Fast start for Trabuco Hills football powered by multi-sport athletes – Orange County Register


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Trabuco Hills football coach Mark Nolan wants the Mustangs athletic program to be like the 1980s when it comes to multi-sport athletes.

“We just want the best athletes to come out (for every sport),” he said, “like it’s 1985.”

Multi-sport athletes may not be as prevalent as they once were, but Trabuco Hills continues to show they can thrive.

The Mustangs’ 3-0 start — their best since 2013 — was powered by several multi-sport athletes, including dual-threat quarterback Will Burns.

The elder, who also stands out in baseball and track and field, is a big reason the Mustangs’ game at 12 Newport Harbor (3-1) is one of the most intriguing on Friday.

Burns completed 64% of his passes for 544 yards and seven touchdowns. He also rushed for a team-best 239 yards and four scores.

“He’s a tremendous talent,” Nolan said of Burns, who signed up with Texas Tech for both baseball and football. “He has the speed of a sprinter. He’s super smart and has an amazing arm.

Trabuco Hills, ranked No. 23 in Orange County, has other multisport athletes playing prominent football roles.

Senior defensive lineman Henry Sturn, who Nolan says creates the “chaos,” is a standout wrestler. Junior safety Ryan Manda and linebacker Bobby Gray are two of the team’s leading tacklers; they also play baseball.

Trabuco Hills delivered a well-rounded performance in a 56-16 win over Tustin (0-4) last week.

Junior Ben Holland and sophomore Ryan Luce returned kickoffs 99 and 98 yards, respectively, for touchdowns.

Nolan said the Mustangs’ special teams have been strong with long snapper Joey Carlos, cover man Cooper DeCillo and kicker Ethan Schwartz, among others.

Trabuco Hills’ young offensive line continued to emerge. The group includes left tackle Brody Brown, left guard Nate Anderson, center Jeremy Aguirre, right guard Liam Kugler and right tackle Greg Shade, along with Brandon Kolb in the rotation.

Aguirre is the only senior in the group.

On Friday, the Mustangs’ fast cornerback duo of sophomore Ethan Apostol and junior Lucas Short — who both run on the track — will be tested by the Newport Harbor trio of quarterback Colton Joseph and wide receivers Kashton Henjum and Josiah Lamarque.

“This is our biggest test yet,” Nolan said of Newport Harbor.

SAINTS GRATEFUL FOR THE CHARITY OF DIABLOS

Several Santa Ana players are wearing cleats and gloves donated by the Mission Viejo soccer program, Saints coach Charlie TeGantvoort said.

Several of the linemen can be spotted wearing red Under Armor cleats.

“We ran for the cleats,” Santa Ana defensive end Michael Hughes said. “We were all excited. It was fun. I enjoy Mission Viejo (doing that).

BACK TO RACE TO WATCH IN WESTMINSTER

Westminster sophomore running back William Pardue rushed for 200 yards on 20 carries in a 49-0 win over Anaheim last week. He entered the game with just eight carries for 101 yards.

“We wanted to see what he could do and increase his ranges,” Lions coach Steven Anderson said of Pardue (5-9, 185). “I’m not sure he knows how good he can be, but I’ve seen flashes since his freshman year.”

Westminster (3-0) edged their three opponents 124-9. Last season, the Lions beat the same trio – La Quinta, Los Amigos and Anaheim – by a combined 83-21.

“Having a full offseason has been great for our guys,” said Anderson, whose team will host Savanna (0-3) on Thursday.

Please send football news to Dan Albano at [email protected] or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

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