After spending most of his elementary school days in the Central Unified School District, Dayton Tafoya will return to his roots.
The Class of 2023 quarterback is transferring from Clovis West to Central High, making the decision with his family during the weekend after the Golden Eagles’ final game on April 16. He started all four games for Clovis West this season
Tafoya submitted his transfer papers on Monday, visited Central’s campus and football head coach Kyle Biggs on Wednesday, and attended his first day of virtual school at Central on Thursday.
Tafoya said transferring to Central High is “the best option for me and my future.”
“If I stay on the right track and keep doing what I’m doing, then I’ll get to where I want to be,” Tafoya said. “I loved being at Clovis West and I’ve met a lot of new people there, a lot of great people, but Central is where I am and that’s where I want to be now.”
The long-term goal, Tafoya said, is to earn a Division-I college football scholarship. Tafoya has fond memories of the last Central High quarterback to play at the next level — current UC Davis quarterback Trent Tompkins, who Tafoya trained with under Josh Straughan at the Complete QB Academy.
“I’ve always looked up to Trent ever since he was at Rio Vista and I used to go down the street to watch him,” Tafoya said. “He was my guy to look up to. My dad would say, ‘Hey come watch Trent do this’ and I watched him all the time.”
Biggs, who coached Tompkins from 2016 to 2018 and groomed him to become Central’s all-time leading passer, got a look at Tafoya when the Grizzlies played Clovis West on April 9.
“[Tafoya] has a strong arm, has good feet, and can make plays when things break down,” Biggs said. “He reminds me a lot of Trent Tompkins.”
Since Tompkins graduated after the 2018 season, Biggs has kept the transfer portal hot at the quarterback position. Four established starting quarterbacks from around the Central Section — Jameson Silva from Edison, D.J. Frampton from Clovis North, D.J. Stevenson from Buchanan, and now Tafoya from Clovis West — have transferred to Central in the past two years.
Biggs said the biggest thing that attracts quarterback transfers to Central is its pool of playmakers. The former Clovis High quarterback’s experience doesn’t hurt either.
“I think another thing that draws quarterbacks to us is the fact that I played quarterback, and we do a really good job developing our quarterbacks,” Biggs said. “We have a fun offense to play in.”
It’s an offense that Tafoya will compete to lead in the fall, as Central’s starting quarterback this spring, D.J Stevenson, graduates in June. The QB competition includes football/baseball player Michael Klein and David Hernandez, who started as the JV quarterback this spring.
For Tafoya, the transfer to Central is a homecoming of sorts. He attended Central Unified schools until sixth grade and grew up watching football in that area.
Now Tafoya’s journey is about to come full circle.
“I just can’t wait to get the season started to show everyone what I can do,” he said.