On Wednesday afternoon, several Palm Springs underclassmen took a break from working out in the weight room to witness three of their teammates take their next steps in their football careers.
Seniors Randolph Mullen, Noah Collins and Riley Hagar sat next to each other, pens in hand, and signed their letters of intent to continue their football careers in college.
Mullen, a wide receiver and defensive back, will attend Missouri S&T. Collins, an offensive lineman and long snapper, will continue his career at UC Davis, and Hagar will play at Black Hills State in South Dakota.
All three said winning the 2014 CIF Eastern Division title was the highlight of their football careers, but having the chance to make an impact at a higher level is quite a gift.
“Being able to go to college on a scholarship is a dream come true,” Hagar said.
Indians head coach Dan Murphy said all three guys stood out to him as leaders in the weight room and on the field, role models that his younger players could look up to and emulate in years to come.
“Ray, he was a big playmaker. The bigger the game, the more productive he was,” Murphy said.
“We moved Riley to the defensive end position, and he did a great job. He’s one of the best defensive ends we’ve had in years.
“Noah just gets better and better each game. In the playoffs, with his big physical appearance, he really opened up some big holes for us.”
Leon garners a Desert Mirage first
Felipe Leon, a senior who played quarterback, fullback and linebacker for the Rams, signed a letter of intent last week to play for Benedictine College, a private NAIA school in Atchison, Kan.
Leon is the first student from Desert Mirage to receive a full ride athletic scholarship. He’s also the first football player from Desert Mirage to receive a scholarship of any kind to play football in college.
“I never thought something like this could happen,” Leon said. “It’s a little scary, going out there to college, but I’m really excited. It’s a great opportunity.”
The 6-foot, 195-pound Leon ran for 337 yards and four touchdowns as a senior in 2014 and was a starter on defense. For his production on the Rams, who went from 0-10 to 5-5 in one season, Leon was named a First Team All-De Anza League selection.
Leon said he isn’t sure where he’ll end up on the field, but he said he will likely play fullback or linebacker in college.
“Hard work pays off,” he said. “That 0-10 season sent us on a mission, and we worked hard and good things happened.”
Olvera shines at Rivals camp
Palm Springs quarterback William Olvera led the Indians to a CIF title, and now might be getting some recognition outside the valley.
Olvera finished fourth in the Rivals Quarterback Challenge over the weekend at Fullerton College in an event that featured 80 of the West region’s top high school quarterbacks. Many of the top signal callers in the area competed.
The event was one of four around the country, showcasing a number of the top up-and-coming quarterbacks. Olvera will be a senior next season.