Taking over as Canyon’s starting quarterback for the last season, Shawn Gallagher had a promising first year at the varsity level. He even made an All-CIF list.
But even after a season that included 1,341 passings yards and six touchdowns, then 732 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground, the Cowboys saw even more potential for Gallagher at wide receiver.
“Just a little flavor change for me, you know?” Gallagher said. “Some more competition between other players and not so much against myself, as the quarterback position is a mental game. So for my senior year, I want some more physical competition and to get stronger and (more agile), stuff like that.”
Gallagher will mainly line up as the slot receiver and, according to Canyon football head coach Rich Gutierrez, might line up at other positions, including running back, depending on the package.
“He wanted to just fit in the offense and contribute in any way that he could and he has done that at the slot spot and running back spot,” Gutierrez said. “He can also be used in a package at quarterback.
“…Mix it up wherever he’s needed and he has taken up that challenge and I’m excited to see what he’s going to do.”
Winning the starting varsity quarterback position, former junior varsity quarterback Aydyn Litz will replace Gallagher as the Cowboys look to re-tool their “new look” offense.
“He has grown stronger every day,” Gutierrez said. “He has great composure and manages the team well and the kids respect him. He’s a great kid to be around and he represents Cowboys football really well.”
Standing at 5-foot-10 inches and weighing in at 145 pounds, Litz is gathering all the helpful tips and advice that Gallagher has to offer.
“I definitely take what I can from Shawn,” Litz said. “He teaches me what to look at and what to see in the defense during the plays and mostly helped me learn the plays.”
Establishing a connection is something important that the first-year varsity quarterback will look to do as he will now have numerous options out wide and behind him in the backfield.
“We are looking good,” Litz said. “Our O-line is looking real nice right now and our receivers are coming in and gelling. Carson (Strickland) and Shawn are pretty much the main receivers right now.”
Adding, “It can be deadly, our run game and passing game, just with Shawn alone and then we have all the other threats.”
Those other threats come in the form of running backs, as Canyon returns the third-leading rusher from last year’s team in Ryan Valdes and promotes speedster Darrin Warren from the junior varsity ranks.
Adapting and growing as a collective team, senior starting tackle Jacob Lopez anticipates a new attitude with even better results.
“Very comfortable and very confident in what we are doing. It’s not sketch, we are all trusting each other and still getting set, but we are looking good and we are all OK with it,” said Lopez.