The Simi Valley (Calif.) Acorn reports on last weekend’s Conejo Classic passing tournament, which pitted 12 local high school football teams against one another at Moorpark College. The smallest school to participate was Grace Brethren High School, which is a ministry of the Grace Brethren Church in Simi Valley (Jordan Bakker, pastor). Read how Grace Brethren took on the larger Simi Valley High School team in a portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the complete article.
A passing fancy
Saturday was a showcase for powerhouses Moorpark, Camarillo and Oaks Christian; a breakout party for Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks; and grand theater for underdogs Calabasas and Grace Brethren. Agoura, Royal, Rio Mesa, Simi Valley and Westlake also participated in the tournament.
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Grace Brethren was the smallest school participating in the passing tournament, but the gritty Lancers had the chutzpah to outplay the Pioneers.
“It’s for bragging rights,” said Andre Bannister, an incoming Grace Brethren senior who stars at cornerback, wide receiver and running back.
“We’re a small team. All these teams think they can push us around. We want to make a name for ourselves.”
Bannister, a 400-meter specialist with the track and field team, spent his freshman and sophomore years at Canyon of Santa Clarita before suiting up for Grace Brethren last fall. Bannister excelled on defense last weekend: He didn’t give the Pioneers an inch, challenging Simi Valley wide receivers at the line of scrimmage with ruthless physicality.
Bannister credited Lancer backups with holding their own against Simi Valley.
“Our second stringers came in with missing players,” he said. “They did work and didn’t back down. We know we can depend on our second stringers.
“It feels good, but we’re out here trying to learn and get better each game.”