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sdfnlmagazine.com Directors Ruben Peña Montell Allen

Contributing Editors Thomas Gutierrez Brett Fischer Eric Williams Photography Ruben Peña Christopher Smith Don De Mars To contact sdfnlmagazine sdfnlmagazine@gmail.com Advertising sdfnlmagazine@gmail.com SDFNLMagazine is a registered trademark of MBA Sports LLC 2012 No parts of SDFNL Magazine may be re produced in any form or by any means without the express written permission of the publisher. The Publisher accepts no responsibility for unsolicited contributed manuscripts, photographs, artwork or advertisements.


SDFNLMAGAZINE.com

Sept 2017

San Diego County High School football  is  known  to  have  some  of  the  most  dominant  programs  in  California  his‐ tory,  one  of  those  programs  that  is  looking  to  build  on  it's  rich  tradi on  of  8  CIF  Sec on  Titles  and  reclaim  their crown as North County king is El  Camino High School.  Herb Meyer was  s ll roaming  read more ……. 

Faufano Autele Faufano Autele  loves  the  game  of  football.  No,  you  don't  understand!  He  LOVES  the  game  so  much  he  is  willing  to  do  things  the  normal  high  school  football  player  isn't  willing  to  do  to  be  successful.  Going  in  to  his  senior  season  Autele  wants  to  leave  no doubt about his abili es on the   read more …... 


SDFNLMAGAZINE.com

Sept 2017

Desmond Taua

Desmond, just  15  years  old,  was  raised in Samoa by his grandparents  un l the age of 10. Visi ng his father  every  summer  helped  him  to  learn  how  to  speak  both  in  the  Samoan  language  and  in  English.    Read  more... 

James Shannon Last season was such a dream season for James  as  he  starred  at  the  now  closed  Horizon            Academy.  Where  they  won  the  Division  5  CIF  San Diego Championship.  4 months later as we  all  are  now  are  of,  Horizon  Academy  closed  its  doors. Going into senior year James was in for a  change.  New  school,  new  friends,  new          teammates and new coaches.   

Read more……….  


SDFNL MAGAZINE Presents SDFNL Kick Off Classic August 18th and 19th at La Jolla Country Day Benefiting SAN DIEGO FOOD BANK


Thanks to all that participate in the 2017 SDFNL Kickoff Classic

The 2017 Kickoff Classic was a huge success. I want to thank everyone that participated. We didn't reach our goal in the canned good drive, but we made a huge impact. According to the San Diego Food Bank the food we raised will provide 1,807 meals families in need From The San Diego Food Bank, Kimberly Castillo, The Food Procurement Coordinator

With one in six people in San Diego County face the threat of hunger every day. With the addition of the North County Food Bank, the combined food banks provide emergency food to 370,000 children and families, active duty military, and fixed income seniors living in poverty every month. SDFNL Magazine and our Football Community made it possible for the food banks to bridge the gap between their limited income and their daily dinner table."


The Best Way to Find, Share, and Score High School and Youth Sporting Events

www.scorestream.com San Diego’s Prep Football Live Scoring


PC: Chris Smith


The Next Episode By: Montell Allen 

You should never judge a book by its cover, never judge the size of a man’s heart based on his  physical stature and never judge a player’s skill level based on the division he plays in.  James  Shannon  is  a  5’7  165lbs  wide  receiver  for  Maranatha  Chris an  Eagles  and  has  defied  every   stereotype that has been placed on him.  Playing one of the most demanding posi ons James  can hang with the best in the county.  In San Diego County when you men on top wide receivers in the Class of 2018 you will hear  names like JR Jus ce, Chris Olave, Kyle Phillips to name a few. This past summer Mr. Shannon  made a name for himself. Playing in 7 on 7 with team Dream.  “Jimmy worked his tail off. We  have played in tournaments in Los Angeles where he led all players in recep ons and consist‐ ently torched 3 & 4 Star rated defensive backs play a er play. He was a very important piece  to our success.” said Coach Jason Carter.   James  then  took  his  game  to  several  camps  and  impressed  staff  a er  staff.  “Very  explosive  player off the line. He is a playmaker and should make an impact on some college team”, said  Head Coach Adam Clark of Western New Mexico.   Last  season  was  such  a  dream  season  for  James  as  he  starred  at  the  now  closed  Horizon     Academy. Where they won the Division 5 CIF San Diego Championship.  4 months later as we  all are now are of, Horizon Academy closed its doors. Going into senior year James was in for a  change. New school, new friends, new teammates and new coaches.  The average had student ‐athlete may have had issues with all these changes. James seems to be okay with it and has  even embraced the opportunity. Being a member of the Horizon Academy Team James would  be  overshadowed  by  the  likes  of  DeAndre  Daniels  (St.  Augus ne)  and  Thomas  Marcus  (San   Diego) not anymore. James Shannon will be a primary focus for Maranatha Chris an offense.  They will lean on James Shannon not only for his play, but his leadership and experience in the  postseason.  Now out of the shadows and on to the next chapter in his high school career look for James  Shannon  to  relish  in  the  moment.  He  hopes  to  lead  Maranatha  Chris an  to  the  D5              Championship.  Several  Division  II,III  and  NAIA  schools  are  showing  interest  in  him.    As  the  2018  season  progresses  James  should  have  more  scouts  homing  in  on  his  talent.  James  has   already  caught  the  eye  of  SDFNL.  He  been  invited  to  par cipate  in  the  6th  Annual  SDFNL  All  STAR SHOWCASE.  


By: Bre  Fischer 

San Diego  County  High  School  football  is  known  to  have  some  of  the  most  dominant  programs  in  California  history,  one  of  those  programs  that is looking to build on it's rich tradi on of 8 CIF Sec on Titles and  reclaim  their  crown  as  North  County  king  is  El  Camino  High  School.     Although they have had some recent success in the past few years the  wildcats  have  not  reached  their  ul mate  goal  of  being  a  champion  since  1999  when  the  legendary  Herb  Meyer  was  s ll  roaming  the      sidelines.  In  2017  El  Camino  has  5  seniors  that  have  taken  it  upon  themselves to lead their program out of the darkness and back to it's  righ ul place with the elite of SD County.   

