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Football guru says Hart repeat title is possible

Posted: June 9, 2014 10:22 p.m.
Updated: June 9, 2014 10:22 p.m.
 

Though Foothill League football teams appear to be competing in a more difficult playoff division, one California football expert says that doesn’t mean another championship is out of the question.

Mark Tennis, the editor and publisher of Cal-Hi Sports, a highly respected prep sports website, said he thinks Hart High should still be considered one of the top teams in the West Valley Division.

The CIF-Southern Section announced last month that the Foothill League will compete in the newly formed division rather than the Northern Division, where the league has been since 2006.

And despite the fact that the West Valley Division includes teams that are traditional Southern California powers — namely from the South Coast League which includes Mission Viejo — Tennis said Hart in particular should be up to the task.

“I think this next season (Hart) should be very competitive,” Tennis said. “They’re not just going to hand it over to the South Coast League. We’ll have to see how good they are.”

And Tennis said his praise of Hart has everything to do with its two returning Rivals.com four-star national high school recruits — quarterback Brady White and wide receiver Trent Irwin.

White recently committed to Arizona State while Irwin is still juggling offers from several major NCAA Division I programs.

Rivals.com, one of the country’s top prep recruiting publications, rates both players among its top 100 nationwide football recruits for the class of 2015.

The seniors-to-be were invited to the Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge this past weekend in Baltimore, Maryland.

In the 7-on-7 tournament full of top prep recruiting prospects, Rivals gave Irwin the nod as the top wide receiver of the event.

Various types of camps and showcases around the country are becoming increasingly popular for prep football players trying to catch the attention of college scouts.

In an attempt to help California players prepare for the recruiting gauntlet, Tennis has helped organize the Cal-Hi Sports/Gold Medal Excellence speed camp and football combine on June 22 at Liberty High School in Bakersfield.

The purpose of the event, Tennis explained, is to make sure players of all ages and skill levels are at their best when it comes time to perform in front of scouts.

“We’re mainly trying to get the younger kids, not so much the seniors who have done it a few times, but the younger kids so they can know what they’re going to face,” Tennis said.

This is the first camp of its kind hosted by Cal-Hi Sports.

It will include extensive speed training led by Chris Asher, a UCLA assistant track and field coach who has trained prominent professional and Olympic athletes.

The second part of the event is the football combine where attendees will learn the proper techniques for various drills, like the 40-yard dash.

Football coaches from the Bakersfield area are expected to assist in the training.

“We’re going to look for kids that show up and do really well and discover them and hopefully write about them,” Tennis said.

Players can register for the event at CalHiSports.com. The cost is $45.

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