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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Getting Acquainted

Wright, Walker Join Forces on West Squad in All-Star Game

July 16, 1998|MICHAEL LAZARUS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

VAN NUYS — For most of their high school football careers, Quincy Wright and Vinny Walker lived barely 10 blocks apart near Inglewood.

Both became star tailbacks, Wright at El Camino Real High and Walker at Monroe.

But until they began practicing last week for the Valley Youth Conference All-Star game, they barely knew each other.

"We maybe talked a little bit at passing league or something, but that was about it," Walker said.

Said Wright: "I only knew who he was from reading the paper. He kept rushing for all these yards. I noticed."

Both Wright and Walker had impressive enough seasons to land them spots on the West team for the game Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Birmingham High.

Each player rushed for more than 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. Wright's career total of 4,500 yards edged Walker's 4,268. Wright gained 2,146 yards last year when Walker ran for 1,600 in two fewer games.

Wright scored 61 touchdowns in three years, including 29 last season as the Conquistadores won the City Section 3-A Division title.

While Wright was the featured back for El Camino Real, Walker often shared the spotlight, first with Jason Anderson in 1995, then with George Garcia the last two seasons.

Despite adjusting to a different offensive scheme each season, Walker still managed to score 41 touchdowns.

Wright and Walker are expected to be the main ballcarriers for the West along with Robby Coppola of Calabasas and Sedric Hurns of Taft.

When not playing tailback, either player might be split wide in a receiver position for West Coach Rick Hayashida, who coached Wright at El Camino Real.

Wright is used to the catching passes, having made 40 receptions in the last three years. But pass-catching will be a relatively new experience for Walker, whose two receptions last year were his first at the varsity level.

"Quincy is a little bit faster and Vinny is a little bit bigger," Hayashida said. "They're both good enough. We're going to get them the ball."

Both players endured many early morning and late-night bus rides to play in the Valley.

Wright attended Hale Middle School and, rather than spend hours on a bus, often stayed overnight with an uncle in Reseda or the home of quarterback Aaron Fredette.

"It wasn't so bad, I got used to it after a while," Wright said.

Walker knew he wanted to go to Monroe since the third grade, the first year his mother sent him to a school in the Valley.

During the summer, Walker had to take a bus if he wanted to play in summer passing leagues or workouts.

Both players persevered.

"I'm better for it now," Walker said.

Wright, 5 feet 10 and 175 pounds, signed with New Mexico in February.

Walker, 6-0 and 190 pounds, fell just short of a qualifying score on the SAT. He said Colorado State has offered him a scholarship if he can pass the test. Walker expects to learn the results of his latest attempt next week.

"I'm going to make it," Walker said. "If it does turn out I have to go to junior college, then I'll do it, but you haven't seen the last of me."

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