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Football: QB Coltin Gerhart faces Norco on Friday night

November 26, 2013|By Eric Sondheimer

 When former Norco quarterback Coltin Gerhart returns to his old high school on Friday night wearing a Vista Murrieta uniform, he might want to consult with LeBron James on how he handled returning to Cleveland for the first time.

"He's a very smart kid, a 4.7 grade-point average," Coach Casey Candaele said. "I talked to him after the game on Friday and he knew this was coming."

Gerhart left Norco after his father, Todd, was fired as football coach. The entire Gerhart family, from dad, mom, brothers and sisters, have been athletic stars at Norco. Gerhart still has lots of friends on the team, but some fans won't be in a welcoming mood.

"He understands the animosity of him leaving Norco and coming back on a different team, expects it and knows how to deal with it," Candaele said. "It's just a football game. It's not war. He figures he's going to get booed when he shows up."

Norco Coach Larry Baker has known Gerhart since he was born. "He's a great kid and a great athlete and comes from a great family," he said. "He's going to be a challenge."

Gerhart, an Arizona State commit, is having his typical outstanding season in his senior year. The brother of Minnesota Vikings running back Toby Gerhart has passed for 1,417 yards and rushed for 1,360 yards for the 11-1 Mustangs.

The coaches are trying to keep the focus on the game.

"My thing is we're going to focus as a team ran than an individual thing," Baker said. "They have great athletes throughout the program. We have to play team defense."

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