Proctor makes Big Bear go

Operating Big Bear's Air Force-style spread option, Proctor has thrown for 1,224 yards and 15 touchdowns, with four interceptions. He also has run for 1,298 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging 10 yards per carry.

Kriss Proctor loves Big Bear City because of its old-time charm.

 

"When we drive around town we can see the signs that say "Go Bears" and at school the cheerleaders put things up on the walls urging us on," Proctor said. "It's like a movie."

 

Like "Hoosiers," or "Glory Road."

 

It figures that Proctor, the Big Bear quarterback, would enjoy the quaintness of it all. He's a throwback guy, from his All-American-boy politeness, to his do-everything versatility on the football field, to his ability to play three sports.

 

"As a kid, everything is impressive about him," Big Bear coach Dave Griffiths said. "He's polite and respectful of others. He cares about other people. He's just the All-American boy.

 

"He's a hero to my 7-year son (Ryan). He always takes the time to say hello to him. He's just a kid with a great heart and is a pleasure to coach."

 

The fact that Proctor, a junior, has accounted for 2,522 all-purpose yards and 29 touchdowns doesn't hurt either.

 

Operating Big Bear's Air Force-style spread option, Proctor has thrown for 1,224 yards and 15 touchdowns, with four interceptions. He also has run for 1,298 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging 10 yards per carry.

 

"I like running with the ball more," Proctor said. "When you're running, it's all in your hands. When you're passing, too many bad things can happen.

 

For instance, you can make a good throw and the defensive back can make a good play on the ball and knock it away."

 

As if all that running and passing isn't enough, Proctor also is the team's placekicker and does the kicking off. In fact, his 37-yard field goal with three seconds left, defeated Twentynine Palms 16-13.

 

He also sometimes plays free safety and has two interceptions.

 

But it's Proctor's passing and throwing which trouble opposing coaches.

 

Earlier in the week, San Bernardino Aquinas coach Josh Henderson lauded Proctor's versatility, his deft ballhandling and his ability to call audibles at the line of scrimmage.

 

"He makes their offense go," the Falcons coach said.

 

Added Griffiths: "He has great instincts for the game. He'll have the ball in front of a defender at one moment, and then all of the sudden he's not there."

 

On Saturday, Big Bear (12-0) hopes its offense is its usual efficient self, as it takes on visiting Aquinas (9-3) at 1 p.m. in a CIF-Southern Section East Valley semifinal game. The winner will meet the winner of San Jacinto vs. Riverside Notre Dame for the title.

 

Big Bear is seeking its first section title since 1992. Aquinas is looking for its third section title since 2000.

 

This week Bears' athletic director Jennifer Turley was busy on the phone ordering extra bleachers for the Big Bear Middle School venue where the Bears play. The extra bleachers will boost the seating to the 1,500 to 2,000 range to accommodate the unusually large crowd expected for this
small-school game.

 

Big Bear defeated Aquinas earlier in the season, 35-7.

 

"It was their first game and our second game," Proctor said. "But they've adjusted and they have a wonderful defense now. It's hard to play a team for a second time, especially since they'll be fired up because we beat them the first time around."

 

Aquinas has its own star in senior running back/linebacker Chike Amajoyi, who has gained 2,290 yards and scored 27 touchdowns for the Falcons and is being recruited by several Pac-10 schools including Stanford.

 

As for Proctor, he doesn't have the size - he's just 6-foot, 165 pounds - that makes the mouths of college scouts drool. But he does have that special something that makes him tough to beat in whatever sport he attempts.

 

Last season he teamed with his brother Scott, who was then a senior.

 

"We were playing Desert Mirage and Kriss ran an option about 30 yards downfield," Griffiths said. "The safety came over and Kriss just coolly pitched it to his brother who ran it in for the touchdown. We just kind of said 'OK, we think we've got something here.'''

 

What Big Bear has is its best athlete in recent memory. As a football player, he's a wunderkind. In basketball, he plays point guard and averages 10 points per game. And in baseball - his favorite sport - he more than .400 last season, with five home runs.

 

Proctor comes from good athletic stock. His mom Sandie, from Big Bear, played basketball and tennis for the Bears. His father Kenny is from Whittier and made it as far as the Double-A level in the Minnesota Twins organization.

 

In sizing up his future, the youngest Proctor shows that his keen judgment isn't limited to running the option or calling audibles.

 

 "I like baseball because I grew up playing it and you don't have to be really tall to play in the major leagues," he said. "Take David Eckstein - he's only about 5-8. So in baseball you can be any size and still play."


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