Analy’s Maloney follows in brothers’ footsteps

By ERIC BRANCH
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

As a freshman at Analy, Cooper Maloney didn’t need to bother with too many introductions.

The last in the line of four brothers attending the school, administrators, teachers and coaches had known him from the time they first pinched his cheeks or tousled his hair.

“I think it helped because when people heard about the Maloneys, I think they had good thoughts,” Cooper said. “That was nice. It kind of helped with coaches because they knew who I was. But I still had to prove that I could play.”

If there were any skeptics, Maloney, a senior running back/linebacker, won them over last year with a season that would make his older brothers proud.

On a pass-happy offense, the 5-foot-11, 160-pound Maloney ensured opposing defenses respected the run, collecting a team-high 555 yards, averaging 5.7 yards a carry and scoring five touchdowns.

Maloney, who also ranked third on the team with 78 tackles, is following in the footsteps of Parker, Nick — a former all-league quarterback who plays rugby at Cal — and Joey, a wide receiver at Occidental College.

“It was cool to go to all the football games when I was younger and I’d see my brothers do well,” Maloney said. “It’s given me some push to do well myself.”

Maloney helped the Tigers finish well in 2009. Analy, which went 7-5, ended the regular season with an upset win over Windsor. In the playoffs, the 10th-seeded Tigers stunned No.7 Acalanes and narrowly missed upending No. 2 Marin Catholic. Analy lost 37-35 to the eventual North Coast Section Division III champions.

“It did give us a boost going into the offseason,” Analy third-year coach Dan Bourdon said. “We had our best offseason as far as commitment and work.”

In addition, the Tigers will also welcome back plenty of talent among their 12 returning starters. Included among the Tigers’ returnees are their top three tacklers from ’09 and junior quarterback Jake Zanutto, who ranked second in the NCS with 26 touchdown passes. Zanutto will have a familiar target back in speedy wideout Julian Titus-Patino (31 catches, 365 yards).

Of course, Analy will also have the rugged Maloney, an accomplished rugby player who might force Bourdon to alter his offensive philosophy.

“He’s a shifty kid who can make people miss,” Bourdon said. “Who knows, with him back there we may not throw quite as much this season.”

TEAM PREVIEW

ANALY

Coach: Dan Bourdon (3rd season, 12-11 record)
2009 record: 7-5, 2-4 SCL (T5th)
2009 JV record: 7-2-1
Returning starters: OFFENSE (6): RT Sean Benfield, Sr.; RB Cooper Maloney, Sr.; WR Issak Olsen, Sr.; C Jimmy Pitkin, Sr.; WR Julian Titus-Patino, Sr.; QB Jake Zanutto, Jr. DEFENSE (6): FS Mark Adams, Jr.; MLB Dallas Hamilton, Sr.; SS Cooper Maloney, Sr.; LB Issak Olsen, Sr.; DE Jimmy Pitkin, Sr.; CB Julian Titus-Patino, Sr.
Players to watch: QB Jake Zanutto: Six-foot-4 junior (26 TDs, 23 INTs in ‘09) expected to limit mistakes after year of on-the-job training. MLB Dallas Hamilton: Defensive anchor returns after leading Tigers in tackles last year.
Newcomer to watch: WR Aaron Maher: Six-foot-4 sophomore could become another offensive weapon in pass-first attack.

SCHEDULE
Date – Opponent – Time

9-3 – at Miramonte – 7 p.m.
9-10 – vs. Piner – 7:30 p.m.
9-18 – at Balboa – 2 p.m.
9-24 – vs. Santa Rosa – 7:30 p.m.
10-1 – at Windsor – 7:30 p.m.
10-8 – vs. Healdsburg – 7:30 p.m.
10-15 – at El Molino – 7:30 p.m.
10-22 – vs. Casa Grande – 7:30 p.m.
10-29 – at Petaluma – 7:30 p.m.
11-12 – vs. Sonoma Valley – 7:30 p.m.

BY THE NUMBERS
4:
Consecutive wins to start the 2009 season. Analy started 5-0 in 2008.
6: Games in which the Tigers scored more than 34 points last year.
30.6: Passing attempts per game in ‘09.