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Tesoro, San Clemente and Cypress continue quarterback competitions at CdM tournament

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NEWPORT BEACH — Three of the top teams at the inaugural Battle at the Bay passing tournament Friday night at Corona del Mar shared one important thing in common:

They’ve got quarterback competitions.

From Tesoro’s sequel to San Clemente’s depth to Cypress under-the-radar duo, multiple passers showcased their skills in an early summer event ideal for such evaluation.

“Now is the time to do it,” Tesoro football coach Matt Poston said. “That’s what you can get out of things like this. Let them compete and see who makes the plays.”

Here’s a closer look at the quarterback situations at Tesoro, San Clemente and Cypress:

Tesoro (2-8 last season)

For the second consecutive offseason, seniors Gavin Shaigineik (6-1, 160) and Evan Pierce (6-1,195) are competing for the starting spot, which they shared at times in 2021.

Both had their moments Friday to help the Titans reach the semifinals.

Shaigineik went the distance and threw three touchdowns in a 23-21 loss to South Coast League rival San Clemente in pool play.

Pierce started in the next game against Dana Hills and tossed a long touchdown to junior Todd Nelson on the first play.

Later in the game, Pierce made a leaping touchdown reception in the corner of the end zone in a 16-14 victory against the Dolphins. Pierce has been playing some tight end and linebacker in addition to quarterback, Poston said.

Tesoro also featured senior Kaden Watanabe and sophomore Cash O’Byrne at quarterback against Dana Hills.

“It’s starting to sort itself a little bit but we have a couple more weeks,” Poston said of the competition. “The goal is to have a starter and roll with somebody.”

San Clemente (7-4 last season)

The Tritons rotated JSerra transfer Dylan Mills and Broderick Redden — both juniors — at quarterback against Tesoro.

Mills (6-2, 205) and Redden (6-4, 210) each played well as the Tritons advanced to the semifinals.

Redden sparked the Tritons against Tesoro with an early touchdown pass to junior Jake Poole. Mills’ sealed the victory with a long touchdown pass on the final play to junior wide receiver Drew Shanley, who out-jumped the defensive back for a highlight grab.

Mills also showed excellent mobility outside the pocket.

San Clemente didn’t feature sophomore quarterback Jack Loper (6-4, 190), who was attending a camp at San Jose State, Tritons coach Jaime Ortiz said.

Loper led the freshman team last season to a 10-0 record and plays basketball and volleyball.

“Guys are competing,” Ortiz said of the quarterback situation. “We’ll do the same thing we did with Sam (Darnold) and Jack (Sears). Those guys compete all summer. Once we get into fall camp, we’ll make a decision. That’s why we’re doing a lot of tournaments.

“Get them in pressure situations and see how they respond. They’re all pretty even,” he added.

San Clemente’s next tournament is the Brave 8 at St. John Bosco on July 2.

Cypress (10-3 last season)

The Centurions made their surprising run to the finals behind junior quarterback Aidan Houston (5-10, 160), a transfer from Los Alamitos.

Houston connected well with wide receiver Trevor Monteleone and also flashed his speed moving outside the pocket.

Cypress also features junior quarterback Elliott Lemonnier, who didn’t attend the tournament but gained experience last season after the injury to starter Dylan Eldredge.

“That will be a competition for sure,” Centurions coach Rick Feldman said of Lemonnier and Houston.

Cypress made the final despite playing without standout wide receiver Matthew Morrell, who is recovering from an injury.

QB 1: David Rasor

Corona del Mar senior David Rasor was Feldman’s selection for the top quarterback of the tournament. The senior showcased a strong and accurate arm and excellent chemistry with senior wide receiver Cooper Hoch.

Rasor (6-1, 195) has been offered by San Diego State, Penn and Cornell and received interest Stanford, Cal and Washington State among others.

Corona del Mar also features a strong junior quarterback in Kaleb Annett.

‘Best two-way guy’

Feldman called Monteleone, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound safety, the “best two-way guy” at the tournament.

“Who looked better than him?” he said of Monteleone, who leaped over a defender for a spectacular TD reception against San Clemente in the semifinals.

Monteleone doesn’t have any offers but has received interest from Colorado School of Mines, Northern Arizona and Cal Poly SLO.

‘Little John Humphreys’

Corona del Mar coach Dan O’Shea said Hoch (6-3, 195) is starting to remind him of John Humphreys, the former Sea Kings standout wide out now at Stanford and listed at 6-foot-5.

“When he came in ,” O’Shea of Hoch as freshman, “he was 5-7, 132 pounds.”

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