Contra Costa Times
Posted: 07/10/2012 10:30:56 AM PDT
Updated: 07/10/2012 10:30:56 AM PDT
Valley Christian High football players Logan McHone and Sean Flynn have put the Vikings' motto of "Good to great" to excellent use in sweltering Austin, Texas.
The two Division I prospects, both defensive linemen, are members of the USA Football Under-17 national team, which has trained from July 6-12 as part of International Development Week.
McHone sounded ready to go a few hours before practice began.
"We're really excited," he said. "It's an honor to be part of it and to represent our school, California, our country, and our brotherhood, the guys we play with at Valley Christian. We really wouldn't be able to do it without them and our coaches, and the environment at our school in general."
McHone and Flynn, both about 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds and incoming high school juniors, receive top-flight coaching at Valley Christian from John Parrella. The Vikings coach played defensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills during a 12-year NFL career.
"He's a very responsible coach. We all love him," McHone said of Parrella, who also starred at Nebraska.
Valley Christian enjoyed a strong season last fall. The Vikings (9-3) lost to Bay Football League-rival and eventual champion Salesian 35-7 in the North Coast Section Division IV quarterfinals.
McHone and Flynn appear to be making all the right moves. New Mexico, Cal, San Jose State and Idaho are all expressing early interest, Parrella said.
"I believe that they both will have plenty of offers from D-1 schools very shortly," Parrella said. "They have the grades, character and size to play at that level."
Recent Valley Christian graduate Andrew Aqua (6-5, 340), a heavily recruited all-BFL offensive lineman, has signed with New Mexico. He is attending summer school and working out at the university.
Parrella said USA coaches were looking for more than just football skills when they filled out their rosters.
"They want the whole thing now, grades, character, etc.," Parrella said. "They had the opportunity to see (McHone and Fynn) on tape and to see some stuff they did at combines, and they just fell in love with those two. They thought they were some of the better two they've had."
The U-17 squad was split into three groups for games on the final day: two teams will square off and a third squad would face a team from Sweden, McHone said. There are also under-15 and under-19 USA teams.
Last week the under-19 team fell 23-17 to Canada in the gold medal game of U-19 World Championships at Burger Stadium in Austin, Texas.
McHone enjoyed the warmth of Texas hospitality upon his arrival. He could probably live without the Texas heat.
"It's been hot. It's Texas," he said. "It's good meeting all the people who come from all over country and meeting the kids and making some new friends. Getting better every day."
Parrella said there is a misconception that players can get away with poor grades and still make it. Just the opposite is true.
"They're looking for kids with that 'A' average, that 'B' average, that are going to represent that university well, not only on game day but also in the classroom and off the field," Parrella said. "So this is a classic example of two kids that are doing it for our school and our football team. Now they're going to do it for the USA."
McHone has taken Parrella's philosophy to heart.
"We just need to focus on getting better every day," McHone said of the Viking way. "We have this motto called 'Good to Great' and we put that into our practice."
[Contra Costa Times Article]