Elite 11 Q & A's

Cal-Hi Sports editor Mark Tennis spent some time with four of the best quarterbacks in the state at the Student Sports/EA Sports/Powerbar Elite 11 Quarterback Camp and all four had some interesting things to say about their teams for the upcoming season.

Kyle Wright (Monte Vista, Danville)

Q: With all the players coming back this year at Monte Vista, is your team ready to defend its (North Coast Section 3A East Bay) title?

A: The expectations are really high and we know that people are going to be really gunning for us. It definitely looks to be a promising season.

Q: There's a possibility that Monte Vista might be 4A this year. What's the latest you've heard on that?

A: We won't know for sure if we're going to be 4A or 3A until all the freshmen kids come in. If it's 4A, we know that means De La Salle and if the last game of my senior year happens to be against De La Salle it would be great even if we lost. I wouldn't mind it (4A or 3A) either way.

Q: How is it to compete in the same league as one of the other top quarterbacks in the state, Sam Keller, from San Ramon Valley?

A: The first thing I do on Saturday mornings is to pick up the paper and see how Sam did. Ironically, we're real good friends and I'm happy for him that he's going to Michigan. I wish he were here (at the Elite 11 camp) with me. He definitely should be here. I know he's working hard trying to prove how good he is.

Q: When your coach, Craig Bergman, was a high school basketball star at tiny Cloverdale with Craig McMillan, they called the pair by the nickname "Blitz-Craig." Would that nickname fit your offense now or what might be a better nickname for it?

A: I don't know. The Wright Stuff maybe. Something that would include my teammates. Wright's Bunch. Wright's Troops. You could go on all day.

Dennis Dixon (San Leandro)

Q: With Sam Cheatham coming back as well as yourself, it looks like the Pirates are going to be very good again. Is that right?

A: Exactly. We've got some good linemen coming back, too. I think we have a better chance this year of going all the way instead of losing our last game.

Q: That would mean, of course, probably beating you know who (De La Salle)? What's it going to take for your team to beat De La Salle?

A: It takes hard work and a whole lot of game film. You've got to have the same kind of poise as them. You've got to play four quarters and not three, like we did last year.

Q: If there's a weakness on your team this year, what would it be and what would need to be improved for you to get to that level?

A: Probably defense. We've got some players there with some grade problems. They've got to take care of those problems first, then work on getting better on the field.

Q: Why is the Bay Area on such a roll right now for top QBs?

A: It's just very good competition. In the Bay Area it just seems like there's nothing but great quarterbacks everywhere you look.

T.C. Ostrander (Menlo-Atherton, Atherton)

Q: How will the experiences of the Elite 11 camp help you make your team at M-A better this season?

A: Just as far as seeing how hard the guys work here is something I'm going to try to instill in my team.

Q: Will M-A be able to make a run in the CCS this season?

A: We were very young last year and all our skill players are going to be seniors this year. We also should have a very good line. At this point our defense is a little inexperienced, but if they come through we should be strong. Probably Aragon and Terra Nova will be our toughest opponents. Those two are always strong.

Q: We notice you're playing Mitty this year. Will that be the first time you've gone up against a WCAL team?

A: We were supposed to play them last year, but it got cancelled after September 11. It should be a great game. I kind of hope they get banged up a little bit in their first game (which will be against De La Salle).

Tommy Grady (Edison, Huntington Beach)

Q: With so many great players from last year now gone (A.J. Martinez, Denny Flanagan, Marcus McCutcheon, etc.), how will your offense be able to remain as strong as last year?

A: We've got three transfers coming in, two from Fountain Valley and one from Villa Park, plus Matt White (coach Dave White's son) has really stepped up. We're going to be fine. Plus we've got Andy Avila who's transferred in from Calvary Chapel at running back.

Q: What's the story for the tough Sunset League this year?

Everybody says Los Al. It'll be between us, Los Al and Esperanza. We just need to be more consistent mentally. We have it physically and definitely can get back to where we were last year.

Q: Speaking of last year, how much do you replay the second half of the game against Long Beach Poly in the CIF final? Your team was right there and let it slip away.

A: Freddie Parish (Long Beach Poly) is a good friend of mine and I watch that tape with him all the time. It was a great experience because of course you want to see if you can beat the best of the best and that's what Poly is right now.

Q: Are the expectations at Edison higher this year, when you are the main returnee, or were they higher last year, when you had so many others who were returning?

A: Actually, I feel they are higher this year. It's also more of a challenge for us to get back to the championship game because we don't have as many Division I athletes. But I think we have a lot more solid guys, guys who want to work hard and do what it takes to win.

For continuing updates on the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp at Rancho Capistrano, check studentsports.com

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