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Hillcrest High

I hope most of you got a chance to see our football notebook today. The lead story was about Hillcrest High in Idaho, the school that former Northgate coach Darin Owens is now coaching at. Hillcrest won the Idaho 4A State Title last weekend. Hillcrest had a 23-game losing streak before picking up its first win this season in week two.

I wanted to write about Owens and his new team because of the impact he had in just one year at Northgate. Last season I drove over to Tamalpais in Mill Valley to watch Northgate’s first game under Owens and I came away extremely impressed with the Broncos’ new coaching staff. Owens, Justin Lowell, and their entire staff commanded the kids’ respect and they picked up their first win in over a year. Owens told me that he still keeps in contact with the Northgate staff at least once a week, and that he’s confident that good times will return again soon for the Broncos.

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  • Suzanne Bernhard

    Quentin Bernhard former Encinal High Alum, class of 2006, named to All-Ivy League See the attached article about Cornell players named to All-Ivy League. Quentin Bernhard graduated from Encinal High School in 2006. This year an Honorable Mention went to left tackle Quentin Bernhard who started all 10 games as a junior and captured his first Ivy League honor. He has started 20 consecutive contests on a line that ranked fourth in the Ivy League in sacks against (19). ITHACA, N.Y. — Senior safety Tim Bax became the first Cornell player to earn first-team honors in three years and was joined by six of his teammates as league honorees when the All-Ivy League football teams were announced on Monday by the league office. The teams are voted on by the head coaches of the eight Ivy League teams.

    Bax was the lone Big Red first-teamer, while senior offensive tackle Steve Valenta and senior wide Jesse Baker earned second-team honors. Honorable mention honors went to senior quarterback Nathan Ford, senior linebacker Graham Rihn, junior offensive tackle Quentin Bernhard and junior wide receiver Bryan Walters.

    Bax is the first Cornell first-team selection since five players (Kevin Boothe, Ryan Kuhn, Matt Pollock, Kevin Rex and Luke Siwula) were honored after the 2005 campaign. He ended the season second on the team, fifth in the Ivy League and 53rd nationally at 8.6 tackles per game. He added 5.0 tackles for loss and two interceptions while piling up four games with double figure tackles. A second-team All-Ivy pick as a junior, Bax had a season-high 14 tackles in his final collegiate contest against Penn, his 12th career game with at least 10 tackles. He ended his four-year career No. 9 all-time at Cornell with 283 stops. Bax had 13 tackles vs. Colgate and 11 more against Ancient Eight champion Harvard.

    Baker earned his first Ivy League honor after ranking second in the Ivy League and 13th nationally with 6.6 catches per game and fifth nationally and 45th nationally with 72.5 yards per game. In Ivy League play, he led the circuit with 7.0 catches per game. His season totals were 66 catches for 725 yards and six scores. He was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week after posting 141 yards and two touchdowns against Lehigh, including a 20-yard scoring catch as time expired in the win over the Mountain Hawks. He posted 14 catches, one shy of the school record for single-game catches, for 147 yards and a touchdown at Columbia. Baker finished fifth in Cornell history in receptions (130) and receiving yards (1,465) in his three varsity seasons.

    Valenta earned second-team All-Ivy honors for the second straight year. He closed his career with 30 consecutive starts on the offensive line. A three-year starter, Valenta will graduate as a rare four-year letter winner. The Big Red did not allow a sack in the first three games of 2008.

    Four honorable mention all-league selections also excelled during the 2008 season, including two-time All-Ivy pick Graham Rihn.

    An honorable mention selection as a junior, Rihn again earned accolades at linebacker after posting 58 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, 2.0 sacks and three blocked kicks as a senior. He had 10 tackles against Colgate and blocked kicks against Bucknell, Yale and Dartmouth, with his blocks against the Bison and Bulldogs proving to be the final point differential in victories. For his career, Rihn registered 122 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks and five kick blocks.

    Left tackle Quentin Bernhard started all 10 games as a junior and captured his first Ivy League honor. He has started 20 consecutive contests on a line that ranked fourth in the Ivy League in sacks against (19).

    Senior Nathan Ford was honored for a career that ranks among the best of any Big Red quarterback in school history. The three-year starter led the Ivy League in both passing (281.5 yards per game) and total offense (284.9 yards per game), ranking 12th and eighth nationally in those categories, respectively. He compiled 2,815 passing yards (second at Cornell in a single season) and 12 touchdowns while completing 61 percent of his passes. He set school records for completion percentage in a career (.607, sixth all-time at Cornell), consecutive completions (17) and single-game completion percentage (.833, 25-of-30 vs. Dartmouth). Ford had four career 300-yard games and two 400-yard efforts, including a 39-of-63 passing day for 438 yards and two scores in the comeback win at Lehigh, finding Baker in the end zone from 20 yards out as time expired to win the game. His 6,266 passing yards ranks eighth in Ivy history and second at Cornell, while his 6,707 yards places him ninth in the Ancient Eight. Ford accounted for 37 career touchdowns (26 passing, 11 rushing).

    Another tremendously productive player who earned his first league recognition is junior wide receiver Bryan Walters. Walters ended his season with 43 catches for 643 yards and two touchdowns with a team-best 15.0 yards per catch average. He led the Ivy League and ranked 17th in the country in all-purpose yardage with 153.0 yards per game. Walters had three 100-yard games, including four-catch, 116-yard effort vs. Dartmouth that included a 96-yard touchdown reception, the second-longest in Cornell history. He also had eight catches for 138 yards and a touchdown vs. Princeton and six receptions for 127 yards vs. Columbia. Walters broke the conference record for kickoff return yardage and became the first player in Ivy history to surpass 2,000 yards. The school’s all-time leader in punt return yardage as well, Walters enters his senior season ranked ninth in Ivy League history in all-purpose yardage.

    The Big Red football team ended the 2008 campaign with a 4-6 record (2-5 Ivy League).

    this year.

  • Mark

    To Suzanne Bernhard:Ma’am i’ve had the pleasure of meeting your son and he is a great young man and when my son was a Sophmore your son and some of his linemates were good mentors to him. I’m very happy to hear he had a good season and based on watching him workout last off season i know his next season will be even better. Tell him it’s the old broken down line man that always gave him a friendly challenge. He’ll know who it is. :-)