Making choices, even under duress, has never been a problem for Christian Rossi.
Specifically, the Clovis North High senior quarterback wowed his own coaches, opposing coaches -- any coach who observed him in person or on film -- in the fall while routinely escaping trouble in the pocket, keeping his progression of receivers in order and firing strikes on the run.
"Putting heat on him did not do any good because you couldn't put him on the ground," said Mike Vogt, who coached against Rossi for two years at Buchanan in the Tri-River Athletic Conference. "But he wouldn't look to run; he'd look downfield and extend plays. And his accuracy, man, he just didn't miss open guys. He was the difference-maker in our league."
But the burning question: Where will Rossi -- The Bee's Player of the Year in football after also making The Bee's All-Star baseball team as a shortstop last spring -- make a difference after high school?
College football? College baseball? Or professional baseball?
This is a choice he's not prepared to make.
"Baseball will have to play out and then I'll make a choice," the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder said. "Sooner the better to get the pressure off, but I'm in no rush. It's a good feeling to have the opportunity to choose. I have options."
Options are what Clovis North's offense had aplenty in a 12-2 season that saw the Broncos average 38.4 points against high-caliber opposition while winning the Central Section Division I title and becoming the section's first D-I team to advance to the Southern California Regionals.
Clovis North, coming off a 2011 D-II championship under Rossi, delivered two 1,000-yard rushers in Carson Guzman and Bolu Olorunfunmi, had wide receiver firepower in Marcus Rose and Tymon Locklin and massive tight ends in Bee All-Stars David Wells and Josh Lovingood.
But it began and ended with Rossi, a Cal-Hi Sports All-State selection, who leaves with school records for single-season passing yards (2,735) and touchdowns (26) and career passing yards (4,762) and TDs (44).
"They were going to be good no matter what," Vogt says, "but Rossi just made them above all the rest."
Broncos coach Cory Hall adds: "No issues, no problems. He's a smart, good, athletic and nice kid with poise, leadership and strong game-management skills -- everything you would want in a starting quarterback."
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: CHRISTIAN ROSSI
School: Clovis North
-- He's qualified because: One year after guiding the Broncos to a 9-3 record and the Central Section Division II title, he led them to a 12-2 mark, the D-I championship, the section's first D-I Southern California Regional appearance and a final No. 21 state ranking by Cal-Hi Sports. Combining exceptional awareness, elusiveness and accuracy, he completed 161 of 254 passes (63%) for school records 2,735 yards and 26 touchdowns, with only eight interceptions. Two-year career marks of 4,762 yards and 44 TDs are school standards. Next: The Bee All-Star shortstop will have three choices -- college football or college or professional baseball.
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