you can do it, you can do it, if you can't, you can't," he said.
On Wednesday night, the Vikings could.

Despite missing Richard Nyberg (back spasms) and Michael Hernandez, they had some of their younger players step up. Junior-to-be Brock Vareen made the interception to break the 12-all tie, and fellow classman Jabari Howard made several key catches including the toudchdown to make the score 20-12.

Valencia went 7-1 in the two day tournament, losing only to Crescenta Valley earlier in the day. The Vikings bounced back to defeat top seeded Alemany 26-12, before knocking off Crescenta Valley the second time around.

Undermanned Canyon still impressive

One team that doesn't sympathize for Valencia is Canyon.

The Cowboys were missing their top three wide receivers and their starting tight end. Kevin Voogt and Chris Rivas were both out with groin injuries, Charlie Cusamano had a cracked rib, and tight end Will Kirkpatrick had a concussion. All will be fine for the season, Canyon coach Chris Varner said.

A trio of juniors stepped right in leading Canyon to a 4-2 record on the day.

The Cowboys lost to Alemany in overtime after giving up a tying touchdown on the last play of regulation, but Varner who was searching for a cup of water, after the last game was impressed with receivers Matthew Trost, Shane Habberstad, and Justin Golden.

"(Trost) wasn't even on our radar and he just came out of nowhere today," Varner said.


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