Whitney freshmen finish 10-0 in football

By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Whitney High’s freshmen football team went 10-0 this season and impressed varsity coach Mike Gimenez enough that six of its stars are currently on the Wildcats roster for the playoffs. Quarterback Jake Rodrigues, running backs Isaiah Moore and Conner Graves, offensive linemen Josh Sowma and Thaddeus Cox and receiver/kicker Corey Palin were called up to the varsity squad. The Wildcats blew out most teams and beat each team by more than a touchdown except for Bear River on Oct. 17. Whitney, coached by Bret Hunter, won that game 15-14 and blocked a 32-yard field goal on the final play to seal the victory. Whitney also had a scare in its season opener when it fell behind 10-0 against Antelope. When it was all over the Wildcats had won 25-10. “Coach Gimenez told us that he feels this is the most talented class this school has seen and he told us that he expected us to go 10-0 and that was back in May,” Whitney offensive coach Mike Lefebvre said. “He said he didn’t want to move the kids to the JV, he wanted them to go 10-0 and learn how to win. He likes to leave guys together and they learn together, win together and can just be together.” Moore and Graves both had success running the ball and they ran behind an offensive line that was headed by Greg Holm, Derick Caron, Cox and Gabrial Corral. That line also did a nice job giving Rodrigues time to do his thing at quarterback. Rodrigues’ favorite targets at receiver were Palin, Sean O’Brien and Zonly Looman. Palin also had a strong season as the kicker. Defensive coordinator Bill Olson had a talented group to work with as well. Brandon Trinidad, Cox and Ian Bamsey led the defensive line while JT Hirsch and Brandon Sclater stood out at linebacker. Chase Bigelow was strong at safety while Justin Achanzar, Luc Doyle and Tanner Hughes were very solid at cornerback.