QB Jaden  Casey,  RB  Chris  Brown,  LB  Rocky  Katoanga,  and  maybe  the  best receiver tandem in San Diego Wayne Steward and Malachi Russell  are poised with guiding the wildcats through the treacherous Avocado  League. Through week 2 the Avocado league teams have combined to  lose only 2 games so the road to Southwestern College will be a ba le  before  they  even  get  to  the  playoffs  and  that  league  schedule  could    determine if they are open division or D1 come December. Before they  began  focusing  on  their  schedule  for  this  season   the  wildcats  were  grinding  away  all  off  season  even  gaining  a  highly  touted  transfer  in  Malachi Russell to compliment all everything back Chris Brown and the  explosive Steward. Russell said that it was a transi on ge ng to know  his  new  team  and  building  a  rela onship  with  his  new  QB  but  things  are star ng to fall in to place, "I won't lie, It was an adjustment the first  month or two of camp, for both of us. Jaden already had another great  receiver in Wayne that he had played with for a long  me.  But I think  you  can  see  from  the  first  couple  of  games  we  have  made  that           adjustment.  Jaden  has  also  been  one  of  my  biggest  supporters  from  day 1.  Helping me learn the offense and just a very suppor ve dude."  


For Jaden Casey he is living a senior QB's dream, leading they way for a  contender with all the ammuni on you need to go all the way to the  top. I asked him what it's like to have so many weapons at his disposal  and what he thinks of their season so far in 2017. "Playing with Chris,  Malachi,  and  Wayne  has  been  such  a  blessing.  They  all  compliment  each  other  really  well  and  with  our  O  line  protec ng  and  opening  up  holes everything runs really smoothly. This year is going to be a whole  lot of fun. Having a big first couple of games was a great way to start  the season and just showed us how much poten al we have when we  fully come together."   While  most  of  the  a en on  is  on  the  explosive  offense  of  El  Camino  don't  miss  out  on  their  stud  linebacker  Rocky  Katoanga  who  has         several  D1  schools  sliding  in  his  DM's  weekly.  I  asked  Rocky  and           receiver  Wayne  Steward  about  the  expecta ons  of  this  years  senior  class to rebuild the El Camino legacy once again and how that pressure  affects the team each week. "It feels great to hear the fans talk about  how  our  class  is  suppose  to  bring  El  Camino's  program  back,  but  the  only thing that ma ers right now is the result that we get on the field. I  feel  like  it's  only  added  pressure  if  you  just  don't  believe  in  your       teammates. You know I feel whatever pressure comes along as a team  we  can  deal  with  it  because  of  the  chemistry  we  have  as  a  team  and  with the coaches" says Rocky. Wayne Steward knows the magnitude of  this season and what it means to the El Camino alumni and he wants  to do everything in his power to make them proud again, "Everybody  expects us to be at the top this year and that's really great because we  need  to  do  it  for  the  city  and  tradi on,  it's  more  than  just  a  game  to  us." I believe Malachi Russell gave the best answer when I asked him  about this season and the noise around the program, "I honestly don't  


RB Chris Brown


LB Rocky Katoanga


feel that pressure.  I know if we all go out and play our game and play  to our poten al, there are not a lot of teams in this state that can beat  us.  Any me  I  heard  about  Oceanside  and  football  everyone  always  talked  about  Oceanside  High  and  Coach  Carroll,  But  I  think  with  our  senior class and all the talent in the classes behind us, that's going to  change and El Camino football will be back in the conversa on yearly. I  hope to help start that legacy this year!"  Surprisingly the player with the most star power and the most offers of  any running back in the county is probably the most humble player in  the  county.  Chris  Brown  is  a  man  among  boys  on  the  field  but  also  a  young man of few words. Here is what he had to say about his team  


and what they want to accomplish in 2017, "It feels pre y good to get  W's with this team the way we did these first 2 games. We would like  to  accomplish  winning  a  lot  of  games  and  I  would  like  to  accomplish  helping my team win as many games as possible. We feel we are pre y  good and are just trying to get be er each day and week, we're not the  best team in SD yet but if we work hard than we can be no doubt be by  the end of the season."    The 2017 El Camino Wildcats are trying to add to the long history of a  program that once reached the CIF Finals 5 years in a row and has its  field  named  a er  one  of  the  most  winningest  high  school  coaches  in  the United States. As long as they know they are going to be apart of  history  regardless  but  it's  up  to  them  to  decide  which  side  of  it  they  want to be on. 

QB Jaden Casey


WR Wayne Steward


WR Malachi Russell


Division I Academic Standards Division I schools require you to meet academic standards for NCAA core courses, core-course GPA and test scores. To be eligible to practice, compete and receive athletics scholarships in your first full-time year at a Division I school, you must graduate from high school and meet ALL the following requirements: 1. Complete a total of 16 NCAA core courses in the following areas: 4 years of English. + 3 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher). + 2 years of natural/physical science (including one year of lab science if offered). + 2 years of social science. + 1 additional year of English, math or natural/physical science. + 4 additional years of English, math, natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy. Note: See the core-course progression requirements. 2. Complete 10 of your 16 core courses, including seven in English, math or natural/physical science, before the start of your seventh semester. Once you begin your seventh semester, you must have more than 10 core courses completed to be able to repeat or replace any of the 10 courses used to meet the 10/7 requirement. Students whose academic credentials are solely international (including Canada) are not required to meet the 10/7 requirement. 3. Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score that matches your core-course GPA (minimum 2.300) on the Division I sliding scale. SAT scores earned on or after March 2016 will be evaluated based on concordance tables established by the College Board. If you plan to attend a Division I school, you must complete 16 NCAA-approved core courses in eight academic semesters or four consecutive academic years from the start of ninth grade. If you graduate from high school early, you must still meet core-course requirements.

