Nipomo lost 48-18 to Serra of Gardena on Friday night. Coupled with Mission Prep’s 45-15 Central Section loss at Corcoran, it meant that all San Luis Obispo County prep football teams are done for the year.
There are tons of memories I was fortunate enough to take on in this, my first year on this beat.
Morro Bay’s Sam Crizer talking about how much it meant to him and his teammates to earn bragging rights over tradition-rich neighbor San Luis Obispo.
Soon after, Templeton passing around the Clash of the Coast trophy following its rout of Morro Bay (whose season undeniably changed when Crizer, who was shaping up like a Player of the Year candidate, went down with an injury).
The renaissance of Arroyo Grande, which included huge rivalry wins over San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles, after which scores of Eagles players’ family members and friends poured onto those fields to celebrate.
Then Atascadero playing its finest game of the year against Arroyo Grande in dominating fashion.
And then Paso Robles shocking Atascadero in the regular-season finale, sending Bearcats players into joyous tears.
Mission Prep’s Kevin Laird doing just about everything and leading the Central Section in interceptions while directing the Royals to another playoff run.
And of course, Nipomo being the last man standing, so to speak, during the program’s most successful season ever.
It’s nearly 1 a.m., and I’m still decompressing after the season just ended, but those are some of the scenes that will endure in my mind.
While I’m at it, I thought I’d mention a couple other sights, sounds and observations from Friday’s Nipomo-Serra game that didn’t quite fit into my recap itself.
A Nipomo assistant coach told me Cal head coach Jeff Tedford was in attendance. Cal Poly also was said to have coaches there scouting, among other schools. Of course, Serra is loaded with handfuls of Division I prospects, but some Nipomo players were sure to have turned heads, too.
Namely, Britt, who actually out-produced Serra’s Robert Woods, a USC commit, capped off what has to be considered one of the best recent seasons for a receiver in either the PAC 7 or Los Padres leagues in style.
On his first touchdown catch, he simply burned down the right sideline for a 51-yarder. But it was his second one that got people talking. He made a diving one-handed grab on a 28-yarder in the right corner of the end zone. After the game, more than a few Serra coaches came over to compliment him.
Cal Poly and Air Force are among the schools who’ve shown interest in Britt to this point, although things are still in motion for the 6-foot-1, 160-pounder. Britt, the Elks San Luis Obispo County Track Meet 400-meters record holder, has legitimate 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash and might project better as a cornerback at the next level.
Penningroth had a game-high 120 rushing yards Friday, putting him over 2,000 yards rushing and receiving on the year. He also threw a touchdown pass, and has to be considered one of the most versatile running backs the county has seen in recent years. He may be undersized by Division I standards, but would provide a number of schools with a well-rounded football player, plain and simple. The same could be said for Titans linebacker Duane Hanna, in particular, who entered the game with 121 tackles and has also been productive as a fullback. He caught a 10-yard touchdown pass Friday.
Wherever they end up, some schools will get steals, as is often the case with this county’s best players who may not initially get the same kind of attention metro-area talents get due to their locales being easy-to-get-to population hubs.
In other news, girls and boys basketball previews are slated to run in Sunday’s and Monday’s copies of The Tribune. As I mentioned here recently, basketball previews this year pushed back all-county stuff a bit, but that’s the first thing on my agenda for next week. Thanks, again, for your patience and understanding on that front.
What are you going to remember most about this football season?
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