Husky quarterback strives for greatness

SPLIT DECISION—Quarterback Aaron Cantu looks for a wide-receiver before he decides to run for a first down. CN/Tadzio Garcia

By Daniella Molina

Aaron Cantu sits in Weingart Stadium overlooking the football field. “I want to win here.  I want to win a conference championship,” said Cantu. The lean 6-foot, 210-pound 18-year-old, quarterback is in the process of making his dreams come true as well making history for the Huskies.

The Schurr High School graduate has been making major moves before he started the 2011 Fall semester at ELAC. He ended his high school career with more than 5,000 yards and 49 touchdowns.

Cantu was named the MVP of the 44th Annual 605 All-Star Game this past June. Cantu was passing the ball with Indianapolis Colts receiver, Pierre Garcon for an episode of ESPN’s Sport Science. Cantu is not attending a Division I school. He said “I wanted to stay close to home. I live a mile from here. I actually grew up two blocks from this stadium when I was little, so I wanted to stay local.

“Coach Garrett recruited me, and said we were going to pass a lot, so obviously, I’m a quarterback. I want to do some passing,” said Cantu. The Huskies are on a winning streak and have beaten their last four conference opponents, giving them a 5-3 record and 3-0 in conference. “It’s in sight, we just got to come out and get these wins and get that ring,” said Cantu.

Nicholas Garrett, offensive coordinator, who recruited Cantu last year says, “He’s done an amazing job. (Cantu) takes huge strides everyday as far as a leadership stand point. He has all the tangible things that you want as a coach.”

The Huskies are on the verge of earning the Mountain Conference title. The last time the Huskies won the title was in 1974, when head coach Lynn Cain, was the star running back and named the player of the year.

Three decades later, Cain is the head coach and Cantu is at his call. “We are glad to have him. He is a qualifier. He has decided to come play for us here at East L.A. College. I liken him to a Payton Manning, because of the experience he is under. He has a grandfather who coached, he has three uncles that have coached. They sit around and talk football all the time. He is constantly hearing how to play the game,” said Cain.

People watching Cantu would never guess he was a freshman. He can move, pass accurately and is quick with his hands. It’s hard to imagine that he didn’t pick up a football and start playing the way he does until he was in eighth grade. “I played basketball my whole life, but football is where my heart is,” said Cantu.

Today, Cantu has orchestrated a winning streak that has given the Huskies a 5-2 record. “Cantu has that kind of talent. He comes, he’s big, he’s physical, he can throw, he has the best hands on the team,” said Cain. With one hurdle against Compton College this Saturday, Cantu is throwing for the crown, and it’s been a long time coming for ELAC. If anyone can do it, it’s Cantu.

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