By: John Philip Wyllie
With the NFL and collegiate football temporarily on hold last weekend due to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C., local sports fans seeking their weekly gridiron fix had but one option: high school football. Bonita Vista High's Ivan Salzedo took full advantage of the undivided attention by rushing for a career high 238 yards and three touchdowns to lead his team in a 42-14 rout of Silverado High School (Las Vegas).
Baron coach, Carl Parrick ranked Salzedo's effort as one of the three best in the school's 30 odd year history. "Ivan was a horse," Parrick said. "He got a lot of those yards on his own with second and third efforts. Whenever we need a yard, he'll get it."
Salzedo split the rushing assignments a year ago with the since departed Phillip Harrell, but has become the Barons primary ball carrier in this, his senior year. He has added to his 6'0 190 pound frame of a year ago, but still runs with the same trademark toughness and determination. Salzedo is one of the major reasons that the Barons have a good shot at winning consecutive Mesa League crowns. He also provides the team with leadership.
"At the beginning of the season, Ivan was selected by the players to be one of the team captains," Parrick explained. "He stepped down though to allow one of the players who really wanted it to take it. He is on the player's council and remains one of the leaders." Like all good leaders, Salzedo made it a point to acknowledge the people around him.
"Our whole offensive line played well," Salzedo said crediting his blockers after learning that his performance was the county's best. "We knew we had to pick it up after (the 34-7 loss to) Vista and we know we will all have to play even better to beat Eastlake next week."
Unlike many of the athletes he plays with and against, Salzedo never played organized football until coming to Bonita Vista High. "When I was little, I only played street football," Salzedo said. His late introduction to the game is not evident however from the way that he plays. When he is not battling would be tacklers on the football field, Salzedo keeps busy maintaining his status as an honor student and catching for the school's baseball team.
As pleased as he was to become the county's top rusher last week, his father's absence from the sidelines detracted from his overall enjoyment of the experience.
"That night, my dad was getting an operation on his stomach, so I wasn't as happy as I would have been since he wasn't there to see it. He did chase down a nurse the next morning to get him a newspaper to see how well we did. When he saw my picture in the paper, he (jokingly) told me I got lucky. I was thinking about him a lot that night and hoping to do something great." Mission accomplished.