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Drew Wolitarsky: Cowboy’s statement

Wolitarsky could become the state’s top receiver ever

Posted: August 21, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 21, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Canyon senior wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky is 613 yards and 79 receptions short of tying the state high school records for career receiving yards and receptions.

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It’s always natural to play the name game when you’re talking about a player about to reach a milestone.

But merely listing off the top wide receivers in Santa Clarita Valley history might not do this one justice.

Not in the mind of Canyon’s Drew Wolitarsky.

He doesn’t want to simply be known as one of the best in SCV history. He wants to be on top and become known as the clear-cut king of receivers in this valley and beyond.

“I have the Canyon record, but I just want to leave a bigger bang,” the senior says.

It’s no disrespect to some of the great wideouts that have come before him, like former Hart players Ryan Wolfe and Jerry Owens or others who came before them.

Especially not to Canyon’s Sean Coen, whose school records Wolitarsky already surpassed for career receiving yards (currently at 3,873) and touchdowns (38).

Wolitarsky is still working on the Canyon receiving trifecta as he’s nine career receptions short of tying Coen’s record of 201.

But that’s not the record on Wolitarsky’s mind headed into his fourth and final varsity season.

If his senior year goes anything like the three before, he should be able to easily catch former Taft High of Woodland Hills wideout Steve Smith’s all-time state receiving record of 4,486 career yards set in 2002.

For now, Wolitarsky is 613 yards short of Smith, a St. Louis Rams receiver who is entering his sixth year in the NFL after playing at USC.

“Those records are made to be broken,” Smith told The Signal. “I was happy to have it and the next person who gets it, somebody else will (break it), so hopefully he enjoys the time that he has it.”

Smith also holds the state high school for career receptions at 271, but Wolitarsky would need to haul in 80 catches this season (his career high is 77) to break it.

It would appear the career yards mark is squarely in Wolitarsky’s crosshairs though, considering he tallied 1,628 yards last season and 1,472 the year before.

“(He could be) the No. 1 receiver in the state of California history,” says Canyon head coach Rich Gutierrez. “We’re not talking about Northern California or Southern California, we’re talking about the state of California, which has had some phenomenal players.”

The plan, Wolitarsky says, is to break it by the fourth or fifth game and build on it from there.

“I just want to kill it,” he says of the record. “I just want to get it and keep going.”

In the meantime though, the current record holder has some advice for the one chasing him.

“Go out and have fun,” Smith says. “Let the team win. That’s more important than individual stats.”

Although Wolitarsky has made his intentions clear this season, he’s coming in with the same attitude and same basic approach as any other.

At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Wolitarsky is as big as he’s ever been, and his level of focus has never waned.

“He’s still the same guy,” says fellow Canyon senior receiver Brenden Stach. “He’s always a leader on the team and he’s not cocky, not like that. And yeah, he’s basically like one of us. He just gets the ball a little more.”

So far, Wolitarsky has been offered several scholarships by NCAA Division I teams, including Army, Arizona and Minnesota.

It’s all just adding to his legacy as not only a great receiver, but one of the greatest players this valley has seen.
“I just want to be remembered forever,” Wolitarsky says. “Hopefully, I’ll make a name for myself in college as well and move on to the pros.”

Sure, it all sounds ambitious coming from a high schooler, but it’s that very trait that got him to this point.

It’s a never-ending devotion to his craft. He wants to get better every practice, every game and every season he takes the field.

That’s the type of personality he’s always been.

“When he was a freshman, I expected him to turn around to be a monster and just a great kid,” says former Canyon quarterback Jonathan Jerozal, a three-year teammate of Wolitarsky’s “I had high expectations (back then) and you can see it’s come true.”

And the senior wideout will do anything to make sure he keeps the momentum of his career going.

“He just goes out there and competes,” Gutierrez says.

That’s what Wolitarsky has always done, and continually at the highest level possible.

And now, after spending the last three years finding ways to get open at Canyon High, it’s time for him to put a close to this storied career.



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