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Newcomer of the Year: Steven Manfro

Valencia High Football, Junior

Posted: July 3, 2010 9:39 p.m.
Updated: July 4, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Valencia junior running back Steven Manfro helped lead the football team to a Foothill League title. He racked up a combined 2,419 rushing and receiving yards as well as 34 total touchdowns.

It was during a game in Palmdale that a small group of little kids hung out near the 10-yard line imitating the sound Steven Manfro makes during a run.

"Phhh. Phhh. Phhh."

The sound comes from his mouth, the by-product of strain, concentration and exertion.

He once acknowledged it with a laugh, not having an explanation for it.

But when the burst kicks in, when he hits a hole, when he bangs shoulder pad to helmet, he makes the noise like his version of the noise from the engine of a hot rod.

Steven Manfro made a lot of noise in 2009 in his debut for the Valencia Vikings - the best Valencia High football debut since all-time Santa Clarita Valley football great Shane Vereen arrived on the scene as a sophomore in 2004.

Manfro's style is reminiscent of a lot of the great running backs to come through this area in the last 10 years.

He's compact, he loves to take and deliver a hit and he's quick to and through the hole.

Manfro combined a bruising running game with a pass-catching ability that made him a headache for opposing defenses all season long.

In his debut varsity game, the junior running back ran for 194 yards on 19 carries and caught seven passes for 115 yards. He also scored three touchdowns in a 39-36 win over Thousand Oaks.

On the season, Manfro ranked No. 6 in the Southern Section in rushing yards, second in rushing touchdowns (29) and first in total touchdowns (34) among juniors. He was second in the state among juniors in total touchdowns.

He rushed for 1,666 yards on the season, nine times eclipsing the 100-yard mark. He also caught 41 passes for 753 yards, eclipsing the 100-yard mark three times.

What sets Manfro apart from the other nominees in the category of 2009-10 Newcomer of the Year is Manfro was arguably the best athlete in his sport.

He was a major reason that Valencia football won its first Foothill League title since 2004 and finished undefeated in the regular season for the first time in school history.

And he's a major reason why Valencia is still considered the top football team in the area in 2010.




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