PDPreps Insider: Impressive college track for Casa Grande football players

Casa Grande coach Trent Herzog addresses his players at a recent practice. Credit: John Burgess / Press Democrat

Casa Grande coach Trent Herzog addresses his players at a 2014 practice.
(John Burgess / Press Democrat)

Casa Grande football coach Trent Herzog expects as many as five of his players to sign with college programs Wednesday, which is National Signing Day. That wouldn’t exactly be a new development for the Gauchos.

By Herzog’s count, 19 Casa players have accepted scholarships from colleges around the country since 2004. That includes 11 players who have signed with Division 1 (or Football Bowl Subdivision, at it’s now called) programs: Joe Zusin (San Jose State, 2004), Evan Marchal (UNLV, 2006), Joe Trombetta (UC Davis, 2006), Vince Weaver (Sacramento State, 2008), Reese Heaslet (Sac State, 2008), Kahlil Keys (Yale, 2010), Nick Sherry (UNLV, 2011), Makana Garrigan (Nevada, 2011), Elijah Qualls (Washington, 2013), JaJuan Lawson (New Mexico, 2014) and John Porchivina (Cal, 2014).

It does not include a pair of current Gauchos, kicker Matt Abramo and linebacker Casey Longaker, who have accepted offers this year. As reported previously by The Press Democrat, Abramo is headed to Washington State, Longaker to Sacramento State.

Rancho’s long wait ends

The Cougars are on the board.

The Rancho Cotate girls basketball team won its first NBL basketball game in more than two years last week with a convincing 72-54 win against Maria Carrillo in the Pumas’ home gym. Carrillo won the first matchup between the teams 62-44.

With only seven active players on the roster that night, sophomores Reilani Peleti and Kaela Velles shone in the win, according to coach Mario Newton. Peleti had 28 points and 15 rebounds, and Velles got 12 points and 15 rebounds.

“They played with a lot of heart,” Newton said of the team. “They had communication — you could tell they really wanted it.”

Windsor honors Scooby

Former Cardinal Newman football star Scooby Wright will be honored in his hometown this evening when he receives the Mayor’s Certificate of Appreciation from Mayor Bruce Okrepkie at the Windsor Town Council meeting.

The Press Democrat’s All-Empire defensive player of the year for 2012, Wright completed a stellar sophomore season at the University of Arizona. He was named the Pac-12’s defensive player of the year and was awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award. He also finished ninth in voting for the Heisman Trophy.

Big-league invite

Former Cloverdale prep star Mitch Delfino was extended a non-roster invitation by the San Francisco Giants to attend spring training this year. Delfino, a third baseman, was drafted by the Giants in the 20th round of the 2012 amateur draft.

Press Democrat Staff Writers Kerry Benefield and Phil Barber contributed to this report.