Brett Washington, Granada Hills High’s massive running back, not only leaves behind a trail of battered defenders as he concludes his three-year varsity career, he bequeaths a remarkable legacy in area football annals.
The 6-foot, 220-pound senior has posted a unique daily double. As a junior, the running back/linebacker who started his career as a nose guard, was named The Times’ Valley lineman of the year. Twelve months later, he has become the Valley’s back of the year, forming bookend awards that attest to his distinctive versatility on the field.
Washington is joined on this year’s team by Quartz Hill senior Selves Smith, a linebacker and running back who is the lineman of the year. John Albee, who led Quartz Hill to its first berth in a Southern Section championship game and an 11-3 record, is the coach of the year.
Washington, along with teammates Derrick Stewart, a defensive back, and quarterback Bryan Martin give Granada Hills three representatives on the 23-member team culled from 40 schools in the Valley. Placing two players each on the team are Canyon, Crespi, Hart, Kennedy, Quartz Hill and Sylmar.
Washington is a repeat selection along with Stewart, Kennedy’s Ontiwaun Carter and linemen Tim DeGroote (Hart) and John DiSante (Notre Dame).
Washington was to high school running backs what Charles Barkley has become to professional basketball players. The Granada Hills senior listed his playing weight at 220, admits to 225 but might weigh closer to 240. Northwest Valley Conference defensive backs are resting easier now that they no longer face the prospect of squaring off with Washington as he turns the corner.
He rushed for 1,638 yards and scored 24 touchdowns and 146 points, all school records, and finished his three-year career with 3,410 yards, 49 touchdowns and 296 points, the best marks in school history.
Granada Hills co-Coach Darryl Stroh likens Washington to Earl Campbell, the former NFL running back with a pair of massive thighs.
“I don’t know know what Campbell was like in high school, but I can’t imagine that he was any better than Washington,” Stroh said.
But Washington is more than just a big load to handle. He’s surprisingly quick. Among the 14 school records he set in his career is longest run from scrimmage, a 93-yard jaunt that came as part of a five-touchdown game against Compton. He also had two other runs of longer than 80 yards this season.
Perhaps the only good news for Granada Hills’ opponents is that Washington tempers his explosive power in a gentle disposition. The soft-spoken player will be remembered at the school as much for his personality as for his records.
When asked to cite his favorite memories of the 1990 season, he typically ignored his individual accomplishments and cited the team’s achievements. Granada Hills won the North Valley League title and posted a 10-2 record en route to a berth in the City Section 4-A Division semifinals.
“I didn’t know I was going to get all this yardage,” he said this week. “I’m proud we finished with a good record and took the league title. I’m going to remember the friendship on the team. We respect each other and I’m going to miss everyone.”
Washington has planned a recruiting trip to Arizona and also has drawn interest from USC, Colorado and Washington. He was born and raised in Los Angeles but has no qualms about leaving the area.
“I don’t mind, I want to explore the world,” he said.
ALL-VALLEY TEAM SKETCHES: C18
SECOND-TEAM CHART: C18
ALL-VENTURA CHART: Ventura County Edition
1990 PREP FOOTBALL ALL-STARS OFFENSE
NAME POSITION SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT Bryan Martin Quarterback Granada Hills 6-3 185 Tobaise Brookins Back Sylmar 5-10 175 Ontiwaun Carter Back Kennedy 5-11 176 Brett Washington Back Granada Hills 6-0 220 Delvon Hardaway Wide Receiver Chatsworth 6-1 163 Ryan Kieling Wide Receiver Crespi 5-9 1/2 160 Richard Dice Tight end Alemany 6-3 200 John Artimovich Lineman Canyon 5-11 226 Tim DeGroote Lineman Hart 6-3 255 John DiSante Lineman Notre Dame 6-4 265 Donovan Roy Lineman Montclair Prep 6-6 1/2 280 Keith West Kicker Kennedy 6-0 170
NAME YEAR Bryan Martin Senior Tobaise Brookins Junior Ontiwaun Carter Senior Brett Washington Senior Delvon Hardaway Senior Ryan Kieling Senior Richard Dice Junior John Artimovich Senior Tim DeGroote Senior John DiSante Senior Donovan Roy Senior Keith West Senior
NAME POSITION SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT Leonice Brown Back San Fernando 6-0 182 Frederick Edwards Back Antelope Valley 6-1 175 Girmar Johnson Back Sylmar 6-1 190 Derrick Stewart Back Granada Hills 5-11 180 Iheanyi Uwaezuoke Back Harvard 6-2 180 Scott Blade Linebacker Canyon 6-0 192 Darnell Hendricks Linebacker Taft 6-2 190 Frank Romano Linebacker Crespi 6-3 217 Selves Smith Linebacker Quartz Hill 5-11 1/2 205 Ralph Gutierrez Lineman Quartz Hill 6-3 215 George Kase Lineman Hart 6-3 230
NAME YEAR Leonice Brown Senior Frederick Edwards Junior Girmar Johnson Senior Derrick Stewart Senior Iheanyi Uwaezuoke Senior Scott Blade Senior Darnell Hendricks Senior Frank Romano Senior Selves Smith Senior Ralph Gutierrez Junior George Kase Senior