FB: Mr. “KABOOM” Manny Wilkins

Manny Wilkins can do it all

The Cal-Hi Caravan was 20-miles out of Petaluma and 5-miles from Napa trying to circle onto the 680 from I-80 via Highway 12, when the GPS system failed and took me into a 5-mile backup and then another big backup near American Canyon popped up on the screen.

With it being after 5:00 pm, there was no way of getting to California (San Ramon) before a 7:00 kick-off. I have a steadfast rule and that’s if I can’t get to a game a half-hour before kickoff to evaluate the players from midfield during warm-ups, I don’t go, so I turned around and went home.

The Grizzlies didn’t miss me, and despite falling behind 14-7 after one quarter, they outscored San Ramon Valley (Danville) 28-7 from there on, dispatching the visiting Wolves, 35-21.

Since the Caravan was curtailed on Friday night, I got some sun and exercise on Saturday afternoon in Novato, after watching Elite 11 quarterback finalist, Manny Wilkins of host San Marin, in a 54-0 whitewash of San Rafael Terra Linda.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Wilkins ran for 104 yards and two TDs, including doing a Toreador-like dance for an 11-yard score, and passed for 119 yards, all in a first half’s work. He threw a 75-yard TD pass on the first play of the second half before being pulled by first-year head coach Steve Stanfel, the nephew of former NFL Pro-Bowler and NFL coach Dick Stanfel.

Wilkins, a basketball standout as well, and a right-handed quarterback who punts left footed, also unleashed a 68-yard punt that travelled 60-yards in the air with no wind, and rolled 10 yards out of the end zone. Can you say 80-yard punt!

“KABOOM” was what the side judge I know said as he ran by me down the sideline to whistle a touchback.

I’ve been covering high school football in Marin County for over 20 years, but I didn’t see guys like former NFL running back and San Marin grad Brad Muster, however almost every longtime coach I know in the North Bay agrees current Cal and former Marin Catholic star Jared Goff may be the best pure quarterback to come out of the area. The Arizona State-bound Wilkins, who’s almost as good at wide receiver and defensive back as he is at quarterback and punter, may very well be the best all-around football player and overall athlete.

The head coach on the other side of the 54-0 thumping is Terra Linda’s Damon Keeve. Before coming to Terra Linda, Keeve, a two-time member of the US Olympic Karate Team (1992 and 1996), and a 1978 graduate of my alma mater, George Washington of San Francisco, coached our beloved Eagles from 1995-2003, while working as a TAC Squad officer in the San Francisco Police Department.


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