By Ray Hamill —From the Killer Bs to the 49ers, Fortuna senior Coltyn Corning announced recently that he will be taking his talents to Yuba College after graduation.
The Huskies quarterback signed his letter of intent at a gathering in front of friends, family and teammates and will join a Yuba program in transition with a new coaching staff taking over this offseason.
The 49ers, who compete in the same conference as College of the Redwoods, are looking to re-establish their program after going winless in 2022, and Corning is hoping he can play a role in that turnaround.
“I met the new head coach (Mike Pomfret), and me and him just kind of hit it off,” he said. “And I took a tour of the school, and I really liked it there.”
Corning got his first taste of high school varsity action as a sophomore, when he was a team leader on the Fortuna “Killer Bs” B team during the COVID-shortened season in the spring of 2021.
With nine H-DN schools competing in football, the Huskies fielded a second team that season so no school would have to endure a bye week in the schedule in what was just a five-week campaign.
The young Huskies battled while losing all of their games, but Corning got some valuable experience that would eventually help establish him as a key player for the ‘A’ team and help prepare him for the college game.
And Fortuna head coach Mike Benbow believes the young signal caller has the tools and the temperament to succeed at the next level.
“Well, first of all, he’s an extremely hard worker,” the longtime Huskies coach said. “And he’s very coachable. And I think he’s going to be very successful because he’s going to get some very good coaching and he’ll do what he’s asked.”
Benbow added that Corning also “has a very strong arm,” something he’ll need while playing for Yuba.
Under Pomfret, Corning will have to adjust his game and become more of a pocket passer, but he says he’s fine with that and looking forward to the challenge.
“Coach P wants me to play quarterback and fight for a starting spot, but it’s going to be a lot more keeping me in the pocket,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of transfers and a lot of good receivers coming in that are really fast, and I’m excited to work with them.”
Corning is the latest Fortuna QB to take his talents to the collegiate level — a testament to how Benbow and his coaches help to prepare them for the jump — and the third to play in the American – Pacific 7 Conference, where he could play against College of the Redwoods.
Last fall, Fortuna’s Max Hough enjoyed an outstanding freshman season with the Corsairs, while fellow Husky Daedon Taylor was a back-up on the high-flying Feather River conference championship winning team.
Corning is hoping to follow in that tradition and believes playing for Fortuna has helped him develop as a player.
“(The coaches) were always making sure we were disciplined, and keeping our heads up and never getting down on ourselves,” he said. “(They taught me) how to be a good leader, not just on the field, but out in the community.”
The Huskies senior got his start on the football field playing for the McKinleyville youth program at the age of 8 and transferred to Fortuna High as a sophomore in the midst of the pandemic.
And he has enjoyed playing at every stop.
“I’ve had a lot of fun, it’s been a good experience,” he said. “I’ll remember making a lot of good memories and a lot of good friends and teammates.”
Corning also hopes to continue his playing career at a four-year school after his time at Yuba College, while pursuing a degree in Criminology.
“It’s something I’ve thought about if the opportunity is presented to me,” he said. “I would love to play football as long as I can. That’s the goal, to go beyond Yuba.”
As for the people who have influenced him along the way?
“I would say my parents (Cindy and Brian Corning) and teammates and coaches have all had some type of impact on me,” he said.
Yuba is scheduled to play at Redwoods this fall, with the date yet to be finalized.