Look­ing to im­prove

Canyon looks to build more con­fi­dence against High­land

The Signal - - SPORTS - By Ha­ley Sawyer Sig­nal Sports Ed­i­tor

Canyon foot­ball had a sur­prise vis­i­tor at prac­tice this week: Cow­boy alum and cur­rent Cana­dian Foot­ball League player Drew Woli­tarsky.

It was an up­lift­ing moment for the Cow­boys (1-2), but more so for one player in par­tic­u­lar: re­ceiver Luke Stu­art.

Stu­art is the only start­ing fresh­man in the re­ceiv­ing corps and had a caught a touch­down pass from Shawn Gal­lagher in last week’s loss to Ox­nard. Ac­cord­ing to coach Rich Gutierrez, his play will only im­prove this week against High­land High School of Palm­dale.

“(They have) the same kind of

free­dom,” Gutierrez said when com­par­ing Stu­art and Woli­tarsky. “When you play free in foot­ball, that’s gen­er­ally when you pre­form and Luke has that same type of con­fi­dence. He just goes out there and plays foot­ball.”

Along with Stu­art, Gal­lagher has shown im­prove­ment of his own. Canyon’s of­fense has been fo­cused on es­tab­lish­ing the ground game early in the sea­son, but tested out Gal­lagher’s arm in its last out­ing.

“The more he ac­tu­ally has the op­por­tu­nity to go out there and gain ex­pe­ri­ence, he’s go­ing to grow stronger,” said Gutierrez.

“We’re just try­ing to es­tab­lish our run­ning game and build more con­fi­dence there,” he added. “And pass de­pend­ing on what the de­fense pro­vides us.”

High­land en­ters the con­test as an 0-2 team. Golden Val­ley shut out the Bull­dogs 30-0 in the first week of pre­league.

Run­ning backs Isa­iah Creech and March­elo Burgess drove the of­fense in that game. Ke’von­tae Tip­pin was a threat on de­fense and has 15 tack­les for the Bull­dogs this sea­son.

“I al­ways say, th­ese first five games, you like to get wins, but you like to play teams that ex­pose you,” Gutierrez said. “I thought we had a good week. I’m ex­cited to get back on the field and see how much we im­proved.”

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