One year ago, Jordan Pini’s lifetime experience with organized football consisted of watching it on TV. But this week, Scotts Valley’s three-way threat received the ultimate honor for an area high school football player — he was named Most Valuable Player of the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League for 2007.
Pini was a catalyst for the Falcons, who claimed their second-consecutive SCCAL championship and made the playoffs for the third-straight year. Pini finished with 50 receptions for 798 yards and eight touchdowns as a receiver, had four interceptions as a cornerback and added 60 points as the team’s placekicker.
Before the awards were announced, Pini downplayed his chances. “I’m not expecting it,” he said. When prodded, however, he admitted that winning such an honor would be “amazing.”
“But if I did, I couldn’t take credit for it,” he said. “I’d thank every person on the team, because if I did win it, it will be because of them.”
Ironically, the day Pini found out that he won MVP is the day two coaches from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, visited town to entice him to play for the Mustangs next year. While Pini likes the idea of attending the school for its highly regarded construction management program, he’s torn about which sport he would like to play. Soccer is his first love — he’s played the sport since he was 6 and was a starter on the school’s varsity soccer team since his sophomore year. Although undecided, he said, “It would be kind of exciting to play college football if I get the opportunity.”
Scotts Valley’s signal caller, Jeff Bischoff is also getting plenty of attention from Cal Poly, as well as from schools like Columbia and Princeton.
The brainy Bischoff, who carries a 4.24 grade-point average, plans to major in business and minor in psychology, possibly to prepare him for a law degree. In addition to having fun, Bischoff said he benefited from Scotts Valley’s football experience in other ways.
“I learned a lot about teamwork, that we could be successful without a standout superstar,” he said. “It wasn’t one or two players who made our team accomplish what we did this year — it was everybody’s contributions.”
Other Falcons who caught the eye of college scouts are lineman Kevin Nice, running back A.J. Corbella, lineman Taylor Pascal and linebacker Tommy Lauderdale. Walters says that linemen Ryan Citti, Sean Woolery and Caleb Hadley could all play junior college ball.
SCCAL football awards
Jordan Pini, Scotts Valley High
Quarterback: Jeff Bischoff
Offensive line: Caleb Hadley, Sean Woolery
Running back: A.J. Corbella, Kyle Hardwick
Defensive line: Ryan Citti
Tight end: Tommy Lauderdale
Wide receiver: Philip Salibi
Defensive line: Alex Kellogg
Linebacker: Matt Davis
Defensive back: Jackson Kunz
Kicker: Michael Eisner
Offensive line: Kevin Nice
Defensive line: Taylor Pascal
Defensive back: Trevin Dean
Offensive line: Kevin McKenna
Running back: Beau Gregory
Wide reciever: Daniel Stevenson
Quarterback: Ian McGinnis
Travis Awe, Sonny Linn, Paddy McFall, Mitchell Landino, Joey Bright, Jeremy Wick, Brad Hartman
Alec Gonzalez, Lucas Hill, Luke Lange, Nick Dipiero, Robert McKissock, Sean Connor, Paul Emert