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Napa County Football Insider: Justin-Siena grad Willard 'medically retires' at Oregon State
County Football Insider

Napa County Football Insider: Justin-Siena grad Willard 'medically retires' at Oregon State

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Aidan Willard, a quarterback who was at Oregon State for three years, has medically retired, it was reported by the Corvallis Gazette-Times at, The Oregonian/OregonLive at, and at

The 2017 Justin-Siena High School graduate and redshirt junior “decided to medically retire this past offseason,” The Oregonian/OregonLive reported on Oct. 6.

Reports of Willard’s decision came as Oregon State released its updated roster prior to the start of its 2020 training camp.

He redshirted in 2017 and played in one game, during the 2018 season, against Arizona State.

Willard started each of his four years at Justin-Siena. He played on the Braves’ CIF North Coast Section Division IV championship team in 2014.

During his career at Justin-Siena, he threw for over 2,800 yards with 29 touchdown passes. He rushed for over 1,900 yards with 17 touchdowns.

He was named as the Offensive Player of the Year on the Napa Valley Register’s All-Napa County team as a junior.

He was selected honorable mention on the All-North Coast Section team by

He was chosen honorable mention on offense on the All-Marin County Athletic League team as a senior.

Taylor and Hodge all-time greats

Donnie Taylor of Calistoga High and Pat Hodge of Vintage High, two of the all-time top players in Napa County history, are included in a report, “Football Blasts From The Past,” announced on Nov. 2.

It’s a “look back in time to approximately the same week of the California high school football season from 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years ago,” the website reported.

As a linebacker, Taylor is recognized as one of the “state’s leading small school players” 30 years ago, during the 1990 season.

It was 40 years ago, during the 1980 season, when Hodge starred as a tailback in the Big Game for Vintage.

“This was a time when the Vintage vs. Napa High Big Game in Napa was perhaps at its most exciting,” said. “The Crushers entered the 1980 game 7-0 and were No. 9 in the state. The Indians were looking for the upset, but head coach Burl Autry’s boys got a 35-18 triumph. Senior Pat Hodge had his biggest night of the year with 29 carries for 240 yards and scored three times. Hodge also went over 1,000 yards rushing for the season.”

Napa High among the ranked teams

Napa High was recognized in a report on Oct. 29 as being one of the Northern California ranked teams, at 7-0-2 during Week No. 9 of the 1981 season.

In a Nov. 5 report by, Napa was recognized as a Northern California ranked team with its 8-0-2 record during Week 10 of the 1981 season.

Napa High’s Farris recognized

Brent Farris is one of the top players in Napa High boys basketball history, as he was named All-MEL and All-Napa County, All-Sac-Joaquin Section, All-Superior California and All-State. The 1991 graduate went on to play for Napa Valley College and Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. He was selected All-West Coast Conference during the 1994-95 season for Saint Mary’s.

A two-sport athlete, Farris also played football at Napa, starring as a linebacker. He was named to All-MEL, All-County and All-State teams.

Farris, inducted into the Napa High Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018, was recognized by in the website’s “Football Blasts From The Past” on Oct. 22.

He was included among the “leading linebackers in the state” 30 years ago, during the 1990 season.

AC’s Sweeney featured on Northern Arizona website

A feature story on Anthony Sweeney, a redshirt sophomore safety for Northern Arizona University who is from American Canyon, appears on the Lumberjacks’ website at

The Oct. 27 story by NAU Athletic Communications, “Anthony Sweeney Translates De La Salle Success to NAU Football,” covers Sweeney’s career in high school and his play for Northern Arizona.

Sweeney had a team-high 83 total tackles during the 2019 season for Northern Arizona.

Sweeney, a sociology major, earned Fall Big Sky All-Academic honors last year.

He played on three CIF state championship teams and was a two-year captain at De La Salle High School-Concord.

