Football Thunder to be heard from Oregon to Arizona
Three of Rocklin High’s football seniors signed national letters of intent last week to take their talents to the next level. Wide receiver Dom Giampaoli, quarterback/wide receiver Daniel Kniffin and defensive tackle Sam Woods all signed on the dotted line.
Woods signed to play ball for the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks. NAU is an NCAA Division I school that went 8-3 last year, including an at-home win over UC Davis.
Woods was named All League in the Sierra Foothill League and SFL Lineman of the Year. He was also selected to the All Sacramento Metro and All Sac-Joaquin Section teams and named a Max Preps All American. He plans to study law enforcement.
“Other schools passed on Sam because of his size,” said Rocklin head football coach Greg Benzel. “Northern Arizona will soon understand how valuable Sam will be to their program.”
Giampaoli inked his signature to team up with Southern Oregon University. The high-scoring Raiders were 9-3 last season losing by just three points to No. 3 Morningside in the National Association Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Championship Series.
Giampaoli was also All League in the SFL and a member of the victorious Optimist All Star North squad. He also won the Thunder Playmaker Award. He plans to study accounting and go into business after graduation.
“Dom landed in the perfect offensive scheme at Southern Oregon,” Benzel said. “He has a great opportunity to contribute as a freshman.”
Kniffin was injured at quarterback earlier in the year and was later moved to wide receiver. He hopes to play quarterback at California State University Sacramento. Benzel, who was a running back for the Hornets, said his senior signal-caller is now healthy enough to do just that.
“It is exciting to know that Daniel is 100 percent healthy,” Benzel said. “He has a real opportunity to play quarterback at Sacramento State.”
Of interest, the Hornets are scheduled to play both Southern Oregon and Northern Arizona next season.
Kniffin, Thunder team captain and recipient of the Character Award, plans to study kinesiology.
“It is heartwarming and encouraging to see the hard work and dedication of these three athletes pay off,” said Rocklin Athletic Director Davis Steward. “We are very proud of them … and thank them for their leadership both on and off the field.”