February 18, 2010

Colton's Strauss talks Oregon, Chip Kelly

Colton Athletic Director Harold Strauss knows a thing or two about high school football. Retiring in November of last year following the Yellowjacket's 10-2 campaign, Strauss coached for nearly 30 years in the prep ranks, amassing 229 wins in the process. The Oregon Ducks have been recruiting Colton for years, but in 2010 they finally broke through, signing not one but two of Strauss' players.

With over 3200 students enrolled, the four-year school has sent plenty of football talent to the college ranks. DB/LB Derrick Malone and K Alejandro Maldonado are two of the top recruits out of Colton since Shareece Wright in the class of 2006. Coach Strauss exuded pride when speaking about the pair.

"That's the thing with both those kids," began Strauss. "They are so humble and as a coach you love to see those kids go on. They are kids that will be best friends of our coaching staff forever. They just don't forget where they're from. And I think those are the kind of kids you guys are recruiting."

Even though coaches can't always control what players do in their free time, the Colton High School staff and the Oregon Ducks mirror each other in the family atmosphere they foster. Strauss indicated that was a key in his players' minds during the process.

"That has been what has impressed me over the years knowing (Oregon ST/TE coach) Tom Osborne," said Strauss. "He has been recruiting our area forever. We were excited to see them pick Oregon just because of that. We know that they are going up there with other good kids to good coaches and they are going to get treated as human beings. That will help them grow to be great young men and that's what this is all about."

Having been with Colton for three decades, the highly respected Strauss was not certain at first what kind of head coach the Ducks had hired in Chip Kelly. He knows now.

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