Christopher’s Junior quarterback Ben Sanford leads the team during stretching drills before practice. Sanford will look to etch his name in the annals of Cougar history in the 2017 season.

Christopher High School has a new, but familiar starting quarterback for the 2017 season in Ben Sanford.
Sanford spent his sophomore year watching from the sidelines backing senior Ryan Adamkiewicz trying to absorb as much information as he could to get him ready for the 2017-2018 season.
“It was definitely a rough experience, but it was good to learn and see what the varsity level would be like and it gave me a taste of what I would have to deal with this year and the upcoming year,” Sanford said.
Sanford comes into the season with a few series under his belt. He played last year an average of five series per game, mostly in the second half.
“It was good just getting my feet wet and see what the pressure would be like and how throwing a ball is different. It was definitely a good experience,” Sanford said.
The pressure Sanford experienced last season will vary this year because Christopher will join cross town rivals Gilroy in the Pacific Division of the Monterey League, a step-down from last year’s Gabilan Division.
“We’ll be more confident with ourselves rather than last year we were going into every game like ‘oh man, we’re going to probably take a beating this game,’ but this year we’ll be at the same level and it will definitely be interesting,” Sanford said.
Last year’s lone win came against Gilroy on the season opener.
Despite being part of a lower division league, Sanford doesn’t feel it takes the pressure off him to help his team get wins.
“I definitely need to prove myself coming up,” Sanford said. “With good guys in the past (as QBs) it’s a big tittle for the school,” Sanford said.
Sanford has not been left by himself to learn everything. He said he has great communication with his offensive players, specially the veteran players and that has helped him transition better into the starting role. Among those are tight ends Jason Scirigione and Payton Mitchell and the Davis twins, Christian and Tyler, at receiver and running back.
Sanford said one of his biggest takes from last year is the importance to not get flustered or let his emotions get the best of him when things don’t go his way.
“I have a tendency to get nervous and that’s always been one of my biggest weakness, but this year I’ll just start to be more confident and making decisions on the field,” Sanford said.
Sanford said he expects a winning season this season despite being his first year as a starter because he has good connections with all of his weapons on offense, which was one of Christopher’s struggles last season.

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Cheeto Barrera is the sports editor for the Morgan Hill Times and Gilroy Dispatch.


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