Core-Course Progression (10/7) Requirement In order to be eligible to compete during your initial year of full-time enrollment, you must complete a total of 16 core courses. Ten of the 16 core courses must be completed before the seventh semester (senior year) of high school and at least seven of these 10 core courses must be in English, math, or science. Once students begin their seventh semester, they must have more than 10 core courses completed to be able to repeat or replace any of the 10 courses used to meet the 10/7 requirement. Note: Students must also meet the Division I sliding-scale index for competition (minimum 2.300 core-course GPA). Courses Taken After High School For Division I, only courses completed in your first eight semesters will qualify as core courses for Division I. If you graduate from high school on time (in eight semesters) with your incoming ninth grade class, you may use one core course completed in the year after graduation (summer or academic year) before full-time collegiate enrollment. You may complete the core course at a location other than the high school from which you graduated and may initially enroll full time at a collegiate institution at any time after completion of the core course. A college course taken after high school graduation can be used toward your initial eligibility and will be awarded .5 unit unless awarded one full unit by your home high school and must appear on your home high school transcript with grade and credit. An additional core-course unit taken after on-time high school graduation cannot replace a course used to meet the core-course progression (10/7) requirement, but an additional core course after on-time graduation may replace one of the remaining six core-course units necessary to meet corecourse requirements. What if I Don’t Graduate on Time? In Division I, if you do not graduate on time (in four years/ eight semesters), the NCAA Eligibility Center will still use your grades and coursework for the first four years/eight semesters in your certification. You will still need to provide proof of graduation (once you graduate) and you may not use any coursework taken after your high school graduation toward your certification.

How to plan your high school courses to meet the 16 core-course requirement:

4 x 4 = 16

4 English courses (one per year) + 4 math courses (one per year) + 4 science courses (one per year) + 4 social science (and/or additional) courses (one per year) 16 NCAA core courses GUIDE FOR THE COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENT-ATHLETE

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Academic Certification Decisions To receive an academic certification, you must have a final official transcript with proof of graduation, official transcripts from all high schools attended, test scores, no open academic tasks and be on a Division I school’s certification request list. Being placed on a school’s certification request list notifies the NCAA Eligibility Center to complete an academic evaluation for you once all of your appropriate documents have been submitted. Once a certification has been completed, you will receive one of the following decisions if you are being recruited by a Division I school.

Early Academic Qualifier

If you meet specific criteria after six semesters, you may be deemed an early academic qualifier for Division I and may practice, compete and receive an athletics scholarship during your first year of enrollment. Minimum SAT combined score (math and critical reading) of 900 OR minimum ACT sum score of 75; and a core-course GPA of 3.000 or higher in a minimum of 14 core courses: 3 years of English; 2 years of math; 2 years of science; 2 additional years of English, math or natural/physical science; and 5 additional core courses in any area. A final high school transcript is required to be submitted to the NCAA Eligibility Center after high school graduation for all early academic qualifiers.

Qualifier

You may practice, compete and receive an athletics scholarship during your first year of enrollment at an NCAA Division I school.

Academic Redshirt

You may receive an athletics scholarship during your first year of enrollment and may practice during your first regular academic term but may NOT compete during your first year of enrollment. You must pass either eight quarter or nine semester hours to practice in the next term.

Nonqualifier

You will not be able to practice, receive an athletics scholarship or compete during your first year of enrollment at a Division I school. What if I Don’t Meet the Division I Standards? If you have not met all the Division I academic standards, you may not compete in your first year at college. However, if you qualify as an academic redshirt, you may practice during your first term in college and receive an athletics scholarship for the entire year.

Sliding Scale for Division I Beginning Aug. 1, 2016 Core GPA

3.550 & above 3.525 3.500 3.475 3.450 3.425 3.400 3.375 3.350 3.325 3.300 3.275 3.250 3.225 3.200 3.175 3.150 3.125 3.100 3.075 3.050 3.025 3.000 2.975 2.950 2.925 2.900 2.875 2.850 2.825 2.800 2.775 2.750 2.725 2.700 2.675 2.650 2.625 2.600 2.575 2.550 2.525 2.500 2.475 2.450 2.425 2.400 2.375 2.350 2.325 2.300 2.299 2.275 2.250 2.225 2.200 2.175 2.150 2.125 2.100 2.075 2.050 2.025 2.000

SAT

400 410 420 430 440 450 460 470 480 490 500 510 520 530 540 550 560 570 580 590 600 610 620 630 640 650 660 670 680 690 700 710 720 730 740 750 760 770 780 790 800 810 820 830 840 850 860 870 880 890 900 910 910 920 930 940 950 960 970 980 990 1000 1010 1020

ACT 37 38 39 40 41 41 42 42 43 44 44 45 46 46 47 47 48 49 49 50 50 51 52 52 53 53 54 55 56 56 57 58 59 60 61 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 86

To qualify as an academic redshirt, you must graduate high school and meet ALL the following academic standards: 1. Complete 16 core courses; and 2. Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score matching your core-course GPA (minimum 2.000) on the Division I sliding scale for students enrolling on or after Aug. 1, 2016.

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ELIGIBILITYCENTER.ORG


Division II Academic Standards Division II schools require college-bound student-athletes to meet academic standards for NCAA core courses, core-course GPA and test scores. The standards are changing for students who initially enroll full time at a Division II school on or after Aug. 1, 2018. If You Enroll BEFORE Aug. 1, 2018 To be eligible to practice, compete and receive an athletics scholarship in your first full-time year at a Division II school, you must graduate from high school and meet ALL the following requirements:

If You Enroll AFTER Aug. 1, 2018 To be eligible to practice, compete and receive an athletics scholarship in your first full-time year at a Division II school, you must graduate from high school and meet ALL the following requirements:

1. Complete a total 16 core courses in the following areas: 3 years of English. + 2 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher). + 2 years of natural/physical science (including one year of lab science if offered). + 2 years of social science. + 3 additional years of English, math or natural/ physical science. + 4 additional years of English, math, natural/ physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy.

