While Ryan Katz was excelling as Santa Monica High’s quarterback last football season Garrett Safron was learning the position on the Vikings’ junior varsity team.
On a few occasions Safron entered a varsity game when the outcome had been decided.
Now Katz is at Oregon State and Safron is the choice of Coach Zach Kuda to take over.
Safron, a 5-foot-10 junior, came along well last season. Although he had to win the job in competition, it was essentially a foregone conclusion that Safron would be Samohi’s 2008 quarterback unless he unexpectedly faltered.
Safron has led Samohi in two passing league tournaments, helping the Vikings win the first one in June at Redondo.
It remains to be seen if Safron can approach Katz’s accomplishments in the next two seasons. But the Viking coaches are confident he’s going to handle the position well.
And so, an era ends and another one begins. For the last three years Katz and Darius Banks of Culver City were standout Ocean League quarterbacks who starred in some stirring duels. Katz won the first two meetings and last season Banks led Culver City to a 30-27 win.
For the next two years it figures to be Safron against Marquel Carter, a junior who has won the job at Culver City.
Carter, who is on Culver City’s honor roll, is a versatile athlete who has been selected to play for a United States team of high school players in a basketball tournament this summer in Switzerland.
Carter has impressed Culver City Coach Tom Salter with his ability to run the offense in summer workouts and his arm strength has been a pleasant surprise.
“I’m ready,” he said. “Darius took me through every situation last season. I learned so much from him. He was great at making the right decisions on the field.”
Banks will continue his career at Eastern Washington but must sit out the 2008 season for academic reasons.