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One To Watch

September 26, 2002|Ben Bolch


School: Los Angeles Cathedral * Position: Running back * Height: 5-10 * Weight: 178

Good things happen when Terrance Flournoy touches the football.

The freshman has averaged 24.7 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns this season in only 11 rushing attempts--as a third-string running back for Cathedral High.

"He doesn't act like a 14-year-old," said Coach Kevin Pearson. "As soon as I told him he was playing, he never quivered or looked at me funny. He's going to be a special kid."

Flournoy probably would have played junior varsity football this season had Cathedral's starting fullback and tailback not transferred to Gardena Serra. When the season started, Flournoy was still third on the depth chart, behind junior Devin Martinez and senior Chris Flores.

But after rushing for 272 yards in the Phantoms' first two games--blowout victories over L.A. Marshall and L.A. Belmont--Flournoy has been promoted to starter, alongside Martinez. Flournoy could supplant Martinez as the first-string tailback as the season progresses, Pearson said, to allow Martinez to concentrate on playing linebacker.

"He's coming along faster than expected," Pearson said. "He's very intelligent, picking up blitzes and blocking linebackers real well."

Credit Derwin Henderson of the Los Angeles Police Department for much of Flournoy's success. Henderson arrested Flournoy when he was a 9-year-old delinquent, then agreed to the pleas of the boy's mother to take him in and set him straight. Flournoy still sees his mother on weekends but is quick to acknowledge that it was Henderson who steered him in the right direction.

"He makes sure I do good in school," Flournoy said. "If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't do nothing. I'd probably be one of those thugs."

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