1. Complete a total of 16 core courses in the following areas: 3 years of English. + 2 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher). + 2 years of natural/physical science (including one year of lab science if offered). + 2 years of social science. + 3 additional years of English, math or natural or physical science. + 4 additional years of English, math, natural or physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy.

2. Earn at least a 2.000 GPA in your core courses. 3. Earn an SAT combined score of 820 or an ACT sum score of 68. SAT scores earned during or after March 2016 will be evaluated based on concordance tables established by the College Board.

GUIDE FOR THE COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENT-ATHLETE

2. Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score that matches your core-course GPA (minimum 2.200) on the Division II competition sliding scale.

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Core-Course Timeline If you plan to attend a Division II school, you must complete 16 NCAA core courses after starting grade nine and before your first full-time college enrollment. Academic Certification Decisions To receive an academic certification, you must have a final official transcript with proof of graduation, official transcripts from ALL other high schools attended, test scores, no open academic tasks and be on a Division II school’s certification request list. Being placed on a school’s certification request list notifies the NCAA Eligibility Center to complete an academic evaluation for you once all of your appropriate documents have been submitted. Once a certification has been completed, you will receive one of the following decisions if you are being recruited by a Division II school.

What if I Don’t Meet the Division II Standards? If You Enroll BEFORE Aug. 1, 2018 If you enroll full time at a Division II school before Aug. 1, 2018, and you have not met all Division II academic standards, you may not compete in your first year. However, if you meet the standards to be a partial qualifier, you may practice and receive an athletics scholarship in your first year at college. To be a partial qualifier, you must graduate high school and meet ONE of the following standards: 1. Earn a 2.000 GPA in 16 core courses; OR 2. Earn an SAT combined score of 820 or an ACT sum score of 68. SAT scores earned on or after March 2016 will be evaluated based on concordance tables established by the College Board.

Early Academic Qualifier

If You Enroll AFTER Aug. 1, 2018 If you enroll full time at a Division II school after Aug. 1, 2018, and you have not met all Division II academic standards, you may not compete in your first year. However, if you meet the standards to be a partial qualifier, you may practice and receive an athletics scholarship in your first year at college. To be a partial qualifier, you must graduate high school and meet ALL the following standards:

Minimum SAT combined score (math and critical reading) of 820 OR minimum sum score of 68 on the ACT; and a core-course GPA of 2.5 or higher in a minimum of 14 core courses in the following areas:

1. Complete 16 core courses; AND 2. Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score matching your core-course GPA (minimum 2.000) on the Division II partial qualifier sliding scale. SAT scores earned on or after March 2016 will be evaluated based on concordance tables established by the College Board.

If you meet specific criteria below after six semesters, you may be deemed an early academic qualifier for Division II and may practice, compete and receive an athletics scholarship.

3 years of English; 3 years of math; 2 years of natural/physical science; and 6 additional core courses in any area. A final high school transcript is required to be submitted to the NCAA Eligibility Center after high school graduation for all early academic qualifiers.

Qualifier

You may practice, compete and receive an athletics scholarship during your first year of full-time enrollment at an NCAA Division II school.

Partial Qualifier

You may receive an athletics scholarship during your first year of enrollment and may practice during your first year of enrollment, but may NOT compete.

Nonqualifier

You will not be able to practice, receive an athletics scholarship or compete during your first year of full-time enrollment at a Division II school.

Courses Taken After High School For Division II, you may use an unlimited number of core courses completed after graduation (summer or academic year) before full-time collegiate enrollment. You may complete the core course at a location other than the high school from which you graduated. College courses taken after high school graduation can be used toward your Division II initial eligibility and will be awarded .5 unit unless awarded one full unit by your home high school and must appear on your home high school transcript with grade and credit.

14

ELIGIBILITYCENTER.ORG


Grade-Point Average The NCAA Eligibility Center calculates your core-course grade-point average based on the grades you earn in NCAAapproved core courses. Only your best grades from the required number of NCAA core courses will be used. Grades from additional core courses will be used only if they improve your grade-point average. Your GPA is calculated on a 4.000 scale. Numeric grades such as 92 or 87 are changed to letter grades such as A or B. The NCAA Eligibility Center does not use plus or minus grades when calculating your GPA. Weighted honors or advanced placement courses may improve your core-course GPA, but your high school must notify the NCAA Eligibility Center that it weights grades in these classes. In pass/fail grading situations, the NCAA Eligibility Center will assign your high school’s lowest passing grade for a course in which you received a pass grade. For most high schools, the lowest passing grade is a D, so the NCAA Eligibility Center generally assigns a D as a passing grade.

Calculating Your Quality Points In order to determine your quality points earned for each course, multiply the quality points for the grade by the amount of credit earned. Examples:

• • •

An A grade (4 points) for a trimester course (0.34 units): 4 points x 0.34 units = 1.36 total quality points. An A grade (4 points) for a semester course (0.50 units): 4 points x 0.50 units = 2.00 total quality points. An A grade (4 points) for a full-year course (1.00 units): 4 points x 1.00 units = 4.00 quality points.

The following worksheets will help you to determine your core-course GPA.

Quality Points A = 4 points B = 3 points

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C = 2 points D = 1 point

Units of Credit

1 quarter unit = 0.25 units 1 trimester unit = 0.34 units 1 semester unit = 0.50 units 1 year = 1 unit

ELIGIBILITYCENTER.ORG


Intro A er  his  hiring  in  1970,  legendary  head  coach  Dick  Haines built a football program at Vista High School  that  dominated  most  of  San  Diego  County  for  two  decades.  “Big  Red  Football”  had  only  three  losing  seasons  up  un l  1988  during  Haines'  tenure.  From  1980‐86,  the  program  was  67‐18,  and  from  1984‐86  Vista  was  35‐3  appearing  in  three  straight  CIF      Championship  Games.  They  were  the  3‐A  CIF      Champions in 1981 and 1985, and the Panthers were  declared state champions in 1985.    

