Placer football sending Hess to next level
Updates from a desk littered with playoff brackets, spring schedules and coffee cups:
Basketball season is over at Placer High and baseball season is four days from first pitch. So let’s dive into some Hillmen football tidbits to whet your appetites for what promises to be a special 2012 at Le Febvre Stadium.
Placer fans were treated to a special surprise when Anthony Hess arrived last year. The transfer from Burroughs lived up to his billing as a speedy, ferocious defender and a playmaker on offense. The senior is still making plans for next year, when he hopes to continue his football career.
Hess is looking at offers from several Division II and NAIA schools, including Southern Oregon, Abilene Christian and Linfield. Look for the 6-foot, 180-pound strong safety to make a lot of fans wherever he ends up next fall.
Placer did not have any football players in the class of 2012 land Division I scholarships, but several Hillmen are considering the junior college route to continue playing. Tailbacks Brad Spangler and Joe Mangino, who shared the load in Placer’s Wing-T offense last fall, are looking at playing JC ball.
Spangler rushed for a whopping 12.35 yards per carry on his way to 1,309 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior at Placer. Mangino averaged more than 10 yards in piling up 1,029 yards for the season.
Placer coach Joey Montoya said several other players had opportunities to play at the next level, but opted against it. Senior Tanner Anderson got looks from Division I schools and the first-team all-Pioneer Valley League offensive lineman was coveted by American River College. But Anderson decided to focus solely on school, with aspirations to pursue a career in law enforcement.
Placer once again will have an impressive new player in pads next season. After welcoming talents like Dalton Dyer, Spangler and Hess via transfer, the Hillmen are feeling fortunate to have Nate Duvall wearing green and gold.
Duvall played last season at Golden Sierra before he and his parents moved to Auburn. Duvall is in school at Placer and impressing coaches and teammates with his size (6-3, 270) and athleticism.
“He’s a great kid and it’s a loss for Golden Sierra, but we wish him the best,” said Golden Sierra football coach John Hilton, who also coaches baseball at Placer. “Montoya’s going to be very excited about him.
“He was excellent on the defensive line, but we actually asked him to play middle linebacker for us because we needed help there at the beginning of the season. He played d-line the last three games and he made all-league there.”
The addition of Duvall gives Placer a downright scary defensive front. He’ll line up beside national recruit Eddie Vanderdoes (6-4, 295) and Jake Lewis (6-3, 220).
Speaking of Vanderdoes, his list of college suitors continues to grow. Last week Penn State joined the chase for the Placer junior, offering him a scholarship. Earlier this month, Mississippi, Michigan, Arizona State and Notre Dame offered, joining six other Pac-12 schools, Nebraska and Boise State.
We wrote earlier this month about Paul Litchfield, the pole vaulter from Bear River High who is pursuing his Olympic dream again this year. Last weekend at the Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho, Litchfield took a big leap forward. He cleared 18 feet, 1 inch, just three inches from his personal record.
The 18-1 vault placed Litchfield fourth in the National Pole Vaulting Standards and puts him in good position going into the spring season. Look for Litchfield around town over the next few months. He’ll be training hard in preparation for the outdoor vaulting season and, ultimately, the U.S. Olympic Trials in June.
The Auburn Wildcats will officially call James Field home this summer. Ken Valencia brought the summer collegiate baseball club to Auburn last year, but not in time to secure James Field for the team’s home games. The Wildcats played most of their games on the road and held a few at Foresthill High School.
Valencia was unsure of This summer, the Wildcats will inhabit James. Their home opener is June 3 and Valencia welcomed ARD as a co-sponsor for the team this year, thanking ARD’s Kahl Muscott and Manouch Shirvanioun make it happen.