Fans love it. Coaches hate it. Nothing spices up a season more than a good quarterback controversy.
Coach Steve Dann avoided one at Santa Clara, oddly, through misfortune. And his team is winning.
Coach Joel Gershon is confronted with one at Channel Islands, even though he considers it good fortune. His team is also winning.
Not coincidentally, a talented sophomore quarterback named Mark Contreras transferred from Santa Clara to Channel Islands one year ago.
Contreras left Santa Clara because it appeared he would play behind senior Mike Teron and sophomore Tim Gutierrez this season. Declared eligible at Channel Islands two weeks ago, Contreras replaced starter Vince Medina--a junior who led the Raiders to a 5-1 record--in the second half last week against Camarillo and led the team to a 24-21 victory.
Changing quarterbacks midway through a winning season might seem odd, but Gershon can handle controversy.
"The starter next week will be decided in practice," Gershon said. "It will be a real battle for the job."
Medina plays a mistake-free game but Contreras has a stronger arm, Gershon said. Both are mentally suited for the job. And no matter who calls signals, he'll have Victor Caro (13 catches for 282 yards) on the receiving end of passes and any one of four capable running backs at his disposal. Fullbacks E. J. Miller, Mike Campos and Reggie Williams each have rushed for more than 250 yards and tailback John Johnson has 538 yards, 11 touchdowns and an average of 7.7 yards a carry.