A new  school  opened  on  the  south  side  of  Vista  in  1987,  and  the  new  a endance  boundaries  led  to  Rancho  Buena  Vista  High  School  taking  several  young  players  from  the  Vista  Freshmen  and  JV        programs. The change had a major impact! In 1988,  Vista  finished  their  season  at  0‐10  while  Rancho  Buena  Vista  finished  at  13‐0,  winning  the  2‐A  CIF  Championship  over  San  Pasqual  at  Jack  Murphy     Stadium.  The  Panthers  finished  at  4‐7  the  next        season  while  the  Longhorns  finished  the  1989         season at 11‐3. This  me, RBV took home the 3‐A CIF  Championship with a win over Morse. A dynasty had  been overturned and an inter‐city rivalry had begun.  


Just a few years later, a couple of   childhood  friends  who  grew  up  together  in  the  Tri‐City  area  of  North  County  were  divided  by  these  two  rival  high  schools  at  Vista  and  Rancho  Buena Vista. Today those friends remain close,  and they are both fathers of high‐school soph‐ omores who play football at Vista High School.  Jason  Taua,  who  is  known  by  most  people  in  the  Vista/RBV  area  as  Jason  “Moi”,  has  been  blessed  with  an  extremely  athle c  son  (Desmond),  while  his  long me  friend  “Tino”  has  a  son  (Isaac  Tinoisamoa)  who  is  force  at  defensive tackle for Vista. “We always talked about and wondered what it  would have been like if we played together. But now our boys are playing  together, so it’s a blessing. Isaac and Des are like brothers.”   

In Week 1 of the 2017 season, the young Tinoisamoa broke through a very  big  San  Marcos  offensive‐line  knocking  back  senior  running  back  Josh  Bornes en route to a strip‐sack on Knights QB Miles Has ngs. The football  bounced right into the young Taua’s hands as if it was divine interven on,  and he ran the fumble back 30 yards for a defensive touchdown. “That was  all Isaac…That play was great overall,” Taua said. “You know we are really  close…like  brothers.  We  always  have  each  other’s  back,”  the  so ‐spoken  sophomore said about his friend. “He’s someone I can always count on to  be there for me. We started playing football together in the 5th grade, and  we’ve  con nued  to  play  together  into  our  high  school  career.”  With  the  demoli on  of  the  home  bleachers  in  2016  and  subsequent  newly  built  bleachers  placed  on  west  side  of  Dick  Haines  stadium,  a  new  era  of  Vista  High  School  football  players  has  emerged.  A  lot  of  hype  has  been  built  around the younger core at Vista recently, so I thought it would be fun to  interview  and  write  about  one  of  the  most  talked  about  players  amongst  that  group.    I  spoke  with  Desmond  Taua  and  his  father  last  weekend  about  family,  training methods, recruitment, and the current state of San Diego High School  Football.  The  following  is  my  story  on  the  Class  of  2020  two‐way  starter  from  Vista: An SDFNL up‐and‐coming elite student athlete.  


The Founda on 

Desmond’s dad,  who  graduated  from  RBV  in  1995,  spent  three  years  on    varsity  as  a  middle‐linebacker  and  running  back.  “That’s  when  RBV  was  good,” Taua exclaimed. “We went to the playoffs all three seasons. We lost  to Patrick Henry in the semi‐finals my senior year. That was Ricky Williams’  team. We played baseball against each other too.” So why did Jason Taua  end up going to RBV? “I told Des before Rancho was built, we all wanted to  go to Vista because of Sal Aunese, Marc Jones…all those guys were legends.  Tommy Booker. But when RBV was built, that’s when my cousins Junior Moi  and the Aliipules all went over there, so I was like forget Vista…I’m playing  for RBV. But Vista was always that school that everyone wanted to play for  to  be  honest  with  you.”  Taua  s ll  has  es  to  the  RBV  community.  “I  will      always  hear  from  my  RBV  friends,  ‘Man  what  are  you  doing  over  there?’  And  I  tell  them  I’m  here  for  my  son  and  to  pick  up  some  coaching            experience.”  

The former RBV star has relished in the opportunity at Vista working his way  into  the  coaching  staff  for  the  Panthers.  “I  was  the  head  coach  for  the  Oceanside Warriors for two years when Des was in youth football. Last year, I  coached freshmen for Vista.” For the 2017 season, coach Jordan Peiler asked  Taua  to  come  and  help  out  with  the  linebackers  and  defensive‐line  at  the      varsity level. “It’s a blessing for me because about six kids I worked with last  season got moved up to Varsity, and my son and his best friend were up there  already.”  And  Taua  believes  coach  Peiler  is  a  big  influence  on  the  new            genera on  of  Vista  football  players.  “Man,  coach  Peiler  does  everything  for  these  kids.  It’s  a  blessing  to  be  helping  these  kids  out.  I  love  the  Vista            tradi on.  In  the  locker  room,  there  are  a  bunch  of  photos  from  all  the  old  school teams…and I think to myself, I know all these guys man. I know a lot of  these guys here. I told Des and Isaac they need to build their own legacy here.  We got the talent, and we’re young right now, but we just need to put it all  together.”   


Natural talent is something Taua’s son was born with, and something  he feels very fortunate for. “In 2013, Des went to a pop warner prac ce  with  one  of  my  cousins.  He  called  me  a er  prac ce,  ‘Dude,  your  son  can  frickin’  run.  He’s  trying  to  race  everyone  on  the  football  field.’  I  started to laugh…Whaa t!!” Taua’s cousin told him that Desmond was  faster  than  anyone  that  day,  taking  down  all  challengers  in  his  bare  feet.  Like  most  fathers  would  be,  Taua  was  overjoyed  when  he  heard  the news. “When Des came home that night, he was telling me that he  wants to stay now…that he wants to play football. The other Dads kept  telling  me  that  he  could  help  out  their  Pop  Warner  team,  so  I  signed  him  up  for  the  Trojans.  He  did  really  well  his  first  year,  so  I  started      taking him to some USA and FBU camps. From then on, Des started to  really gain confidence that he could play this sport.”     


