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Will Power

Receiver Broadous Giving Valencia Another Dimension


VALENCIA — The son of a preacher man has done a lot of soul searching in recent weeks.

Every day, Will Broadous asks himself if the last two years weren't a colossal mistake, that maybe he should have answered the higher calling, received regularly from Valencia High's football coach.

Wanting to concentrate on basketball, his favorite sport, Broadous regularly rebuffed on-campus recruiting efforts by Coach Brian Stiman and his staff, who saw unlimited potential in the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Broadous.

When they finally gave up the fight and focused their attention elsewhere, Broadous made a button-hook into Stiman's office and committed himself to seeing just how good a football player he could be.

The answers came quickly.

Broadous is an excellent player, one of the region's best wide receivers.

He has caught 24 passes for 585 yards and his next touchdown reception will tie the school record of nine.

But there's one question that will never be answered: Just how good would Broadous be had he played throughout his high school career?

"That's all I think about," he said. "I look in the mirror and tell myself I should have played."

Broadous, the youngest of five children, is a member of one of the region's first families of religion and community activism.

Grandfather Hillery T. Broadous founded the Calvary Baptist Church in Pacoima in 1955 and presided there until his death in 1982. The L.A. Unified School District named a Pacoima elementary school after him. He and wife Rosa were founding members of the NAACP's Valley chapter.

Several of Hillery and Rosa's 10 children followed in their footsteps, including Will's uncle Zedar, who was elected president of the NAACP Valley chapter, and father William, who has been the pastor at the church since his father's death.

Will doesn't figure to follow that path.

"My father knows that's not my thing," he said.

Broadous gave up football when he transferred from Canyon High after his freshman year and focused his attention on improving his basketball skills.

A starting forward the last two seasons at Valencia, he averaged 10 points a game and was second in the Foothill League in rebounding as a junior.

Prodding from his brother, Kenny Taylor-Broadous, Valencia's first quarterback when the program began in 1994, convinced Broadous to give football one more try.

Broadous wears jersey No. 4, the same as his brother.

"Everything happens when it's supposed to," Stiman said. "With Will, it just wasn't his time. It's his time now."

And every Viking player knows it.

"He is a complete stallion," said quarterback Kyle Bauer, who is on pace to break the school's passing record. "Who wouldn't love throwing to a 6-3 guy who is as fast as they come and as smart as they come? He's an absolute stud."

Stiman says he has begun receiving calls from college coaches regarding Broadous.

"They're watching films sent to them by other schools we've played and say, 'Wait a minute, who's that No. 4 guy for Valencia?' " Stiman said.

Opponents are very aware of Broadous.

Last week, Foothill League rival Saugus set out to contain Broadous. He finished with seven receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns.

Determined not to let Broadous beat them in the final seconds, game films show four defenders blanketing Broadous on a crucial down.

With that much attention on Broadous, Bauer connected with Nick Scott for the game-winning touchdown pass with four seconds left in a 20-14 victory.

"We definitely need to know where he is at all the time," said Coach Mike Herrington of Hart (4-2, 1-0 in league play), which plays Valencia (5-1, 1-0) tonight at College of the Canyons in a game that should decide the league championship.

"He's their major threat out there. They probably wouldn't be as good right now if they didn't have him."

Valencia is good, to be sure.

For the first time, the fifth-ranked Vikings are rated ahead of two-time defending Southern Section champion Hart, ranked sixth, in the Division III poll.

If opponents think Broadous has great range on the football field, they should hear him sing.

A longtime member of the choir at Calvary Baptist, Broadous can belt out a gospel song with the best of them.

He also entertains teammates with catchy ad-lib rap songs during their team dinners at a Stevenson Ranch steak house on Thursday nights.

Last week, Broadous answered the team's challenge by rapping about a spoon on the place-setting.

"He really entertains our whole table," Bauer said.

Now, Broadous is also entertaining the idea of a future in football.

"People have been telling me since the ninth grade that I was good, but I didn't accept it," said Broadous, who will rejoin the basketball team when the football season is over. "Now I might stick with football."

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