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High School Sports

Reseda passing game will challenge El Camino Real in City Section Division I final

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Receiver Dranel Rhodes, left, quarterback Trent Butler and receiver Mario Martinez have been key figures in leading Reseda into the City Section Division I championship football game against El Camino Real.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Former Reseda football coach Joel Schaeffer used to follow the Woody Hayes philosophy on offense: Three things can happen when you pass and two of them are bad.

Coach Alonso Arreola played for Schaeffer and apparently didn’t listen to his mentor, because he has the Regents throwing the ball often in helping them reach Saturday’s City Section Division I championship game against El Camino Real at 6 p.m. at El Camino College.

“I think he’d be proud,” Arreola said of the late Schaeffer, who guided Reseda to 2-A and 3-A City titles over 23 years. He died in 2013.

Arreola adapted to his personnel, and with good receivers and an experienced quarterback, he has turned them loose. Quarterback Trent Butler and receivers Dranel Rhodes, Mario Martinez and Jason Wagner have led the Regents to a 9-3 record.

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Reseda is in its first Division I final. This is Arreola’s 14th season as coach. Many of his assistants are also Reseda graduates. That kind of stability has led to a consistency and enabled Reseda to slowly rise up in divisions.

Reseda has a win over El Camino Real 28-14 on Aug. 29. The Conquistadores are much improved, as demonstrated by taking down No. 1-seeded Eagle Rock last week.

Arreola was visiting a store when he ran into another former Reseda player who played for Schaeffer. The alumnus congratulated him and said, “Sure wish you’d run the ball more.”

Yes, the Joel Schaeffer influence is still around. But Schaeffer would also be passing if that’s what it took to win.


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