Images: #5 QB Reza Aleaziz, #4 WR Justin Calo, #8 Kevin McClean
Over the off season we will see all of the top athletes from Oregon and Washington attending Barton 7 on 7 events. This past spring/summer we had a chance to check out the talented group from Southridge on more then one occasion. The Skyhawks currently sit at (3-4 overall, 2-1 league) but they are very young, and have a chance this week to set themselves up for a Metro League Championship with a win over Jesuit.
To get this done the Murrayhill group will be depending upon a trio of juniors who have lit up the scoreboard over the last seven weeks. Reza Aleaziz (6-4 220 Jr QB), Justin Calo (6-1 170 Jr WR/CB), and Kevin McClean (6-3 190 WR/FS) are all ranked in the NEI top 40 for the class of 2013. They have played together since 4th grade and all they have ever done is won.
Aleaziz is the junior leader that will need to be lights out if everything is to work. He has had some really big games and some tough runs but his potential is through the roof. You don’t teach 6-4 220 so Aleaziz has some important intangibles moving forward. He is a dual threat athlete considered one of the top pitchers in the State of Oregon, already hearing from Pac 12 programs and beyond.
Aleaziz says, “I think we have a special group and I have all the faith in the world in my line”, he continued “our sophomore class is also very talented and I think they will play a big role in the future, AJ Woodin does a good job at QB and that whole group has shined”. Reza has hit on 57.1% of his passes and has had two 4 touchdown passing performances against top competition (Tigard, West Salem). He has thrown a few balls he wishes he could have back, but understands that’s all part of the learning process. “I’m trying to study defenses better and not force throws, if I can do that I feel we can beat anybody”.
The Metro League leader in yards and touchdown receptions is junior burner Justin Calo. His 517 yards, and 6 touchdowns lead all other athletes in the conference and his 27.2 yards a catch has been huge. Calo plays on both sides of the ball, and every time he touches the rock he’s looking to change the game. He’s not a kid that wants to make a fare catch or run out of bounds. He is one of the top returners in the state and has returned a kick 95 yards for a score against Tigard.
Calo started as a sophomore during the Metro League season gaining valuable experience, and setting himself up for the junior season he is having now. “All of our guys on the perimeter are underclassmen and Jordan Morgan has stepped up and been big for us as a sophomore”. Everyone asks about the monsters on the line and Calo is a big backer of both, “ya they have played great Sean McGill (6-8 280) has been a beast on D and Nathan Ledigge (6-7 280) will be playing D1 ball somewhere”. Continuing, “I think our younger lineman are really good too and give us a solid foundation to build on.
Southridge will be hosting Jesuit this week, and with a win they would end up (3-1) in conference and tied with Jesuit who is currently undefeated. This would set up a week 9 matchup against Westview where the Skyhawks would control there own destiny and have the tiebreaker against the Crusaders. Two wins in as many weeks and they can capture a Metro Title.
One of the most important pieces to this scenario is the play of returning 2nd team all league WR/FS Kevin McClean. He was the only sophomore on the team to earn all league honors in 2010 and he did it in the brutally tough Metro conference. He currently is the Metro League leader in receptions with (28), and has also added 374 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns with a 13.4 Yards per catch average.
McClean has continued to grow and become more comfortable on defense. He returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown against the defending State Champion Aloha Warriors in a 20-10 win a couple weeks back. His speed and size make him a viable prospect on both sides of the ball and the more time he spends on D the more he looks the part. He says, ” this season has been really refreshing since last year we struggled, our offense has really picked it up which has helped us gain momentum”. Giving more props to the younger group McClean says, “We have a quality sophomore class that can really help us next year, and get back to the same level we were at when we won state in 08′”
The Southridge community should be very excited about the future. This years Skyhawks can play with anybody which makes the rest of this season very interesting. We will continue to follow the progress of all Southridge athletes and look forward to seeing the Skyhawks fight for a Metro Title.