By Ray Hamill — One former Hoopa Warrior recently got his first collegiate start at quarterback, as several locals continue to have an impact on the college football fields.
John Smith, a 2020 Hoopa High graduate, is playing this season for Cornell College, a Division-III program in Iowa.
Two weeks ago, the former Warrior completed 7 of 9 passes for 41 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions in a 35-14 win over Beloit in his first start for the team.
At the Division-I level, former Eureka Logger Isaak Gutierrez is enjoying another big season at left guard for the New Mexico Lobos and will travel this weekend to play UNLV at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Lobos are coming off a 38-0 loss to LSU and are now 2-2 on the season.
Gutierrez told the Alberquerque Journal this week that the loss was a learning experience for an offensive line that is a work in progress.
Former McKinleyville Panther Bryce Petersen and the Nevada Wolf Pack, meanwhile, have dropped three straight after opening the season with back-to-back wins.
The Wolf Pack are coming off a 48-20 loss to Air Force and will have a bye this weekend.
The senior is the team’s starting center.
Two other former Eureka Loggers — Cruz Montana and Kenneth Spaight — continue to impress for their respective teams at the collegiate level.
Montana is the starting quarterback for the Lewis & Clark Pioneers, who are off to 3-0 start with wins over Puget Sound, Whittier and Lewis-Clark Valley, the latter coming by a score of 79-8 this past weekend.
Montana saw just limited action in the weekend rout, as the Pioneers used four different QBs, but for the season he has thrown for 608 yards, seven TDs and just two interceptions, while also rushing for a touchdown.
Montana and the Pioneers will host Whitworth on Saturday.
Spaight, meanwhile, continues to be one of the top defensive players for the Clarke University Pride, who are 3-2.
The DB leads the team with 37 total tackles in five games, including six tackles and a pass break-up in a 20-19 win at Baker in Kansas over the weekend.
At the JC level, two former H-DNL players found the end zone for College of the Redwoods in an entertaining 34-28 win over Monterey Peninsula on Saturday.
Former Del Norte Warriors Levi Cox-Cooley scored on a 14-yard TD run, while former Eureka Logger Gary Jimenez scored on a seven-yard pick six early in the third quarter on a play that largely turned the course of the game.
Another former Del Norte Warrior, Anthony Slayton, continues to have an impact at Shasta College, where he leads the 2-2 Knights with 30 total tackles this season and seven tackles for a loss.
Slayton had a team-best 11 tackles in a 51-14 loss to Sequoias over the weekend, along with 2.5 tackles for a loss and a pass break-up.