A New Legacy 

Desmond, just  15  years  old,  was  raised  in  Samoa  by  his  grandparents  un l  the  age  of  10.  Visi ng  his  father  every  summer  helped  him  to  learn how to speak both in the Samoan language and in English. While  on  the  Islands,  the  young  Taua  also  played  soccer  and  rugby.  “My  mother‐in‐law  and  my  sister‐in‐law  say  he  used  to  play  at  the  park  across  the  street  from  their  house,”  Mr.  Taua  said.  “They  said  that’s  where he was a er school everyday even on weekends playing rugby,  soccer,  football,  whatever  he  could  play,  he  was  down  there  and        runnin’  barefoot  and  all.”  I  asked  Desmond  if  there  were  any           differences between living in Samoa and here in San Diego. “It’s more  chill than over here where you get a lot more exposure as an athlete,”  he  said.  “The  difference  I  think  between  the  two  is  that  in  Samoa       everybody  is  respec ul  to  each  other  and  families  are  very  close,          always going to church, and causing no drama. Everyone just respects  the culture.”    

And family is a big reason why Taua has shown so much maturity at such  a young age. “My family has influenced me a lot. They’ve always talked  to  me  about  how  good  my  dad  was,  and  I’ve  seen  a  bunch  of  pictures  from  his  RBV  days.  He  was  like  the  talk  of  the  town  you  know…I  just  wanted  to  be  like  him.”  The  younger  Taua  said  his  Mom  and  Dad  have  preached that academics should be his main priority. “They really stress  to  me  about  school  and  how  important  it  is.  God  comes  first  and  then  comes  school  before  football.”  Taua  began  playing  organized  youth      football when he was 10 years old. “Coming over to San Diego I was one  of the smallest players, so I had to use my speed to compete.” It was just  two  years  later  that  Taua  discovered  how  exci ng  football  was  at  the  high‐school  level.  “I  started  thinking  about  playing  high‐school  football  once I got to 7th grade. Actually, the first high school football game I went  to,  I  was  watching  Tofi’s  (Paopao)  game  in  the  CIF  championship  vs.  Poway in 2012. That got me hyped up for high‐school football.”     


Desmond was  a  starter  on  opening  night  for  Vista  as  a  freshman  in  2016.  “Honestly when I came out of the tunnel for that first game I was scared. It  was my first  me going against the big dogs, and I was just trying my best  just not to mess it up.” Late in the fourth quarter, Taua pulled down his first  Varsity  touchdown  catching  a  25‐yard  pass  in  the  back  corner  of  the  end  zone.  “I  felt  pre y  good  because  it  was  my  first  game,  and  I  got  my  first  touchdown  on  Varsity.  I  was  just  a  freshman,  so  it  was  big!”  Two  weeks     later,  Taua  took  in  an  80‐yard  touchdown  run  vs.  RBV,  and  the  San  Diego  football  community  started  to  take  no ce.  “When  I  went  back  to  the       sidelines, I heard the stands chan ng, ‘He’s a fresh‐man...He’s a fresh‐man’  That was big!”   Coming into the 2017 season, the Vista coaching staff has been using Taua  at Safety, CB, RB, WR, and even QB at  mes, and Taua says he is ready to go  head‐to‐head with the big boys now. “This season, I feel like I am used to  this level, and I’m used to the speed of the game at this level.” On opening  night, Taua recorded both an offensive and defensive touchdown. In Week  2,  he  started  at  the  running  back  posi on  and  rushed  for  over  100  yards  with a touchdown during the Panthers 14‐7 win over San Pasqual. In week  3  vs.  RBV,  Taua  finished  with  10  tackles.  “It’s  all  about  prepara on  and  working  hard  at  prac ce,”  he  said.  And  as  far  as  game  day  goes  Taua           explained, “When I’m at school, I try not to think about the game. I focus  on  school  and  once  it’s  game  me,  it’s  game  me.  I’ll  listen  to  some  rap  music to get me pumped up…some Lil Uzi Vert maybe. During the week, I  drink a lot of water…I hydrate myself.”   


Development and Recruitment  “God has blessed my kid,” the former RBV star says. “He has natural talents, but he works hard.” And Taua  says one man in par cular has given Desmond a lot of guidance. “Pastor/Coach Paul Paopao, Tofi’s Dad,  has been a big influence on Des as far as training him not only with the physical and mental aspects, but  the spiritual aspects of life and in football. He’s a good trainer man! I encourage a lot of kids to go see him  if  they  have  me  or  their  parents  can  take  them  because  he  doesn’t  charge  anything,  and  he’s  always  there for the kids.” Desmond says the workouts at Oceanside High School have helped him a lot. “Coach  Paopao  trains  us  hard  not  only  in  the  weight  room  but  with  our  condi oning.  We  also  do  The  Patch  Workout.  Working  out  this  this  past  summer  with  him  has  raised  my  confidence  level,  and  I’m  just  out  there ready to compete.” During the summer, Jason Tweeted out some videos of his son playing Rugby. “I  got into Rugby because I didn’t want to be lazy,” said Desmond. “I always feel like there is something I can  be doing to get be er.”     

Mr. Taua says that Tofi Paopao has also been a big influence for his son at Vista, and that seven60 athletes  trainer  Fale  Poumele  has  been  a  big  help  as  well.  “He’s  been  with  coach  Fale  for  about  five  years  now  training off and on, but mostly playing 7‐on‐7. At one point Des was playing 7‐on‐7, flag football, and in  rugby tournaments almost every weekend.” And the young athlete says the training has paid off for him.  “I started working on my footwork in 6th grade with Coach Fale Poumele from seven60, and we did a lot of  ladders. It really helped me develop that aspect of my game.” The Taua’s also credit Vista High School’s  strength and condi oning coach Charles Thompson for helping Desmond progress. “I really appreciate how  much  me these coaches and trainers have put in not just for my son, but other student athletes as well.”  Speaking of Thompson Desmond said, “He gets us right.”    

