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Cathedral's Gutierrez Armed, Ready : Football: The junior signal caller sparkles in a field of 58 of the premier prep quarterbacks in the Southland.


Cathedral High quarterback Joao Gutierrez impressed onlookers at the Air 7 Quarterback Challenge, finishing seventh in a strong field of 58 of the top returning high school quarterbacks last Saturday at Wilson High School.

The competition, designed to test individual quarterback skills, attracted many of California's best signalcallers to the El Sereno campus.

Participants, who hope to draw the attention of college scouts, competed in such events as the long-distance throw, a speed-and-agility obstacle course, a drill that simulated a quarterback scramble and a read-and-react drill that gave a quarterback only three seconds to drop back and hit one of five targets attached to a moving golf cart.

Gutierrez could have finished higher but for a costly penalty in the first event, the distance throw. Gutierrez fouled when he failed to throw between the lines and was penalized 10 yards.

"I was a bit little nervous at first, but after the first event I started to settle down and began talking to some of the other quarterbacks," said Gutierrez, who will be a senior at Cathedral.

This year's event was produced and operated by the Wilson High School Football Boosters Club with the help of former All-City stars Steve Clarkson, Steve Martinez and Eddie Martinez, the Mules' current head coach. All participants paid a $50 fee and were filmed for college scouts by Para-Dies Scouting.

In addition to Gutierrez, Roosevelt's senior-to-be quarterback Fernando Delgadillo captured second place in the scramble drill after hitting the deep target, while Wilson's senior-to-be quarterback Brian McGann placed third in the same event. Fremont's Robert Loera finished 12th in the distance throw with an effort of 53.33 yards and Pilgrim's sophomore-to-be Brandon Clay placed 14th in the speed and agility drill.

This year's overall winner was Joe Cordova, who will be a sophomore at St. John Bosco. *

It's nearly summer, but it's a busy time for high school football.

Late spring and summer opportunities come in the form of passing leagues, scouting combines, football camps and the All-Sport L.A. Watts Summer Games.

Forty-eight high school football teams, including those from Belmont, Jefferson and Marshall, are set to take part in passing drill competition June 17, 18 and 25 at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

The event is free and is expected to draw more than 12,000 high school students from Southern California. There also will be competition in baseball, basketball, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo and wrestling.

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