Last week was a triumphant one for Valley High School.
On Wednesday, Chris Hoffman returned to a familiar south Sacramento campus, greeted by a rousing ovation from students welcoming the new superintendent of the Elk Grove Unified School District. Hoffman was a football team captain at Valley in the late 1980s. He said sports helped mold him, a message fourth-year coach Dave Filan preaches to his players.
Filan said athletes can learn from adversity as well as success. And he’s speaks from experience. Before going 2-8 in 2013, Valley had three consecutive 1-9 seasons.
Now 2-1, Valley is one victory from matching its most wins since 2006. Valley rallied to beat Natomas 44-43 in the Vikings’ frantic opener, lost to El Camino 36-12 and beat Galt 28-23 on Friday.
In the victory over Galt, Keylen Newsome rushed for 187 yards and two touchdowns, and Torrey White returned one of his two interceptions for a score.
Filan said his past teams, small in numbers and thin on confidence, would have lost the close games.
“The effort has been great, better than we’ve had, and it’s neat to see,” said Filan, whose team opens Metropolitan Conference play against Laguna Creek on Friday at Cosumnes River College. “Our kids have persevered, more so than in the past. During the Galt game, Keylen said, ‘I’m running everyone over!’ It’s been great to see kids like him grow as players and in confidence.
“And we’ll talk to our players more about Chris Hoffman, and what our student body president (Jackie Garcia) said, realizing that Hoffman is an example of what you can become with hard work. It’s a great message.”
Cole Morse rushed for 253 yards, and Tucker Fisk dominated on the defensive line in a 37-21 victory over Edison in Stockton.
Morse is the son of former Davis High and UC Davis running back Marty Morse, and Fisk is the son of former Davis and Stanford standout defensive lineman Jason Fisk, who played in the NFL (1995-2006). Marty Morse and Jason Fisk are Davis assistant coaches.
Morse broke the family school record for rushing yards in a game, topping his father’s best of 237 against Valley in 1986. Fisk, a sophomore, forced a fumble on defense and dragged two defenders into the end zone on a touchdown reception from Jack Beckman.
On Friday, Davis hosts No. 2 Elk Grove in a Delta League opener.
De La Salle coaches said the kicker actually “whiffed,” missing a clean shot but still getting enough to make the ball bounce awkwardly, and they had him apologize to Del Oro coaches after the game. De La Salle always has had a sparkling sportsmanship reputation.
“Yes, they apologized, but we should have fielded it,” Del Oro coach Casey Taylor said. “It would have been our best starting field position of the night.”
Taylor said his team will bounce back from the rout.
“De La Salle is the real deal,” he said. “Amazing execution (in) all facets. Our guys played hard, but they were too much for us. We believe in our guys. We’ll get better.”
• Larry Hardy returned two interceptions for touchdowns and nearly had a third – he was ruled down at the 1 – in No. 12 Inderkum’s 45-26 over Salesian in Richmond. It’s the first time a Tiger has returned two interceptions for scores in a game.
• In an attempt to draw a bigger crowd, Rio Americano played Friday’s game at Del Campo’s new field. A large, boisterous crowd of Rio Americano students cheered throughout the homecoming game despite a 77-21 loss to No. 18 Placer. The Raiders (0-4) are led by 6-foot-3 senior Shaun Dhillon, who threw three touchdown passes.