The California State Championships for Youth Football made its way to Visalia, and the Central Valley had five representatives in that game. The five players were from Tulare and Kings Counties and all played this year for the Tulare Tarheels under Head Coach Brent Beck.
Beck also happened to coach their state championship team at Visalia Community Stadium.
The five players include; Xavier Hailey (Tulare), Max Brown (Tulare), Willie James (Tulare), Luttrell Young (Hanford), and Matthew Sanchez (Tulare).
All players are 13-14 years of age and will be going on to high school next year.
Beck believes that the reason why these got this position isn’t just due to their physical abilities, but their ability to think the game.
“They all have a high football IQ, they’re all athletic in their own right. Max and Matthew play on the line, but they’re athletic, they’re great athletes, they’re great kids who have great parents. They’re all dedicated and have been captains throughout the season.”
Beck went on to talk about what these players will need to work on or change once they move on to high school football.
“They’ll just need to continue working hard. It’ll be much more competitive on the field at the next level. But I can see all five playing at the Division one or two level in college. They all have potential.”
Even though these five players have the potential to play in college, Beck still believes there are some aspects that can improved upon.
“One of the hardest things to be in football is to be a vocal leader. That’s something they’re missing right now. I’d love them to develop that part of their game. They have leadership skills on the field, but this would make them complete leaders.”
Beck was impressed with the talent of this group of players as soon as he laid eyes on them. And it started fairly young.
“Their talent was apparent when I first saw them. I coached Willie at the nine year-old level. I always admired Xavier’s game from afar. Luttrell played in the Hanford association and knocked us out of the playoffs in 2013. I’ve also know Matthew. I’ve coached his brothers in the past.”