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Platooning Parker, Winn Profitable for Canyons


VALENCIA — Most quarterbacks caught in a platooning situation would pout and give each other the evil eye.

At College of the Canyons, sophomore Travis Winn and freshman David Parker have a more mature attitude.

"It seems to work OK," Winn said. "We're both getting the job done."

That's for sure.

Behind Winn and Parker, who split playing time, the Cougars are 2-0 and ranked No. 12 in the state by the J.C. Athletic Bureau.

Winn, from Chatsworth High, is the starter. He has completed 26 of 53 passes for 357 yards and two touchdowns.

Parker, from Saugus, is 19 of 33 for 299 yards and two touchdowns.

"I actually like it," Parker said of the setup. "I'm happy that I'm able to play."

Coach Chuck Lyon didn't initially plan to use two quarterbacks. But when Winn returned in top form after shoulder surgery last year and Parker performed well in camp, Lyon couldn't shove one aside in favor of the other.

"There's a couple of reasons," Lyon said. "No. 1, they are both very competent quarterbacks. They know the system and they execute the system.

"The other reason is Travis Winn went through surgery and worked his tail off to come back, and he's one of the best kids I've ever met and deserves to play.

"David Parker is also one of the best kids I've met and also deserves to play."

So is everybody happy?

They say they are, quickly defusing thoughts about a quarterback controversy.

"Me and David have become good friends," Winn said.

Winn, 5 feet 11 and 180 pounds, transferred to Canyons from Valley after the 1998 season. He started the first four games for the Monarchs, but former coach Gary Barlow turned to Eric Holtfreter in the fifth game and Winn was relegated to backup.

He finished with 819 yards passing, six touchdowns and 60.2% completion rate.

Winn's season with the Cougars last year came to an abrupt end in the second game, when he damaged ligaments in his throwing shoulder and required surgery.

"I had doubts after the surgery," Winn said. "I expected to be back in about a month, two months tops. When summer came, I started feeling stronger."

While Winn recovered, Parker was picking apart defenses at Saugus.

Parker, 6-1 and 180, was selected All-Foothill League after passing for 3,203 yards and 42 touchdowns. He also chipped in on defense, splitting time between cornerback and safety.

Playing only quarterback, and part-time at that, is an adjustment for Parker.

"It's kind of weird not being out there all the time," Parker said. "But in a way it's easy for me because as the plays are going on [with Winn on the field], the coaches are telling me what reads I should be making."

Neither Winn nor Parker are missing many reads. Parker has not thrown an interception and Winn has only one. They combined for 302 yards passing and three touchdowns in a 48-9 nonconference victory over Antelope Valley last week.

The two are effective in the same system despite having different styles and tools.

"Travis is probably more accurate, but his arm is not as strong as David's, probably because of the surgery," Lyon said. "David is a better scrambler and Travis has more experience."

Winn and Parker are sharing duties against Glendale (1-1) at Canyons on Saturday night in the Western State Conference Northern Division opener for both teams. It'll be another step in the experiment, one that is not bound to change except for unexpected reasons.

"You want to play every single snap," Winn said. "But we are dealing with it. We are fine with it."



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Details on Page 16

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