Talking with Taua about plans for his son’s recruitment process, he said the family wants to be pro‐ac ve  but is willing to let the process develop. “We are wai ng to see what happens as far as recrui ng goes.    Obviously we are hoping for those D1 offers, but it’s whatever God blesses with us. We just want to be    pa ent.” Taua told me that a couple colleges have started to show interest. “So far we have seen Oregon  St. stop by, San Jose St. has come by, and University of Hawaii has also reached out because my cousin Legi  Suiaunoa is the defensive coordinator over there at UH. And Washington is showing a li le bit of interest  because Jordan Paopao (El Camino High School) is the Tight‐Ends coach over there. Overall though, we are  just going to be pa ent, wait, and let Des do his thing on the field and in the classroom.”     

Desmond, who  holds  a  3.8  GPA,  has  his  own  goals  for  recruitment  as  well.  “I’d  like  to  play  for  a  USC,    Washington,  UCLA.  Any  of  those  Pac‐12  colleges  out  there,”  the  young  phenom  told  me.  And  the           sophomore has been working with and communica ng with several high‐profile athletes to study the best  ways  to  improve  his  chances  of  receiving  a  scholarship.  “I  played  with  Jack  Tu le,  Chris  Olave,  Moses  Mooney, and Kyle Philips during the offseason. I look up to those guys. Chris helped me out overall with  my game, and Kyle helps me out with the skill work I do. Moses is a baller…I’m just glad I got to play with  all  them.”  Coach  Taua  said  he’s  grateful  his  son  was  able  to  work  with  those  upperclassmen.  “Des  was  picking up some things from them, and they were taking him under their wing. A er the San Marcos game  earlier this season, Kyle Philips told Des he would help him out if he needed anything. KP told Des he could  come train with him and do some work.”   


In Closing  Talking about the current CIF transfer rules that have eliminated the “transferring for athle c purposes”  language from the guidelines, Taua feels like it is up to parents to make that decision. “You’ve got to take  your kid where it’s best for him. I don’t blame any parent or any kid that wants to transfer if it’s best for  their son. I mean it’s obviously going to affect those schools that kids transfer from, but that’s how life  goes.” Taua’s son almost began his career playing for another school. “We almost ended up at Cathedral… even did the tour, but our boys wanted to play together. Kids from our Pop Warner team were headed to  Vista, so we decided to stay here. The kid has to prove himself here,” said Taua. “He has to keep working  hard!”   Talking about the new playoff system that CIF has recently adopted Taua told me, “I like it. I think all the  best teams belong in that Open Division. That way they can ba le out to see who the best team really is.  Even if you see the same team in there for mul ple years, it gives other programs something to compete  for.” In regards to Social Networking, the father of three said, “My wife and I have reminded Des that you  have college coaches who have access to Social Media, so he knows not to post or interact with anything  nega ve on the Internet. It’s the responsibility of the kids, but parents need to teach this to them. These  days kids are lucky to have all this technology…Hudl and all that. Twi er. It does help them as far as re‐ crui ng goes. They just need to use it in a posi ve way.”   Being a coach and educator, I value the importance parents place on contribu ng to their child’s upbring‐ ing. Desmond Taua’s parents are great role models for their children. “I tell Des just to be himself,” Mr.  Taua explained. “He’s a kid who really doesn’t talk too much. I tell him to be honest with people, and  don’t let things get to your head. My wife and I just try to teach those good values to our kids you know, to  just be humble.” Desmond, who asked me to make sure he could recognize his teammates, has definitely  inherited those values. “Shout‐out to Vavega (Sialoi)…He’s a great leader. Shout out to Isaac and all my  teammates.  Honestly, I think it’s going to be a great season. I’ll go hard every play. I’ll go full speed every  play. I can make people miss, and I just run the ball hard. We just need to keep working hard as team, and  like I said before, it’s all about prepara on. And keeping that humble mindset.”  You can follow Desmond Taua on Twi er @des_taua  You can follow Jason Taua (Moi) on Twi er @taua_jason  You can follow Eric Williams on Twi er @WBKsports 


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Faufano Autele  loves  the  game  of  football.  No,  you  don't           understand!  He  LOVES  the  game  so  much  he  is  willing  to  do  things the normal high school football player isn't willing to do  to be successful. Going in to his senior season Autele wants to  leave no doubt about his abili es on the field and how much he  wants to win Otay Ranch's first CIF and State  tle. "My mind set  is  at  it's  all  me  greatest,  while  everyone  is  out  partying  and  drinking, I go to the gym Monday‐Friday. Players think that since  it's summer break, it's  me to go have fun partying and there's  nothing wrong with that because that's them. My defini on of a  summer  break  is  ge ng  ready  for  the  football  season."  The      college  prospect  camp  circuit  has  played  a  huge  part  in  his     prepara on for 2017 as Autele was able to showcase his talents  against  some  of  the  best  players  in  the  region,  "I went  to  the  University of San Diego camp and it was a great experience. The  coaches  there  are  great  people  and  want  to  coach  you.  I  s ll  have more to go to but so far, USD was a tremendous camp that  taught me so much. I was surrounded by so much talent and it  pushed me to my limits."    Coming  in  to  the  2017  season  Autele  wants  to  hone  in  on  the  things  that  will  make  him  the  ul mate  football  player...  size,  speed, agility, and mental toughness to name a few. "I want to  improve on my speed and become more of an H‐Back because  right  now  that  is  what  I'm  ge ng  recruited  for.  I  want  to           improve on not looking for contact so much because there were  so many  mes in a game where I could've went past a defender  rather  than  through  him.  I  also  wanted  to  improve  on  our           rela onship as a team. I want my team to know that I got their  backs regardless of the circumstances. If they know I have their  backs as a captain, they'll have mine as a brother. Basically just  becoming THE best team not only in Otay Ranch history but in  San Diego." 


For Autele  and  the  Otay  Ranch  Mustangs  to  realize  their  dream  of        being  the  best  team  in  school  history  they  will  have  to  go  through  a  gauntlet  that  features  the  likes  of  some  of  San  Diego's  top  programs  such as Valley Center, Rancho Bernardo, St. Augus ne, Valhalla as well  as  league  powers  Olympian  and  Mater  Dei  Catholic.  As  the  senior     leader  of  the  Mustangs,  Autele  refuses  to  let  him  or  his  team  look       beyond  Week  1,  but  of  course  there  are  some  games  highlighted  in  2017. "When it's week 1 all we care about is who we play in week 1.  We can worry about week 2 during week 2. With that being said, I look  forward to Olympian, Eastlake, and Mater Dei."   

