Antonio Hinojosa is somewhat of a luxury for Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan.
Hinojosa will be behind center Friday night (Aug. 23) when the Pride lock up with national and Nevada-power Las Vegas Bishop Gorman in the 8th annual Sollenberger Classic. Hinojosa,a 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior, will be the first quarterback to return aat the position since Vaughan took over as coach prior to the 2009 season.
“He's very good and we're glad to have him back there,” Vaughan said. “I haven't had the same quarterback for more than one year. He's the first. A great kid, throws it well and he can run it.”
Ah. Stability at quarterback. Hinojosa passed for 2,255 yards and 31 touchdowns last year in the Pride's run to the 2012 Division I title game with Hamilton that netted them a runner-up trophy. He'll have another good corps of receivers at his disposal and hopefully the usual effective running game, which makes Hinojosa's job easier if that aspect is in tow. Hinojosa's final numbers (yards and TDs) were by the far the best in Vaughan' tenure there.
“I'm comfortable,” Hinojosa said. “A second year helps a lot. Much of what we do now is second nature to me. We have some new guys on offense, but it hasn't been a problem getting on the same page.”
One area the left-handed Hinojosa aims to shore up is the pick department. Other than two three-pick games — Hamilton and Brophy — Hinojosa was efficient and on target most of the time.
“I want to cut down on the interceptions,” Hinojosa said. “I think I had 10 or 11 (12). Something like that. I'd like that rate to be half an interception a game, not close to one per game.”
Hinojosa put the finishing touches on the Pride's full-blown workouts on Wednesday night. He looked sharp throwing and got used to the surface he and his teammates will play on Friday night. Mountain Pointe worked on a synthetic turf field made available to them by Faith Luthernan High, another private school in Las Vegas with an outstanding athletic complex surrounding a scenic area.
“The field felt good,” Hinojosa said. “Cuts you make are very sharp. It seemed easier for linemen to dig in.”
NOTES: Vaughan characcterized Wednesday's two-hour workout, a “great practice”.”We still made some mistakes. But what a nice facility. We're very thankful to them for allowing us to work out on their field, help us get used to what we'll be playing on Friday. I was really pleased with the faciiltiy and the setting. It was a great atmosphere.”
Mountain Pointe wide receiver-safety Jalen Brown did some light running on the sideline Wednesday evening as Vaughan elected to have his standout four-year starter rest a “slight pull”.
“We'll have a walk-through practice (Thursday),” Vaughan said and we'll see how he does with that. “After that, we'll see if he can go Friday.”