“You’ve got to find new ways to lead,” Sweeney said in the story. “This is college football, and college football is a big deal and it gets tough at times. Being somebody who prides himself on being the best person I can be, I like to think leadership is one of my greatest qualities. I’ve been a leader my whole life, so all the experiences that I’ve had and that I’ve gone through, they’ve helped me become the leader I am today.”

Tremblay plays for USC in opener

Caleb Tremblay, a Vintage High graduate, started at defensive tackle for USC on Saturday and was credited with two assisted tackles in the Trojans’ 28-27 win over Arizona State in a season-opening game at the LA Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

Tremblay is a redshirt senior defensive lineman for USC. He is a transfer from American River College-Sacramento.

At Vintage, he was selected first-team All-Monticello Empire League on defense as a junior and senior.

Gramlick sees action for UCLA

Lucas Gramlick, a redshirt sophomore offensive lineman who is from American Canyon, saw action for UCLA in the Bruins’ 48-42 loss on Saturday to Colorado in a season-opening game at Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo.

Gramlick is an American Canyon High graduate and was named as the Napa Valley Register Athlete of the Year in 2017.

He was named to the UCLA Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for the winter of 2019.

Sykes, Luckey among all-time leaders for coaching wins in Fairfield

Jim Sykes, a former Fairfield High coach, and Kevin Luckey, a former Vanden coach who makes his home in Napa, are on the “all-time city coaching wins list” in a report by the Fairfield Daily Republic at

Sykes, a former Justin-Siena head coach, leads the all-time top-10 list with 110 wins at Fairfield High. Sykes was with the Falcons from 1981-97.

With 33 wins, Luckey is No. 10 on the list. He was at Vanden from 1987-92 and also in 2004.

Luckey was Napa Valley College’s dean of P.E. and athletics and the Storm’s Athletic Director from 2006-2013.

Also on the Top-10 list are Ed Serpas of Vanden, Rich Woods of Vanden, Buck Bailey of Armijo, Mike Singer of Armijo, LeVon Haynes of Vanden, Ed Hopkins of Armijo, Sean Murphy of Vanden, and Ron Beverly Sr., of Vanden.

State’s Top 25 Quarterbacks

Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers lead the list of the “Top 25 California Quarterbacks,” reported on Oct. 16.

“The list, based heavily on NFL accomplishments with a nod to high school and college performance, has Brady at No. 1 and Rodgers at No. 2,” reported.

“Two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, the duo also rank as the top two signal callers in California history in our look at the Golden State’s best ever at that position.”

Brady, at No. 1, is from Serra-San Mateo.

Rodgers, at No. 2, is from Pleasant Valley-Chico.

The list also has:

No. 3 John Elway, Granada Hills Charter-Granada Hills; No. 4, Dan Fouts, St. Ignatius-San Francisco; No. 5 Norm Van Brocklin, Acalanes-Lafayette; No. 6 Warren Moon, Hamilton-Los Angeles; No. 7 Randall Cunningham, Santa Barbara; No. 8, Carson Palmer, Santa Margarita-Rancho Santa Margarita; No. 9 Bob Waterfield, Van Nuys; No. 10, Jim Plunkett, James Lick-San Jose.

No. 11, John Brodie, Oakland Tech; No. 12, Craig Morton, Campbell; No. 13, Daryle Lamonica, Clovis; No. 14 Jeff Garcia, Gilroy; No. 15, Ken O’Brien, Jesuit-Carmichael.

No. 16, Derek Carr, Bakersfield Christian; No. 17, Alex Smith, Helix-La Mesa; No. 18, Colin Kaepernick, Pitman-Turlock; No. 19, Billy Kilmer, Azusa; No. 20, Jim Harbaugh, Palo Alto.

No. 21, Matt Leinart, Mater Dei-Santa Ana; No. 22, Brian Sipe, Grossmont-El Cajon; No. 23 Trent Dilfer, Aptos; No. 24, Steve DeBerg, Savanna-Anaheim; No. 25, Jared Goff, Marin Catholic-Kentfield.

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