Coming in  to  Otay  Ranch  as  a  freshman  Autele  said  he  had  3  major  goals  he  wanted  to  accomplish  by  the  me  he  graduates.  1.  Beat  Eastlake  for  the  first  me  in  school  history  2.  Beat  Olympian  for  the  first  me in school history 3. Win a CIF Championship. "Nothing is  


guaranteed in a football game. Last season we struggled to stay in a lot  of the games we played. It was either we started off strong but   ended  weak or vice versa. Another team goal is BEING A TEAM. I am a TEAM  player.  Without  a  team,  you  have  no  one  who  has  your  back.  If  we  can't  be  a  team,  why  are  we  playing  together?  A  team  has  to  be  a     family,  a  brotherhood."  Autele  fully  understands  that  for  him  to           accomplish  his  third  and  final  goal  it  will  require  all  hands  on  deck.  With team goals also comes the individual aspira ons that push Autele  to work the hardest he has ever worked, "Ul mate personal goal is to  know that I will be going to a D1 or D2 college and be able to con nue  playing the game I love so much." 


Otay Ranch wasn't Faufano Autele's first choice going in to ninth grade  but he has learned to love the school and coaching staff over the years  and how the school has made him in to the outstanding young man he  is today. "As far as wan ng to grow up and go there, no I did not want  to  go  to  Otay.  I  actually  wanted  to  go  to  Eastlake  but  my  parents,         ESPECIALLY my mom, said no I am going to Otay. With Gods blessing, I  went  to  Otay  and  I  never  looked  back,  never  wanted  to  transfer  schools. Being part of the program is a blessing for me. I've learned so  much  as  a  person  from  Coach  Christensen,  Coach  Rachow  and  Coach  Smalls. Otay means everything to me. The program, the student body,  the  teachers,  the  janitors,  everybody.  Without  the  Otay  Ranch  staff  and  students  I  wouldn't  be  the  type  of  Student  Athlete  I  am  today.  I  feel blessed to be playing for Otay Ranch High School. I don't care if St.  John  Bosco  or  Bishop  Gorman  called  to  get  me  to  their  school,  Otay  Ranch is where I want to be. I want to be a Mustang!" 


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STEPS 2 STAY Freshman Year: You should logon and review the NCAA Eligibility Center and review the courses they approve to certify your initial Eligibility. Go to www.eligibilitycenter.org and click on College Bound Student Athlete. This will give you the list of classes you will need to complete for your NCAA requirements. In addition, I would register your child and have them either take the SAT/ACT or Take a practice test. This will give you as parents and the student on what they need to work on. You can take the SAT as many times as you want. The SAT only takes your highest score. (Note: if you are an IEP student you can request to take the test in IEP setting and receive your modified test with your school Counselor).

Sophomore Year: Enroll in NCAA Clearinghouse. Post your classes on the site. Go to www.eligibilitycenter.org and click on College Bound Student Athlete. You can monitor if you are on track to completing your classes for eligibility. (Note: if you are behind in a subject area – summer school is a great time advantage and make up classes). Meet with counselor to ensure you get the classes you need. The End of the Sophomore Year I highly recommend you register and take the ACT (www.act.org) and/or SAT (www.collegebound.org) in your local area (use the NCAA Eligibility Center Code “9999”). The last two test of the year are in May and June. This will allow your child to understand the test environment of both standardized test – Hopefully ease any anxiety. Parents each test cost - so please ask counselors for fee waivers. (Note: if you are an IEP student you can request to take the test in IEP setting and receive your modified test with your school Counselor).


Junior Year: Enroll in NCAA Clearinghouse (if you have not already). Post your classes on the site. Go to www.eligibilitycenter.org and click on College Bound Student Athlete. You can monitor if you are on track to completing your classes for eligibility. (Note: if you are behind in a subject area –summer school is a great time advantage and make up classes). Meet with counselor to

ON ACADEMIC TRACK FOR COLLEGE sure you get the classes you need. Junior year I highly recommend you register and take the ACT (www.act.org) and/or SAT (www.collegebound.org) in your local area (use the NCAA Eligibility Center Code “9999”). Both Test are offered several times a year. This will allow your child to understand the test environment of both standardized test – Hopefully ease any anxiety. Parents each test cost - so please ask counselors for fee waivers. (Note: if you are an IEP student you can request to take the test in IEP setting and receive your modified test with your school Counselor). You must also put your film together and start sending to colleges. Once film is completed you should always keep a copy of your highlight reel and copy of transcripts on your for when you meet coaches or attend various camps.

Senior Year: You must take the ACT and/or SAT (if Needed). Enroll in NCAA Clearinghouse (if you have not already). Post your classes on the site. Go to www.eligibilitycenter.org and click on College Bound Student Athlete. You can monitor if you are on track to completing your classes for eligibility. You will need to submit your transcript to NCAA Clearinghouse. Meet with counselor to ensure classes are completed. If needed register and take the ACT (www.act.org) and/or SAT (www.collegebound.org) in your local area (use the NCAA Eligibility Center Code “9999”). Both tests are offered several times a year. This will allow your child to understand the test environment of both standardized test – Hopefully ease any anxiety. Parents each test cost - so please ask counselors for fee waivers. (Note: if you are an IEP student you can request to take the test in IEP setting and receive your modified test with your school Counselor). You must also put your film together and start sending to colleges. Once film is completed you should always keep a copy of your highlight reel and copy of transcripts on your for when you meet coaches or attend various camps.


SDFNL MAGAZINE - Sept 2017  

El Camino Wildcats Chris Brown Jaden Casey Wayne Steward Malachi Russell Rocky Katoanga Maranatha Christian James Shannon Otay Ranch Faufano...

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