Go ahead and step into the Clovis Roundup sports laboratory, where we have created something wondrous, taking the best of the best from the Tri-River Athletic Conference we put together a super-player, the ultimate competitor, a football six million-dollar man if you will.
We’ve thought long and hard how to construct this ultimate football player and what features would be most important: Positive attitude? Check. Competitiveness? No doubt. Ability? Of course. Mental toughness? You betcha.
Well, we have chosen these six high school school athletes, one from each school of the Tri-River Athletic Conference to represent six of what we believe are most important aspects of a successful football player.
And now that league play is about to take off, these outstanding players and their teams will be showcased every Friday night, and you’ll just have to see for yourself – each part of the ultimate football player.
Explosiveness: Rodney Wright III, Clovis West
Boom! You see that? That was Rodney Wright, the ultra-explosive running back and slot receiver from Clovis West, zooming down the field like he was just shot out of cannon. Whether he lines up in the backfield, put in motion or lines up as a receiver, teams need to account for the slight but deceptively strong senior. He can outrun you like the jet sweep 75-yard TD run against Bullard or that 65-yard drag catch against Centennial – or lower his head for extra yards. Pick your poison. Every successful team needs an explosive weapon on offense, and Wright is the Golden Eagles nitro. Blink at your own risk.
Leadership: Noah Riley, Clovis North
It’s been said that the supreme quality for leadership is integrity – and few players exude that quality more than Noah Riley from Clovis North. A linebacker who doubles as a tight end, he is a both a bonafide leader and a fierce competitor, credited with 23 tackles in only 3 ¼ games due to a knee injury he’s recovered from. Riley commands respect, not because he demands it but because he models it. True and loyal to his school and teammates, Broncos coach Benny Martinez heaps praise upon the senior for his work ethic and dedication.
Power: Kendall Milton, Buchanan
To watch Buchanan’s Kendall Milton play football is akin to watching power, strength and energy in its purest form. Milton is a once in a generation force to be reckoned both as an elite running back and now a devastating linebacker. Only a sophomore and just 15 years old, he has colleges such as USC and Washington salivating not only at his freakishly strong 6-foot-2, 210 pound frame but his ability to bounce off would-be tacklers and leave an entire secondary in his wake. The scary part – he’s still growing. Is 15 touchdowns and over 700 rushing yards already this season good? Enough said.
Speed: Romello Knight, Clovis East
There’s no substitute for speed and Romello Knight has plenty to burn. The senior has been a beacon of light for Clovis East, rushing for 608 yards and 5 touchdowns in four games after a full time switch from playing defense. Blessed with a long stride, if Knight gets the edge on the outside look out – he’s gone in a flash, making him a home run threat on every play. And the frightening thing about the senior? He’s just now realizing his potential as coach Ryan Reynolds says he wishes he had him for another four years. As shown above, if you don’t stop Knight, it’s lights out for you.
Toughness: Koa Ramos, Clovis
Ramos is a quintessential Cougar, a throwback kind of player that Clovis always seems to have, lining up the opposition in his sights, pouncing and attacking like a predator with reckless abandon. With family roots in Hawaii, his flowing hair and the detailed tattoo covering the lower portion of his left leg add an extra aura of intimidation to this hard-hitting safety. With 32 tackles in five games, he clearly has a nose for where a play is going, but more than a volume tackler, Ramos can deliver a hit with as much force as anyone in the league. Surely, he can’t be missed on the field – he’s the free spirit exuding toughness.
Playmaker: Jacob Torrez, Central
When Central needs a big play, the Grizzlies know where to look – senior wide receiver Jacob Torrez. Listed at 5-foot-9, 160 pounds but tough as nails, Torrez has a great burst of speed and oozes resiliency; when he gets knocked down he bounces right back up like a pro wrestler. Last year he averaged 16.8 yards per catch, oftentimes getting behind defenders or out-leaping hapless defensive backs. This year he took on the best at national power De La Salle and impressed players and coaches from the other side. And oh yeah, this game changer has been offered a scholarship by Army at West Point.