Deer Valley High football team in hot contention, Antioch continues to struggle

By Luke Johnson

It is now close to the end of the 2013-14 football season and Deer Valley High School is shining bright with a 7-0 record, while injuries have plagued Antioch High School to 1-6 entering for the season.

In their cross-town game, last Friday night, the Deer Valley Wolverines outscored the Antioch Panthers 49-7.

Wolverine Head Coach Rich Woods is on pace to lead his team to its third undefeated season in an eight-year span. He has been the most prosperous football coach at Deer Valley with a 67-28 regular season record since his inaugural year in 2004. Along with his impressive winning percentage, Woods has also coached the first two players from Deer Valley to reach the NFL.

We’ve just had some good players and some good assistant coaches,” Woods explained for the reason behind his success. “I’ve surround myself with some good people, and I’ve been real fortunate.”

One of the key components this season for Deer Valley has been quarterback Nsimba Webster. Not only is Webster leading the team through the air with nine passing touchdowns without an interception, but is the Wolverines’ top rusher with 107 yards per game and 12 touchdowns coming on the ground.

Webster has been contacted by multiple Division-I colleges, but has not completely committed to football quite yet. He also has proven his talents on the hardwood, and had a starting role on the record-breaking basketball team last school year. When it is all said and done, Webster wants to leave behind a legacy that marks him as Deer Valley’s top competitor.

I just wanna be the best athlete ever at Deer Valley… And make a name for myself,“ Webster said.

The Antioch Panther’s football program was once a dominate force in the Bay Area, but has been in a drought since the 1990’s. Head Coach John Lucido is on a mission to revive the team, and has already made two postseason appearances in his three-year tenure.

This year the squad has been halted by wounded players and a small cast of seniors. The roster consists of only 12 seniors with 31 underclassmen that include five sophomores and one freshman. That one freshman is running back and linebacker Najee Harris, who transferred from a high school in Seattle, WA approximately a month ago. After playing for frosh and junior varsity, Harris will be making his varsity debut in Friday night’s match up at Liberty High School.

The Bay Valley Athletic League is as tough as it has ever been this year with a variety of teams posing major threats. Pittsburg High is ranked among the top 100 teams in the state, with running back Harris Ross tearing up the field for 254.2 rushing yards per game and 17 touchdowns. Meanwhile Freedom High possesses one of the nation’s most touted recruits, running back Joe Mixon, who has attained nearly 50 Division-I scholarship offers.

There have always been top athletes in our league,” Lucido said.

But, Deer Valley dominated Freedom 35-7.

Antioch plays at the winless Heritage High, tonight, while 4-3 Liberty will visit Deer Valley.

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