It would have been tough to disagree with Nathan Farris had he made the move. Brethren Christian had just lost the lease on its building in Cypress, and for a while it was a mystery where the school would land.
A site was finally located at a former middle school in Huntington Beach, but it was a long way from Farris' neighborhood in Norwalk. Soon several teammates began transferring to Brethren Christian's cross-town rival, Cerritos Valley Christian, which is a five-minute drive from his house. It was an option Farris also considered, but after a week of deep thought and prayer, Farris chose to return to Brethren Christian for his senior year.
"I have a lot of friends here, and my coach has done everything to get me into college ball. I just can't leave him like that," Farris said. "So I just wanted to stick with it and finish my senior year here at Brethren."
His decision to remain with the school not only meant his drive time would increase significantly, but he'd also have to spend much of his summer breathing new life into the dilapidated building.
"When we first got here everything was really dirty, it hadn't been used in six or seven years," he said. "We had to make our weight room out of an old home ec room. We pulled out all of the stuff from there, we put in our weights and we decorated. That's basically what we've been doing over the summer. More labor than actually practicing football."
The start of classes already has been pushed back a week because of delays in preparing the facility, but there will be no holding back the football schedule, which begins Saturday against Cerritos at Clark Field in Long Beach.
"A lot of other people aren't expecting us to do a lot, but from what I've seen over the summer we can do pretty well." Farris said. "We went 3-7 last year, but I know we can do better than that if we just try."
The return of Farris to the program means a lot to Brethren Christian's chances. Farris is the offensive leader at the wide receiver position and is the fastest player on the team. Since the Warriors lost both kickers to Valley Christian, he will inherit those responsibilities as well.
Farris had 40 receptions last season, including six for touchdowns. He's been timed at 4.49 in the 40-yard dash and has drawn the attention of several Western Athletic Conference schools. At a summer camp at Colorado State in June, only three athletes, all from Rialto Eisenhower, ran faster times in the 40. Aside from his size (5-11, 160), Brethren Christian Coach Bruce Eien said Farris has all the tools to be a great college receiver.
"He has great hands and he runs great routes," Eien said. "He's definitely the best receiver we've ever had at this school."
His big-play abilities will come in handy if the Warriors hope to succeed in Olympic League play. Their first league game is the one circled on every player's calendar, Valley Christian on Oct. 2.
"There's going to be some talking, especially on the line," Farris said. "We can talk to our players and tell them not to do it, but it's going to happen and we've just got to play through it."
Farris expects to see a lot of Brian Pappagallo during that game. Pappagallo, one of seven starters to depart for Valley Christian, was the Warriors' best defensive back last season and a viable offensive threat as well.
"I'm kind of looking forward to it," Farris said. "I want to do really good in that game and I know we're all going to be pumped up to do our best. And it's at their place so we're going to come in there fired up."