FONTANA, CA. – Armed with some of the most highly recruited players at quarterback, wide receiver and cornerback, Team Pro Way Hot Boyz survived Passing Down’s most intense gauntlet yet at Ralph Lewis Sports Park in Fontana: a record 62-team field filled with verbal commits and the best high school players west of the Grand Canyon.
The Calabasas based team that’s owned and managed by former NFL player Darick Holmes went undefeated in the March 20 Southern California regional, culminating in a climatic 14-6 victory over Ground Zero Panoramic in the championship game.
“It was a lot of work and extraordinary for us to come out here. We did tremendous today and won almost nine games without a loss today,” tournament Most Valuable Player Tyjon Lindsey said, who provided the most clutch catches and electrifying touchdown celebrations throughout the day.
In the title game, the 5-foot-9, 161-pound slot receiver executed a slant route against a loaded Ground Zero secondary that featured top prospects Olaijah Griffin (four scholarship offers including Oregon and UCLA) and Jaiden Woodbey (10 offers including Louisville). Lindsey, though, executed a double move in man coverage, cut right and found himself open in the end zone to put Pro Way ahead for good. He then busted out a cartwheel and two backflips in celebration; which was his trademark dance throughout the regional.
“It was a 2-yard play, but it was a big play because we had to drive 70 yards and show that we have the stamina to do it. We wore them out,” Lindsey said. “If I didn’t catch that, they could’ve scored and this trophy wouldn’t be in my hands and our team trophy wouldn’t be in our hands.”
Lindsey, who holds 23 reported offers and is listed as one of the top slot wideouts in the nation according to different media scouting websites, was one of three big time targets at the disposal of Tristan Gebbia. The Calabasas High 2017 quarterback – who has Ole Miss, Alabama and Washington trying to court him – spread the ball around to Lindsey, Keyshawn Johnson Jr. and tall 6-foot-3 target Brian Hightower, who flew all the way from Florida to be with his Pro Way teammates.
Defensively, Brendan “Bookie” Radley-Hiles provided a crucial swat in the end zone toward the end of the title game.
“I played off by seven or eight yards (that play). I stayed with the quarterback the whole time. He shot the ball my way and I broke up the pass on a slant route. When I saw the ball, I wanted to make that play,” Radley-Hiles said.
Along with assistance from fellow top defensive recruits Darnay Holmes, Marques Evans and Cameron Trimble, the 2018 prospect with nine offers helped charge a defense that slowed down a dynamic Ground Zero offense led by USC running back commit Stephen Carr.
“This title was for the city (of Calabasas). We put on for the whole state, but primarily the south side. It shows who the best out here is,” Radley-Hiles said.
Radley-Hiles, who transferred to Calabasas High from Las Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman recently, thanked Holmes for putting him on the Pro Way.
“That’s the man with the plan,” Radley-Hiles said. “He welcomed me with open arms. He told me ‘Make plays and I’ll help get you out (to colleges),’” Radley-Hiles said.
By Lorenzo Reyna