Truckee’s Tenorio will give college football a go
Paris Tenorio’s glory days of blasting high school football players have come and gone, giving way to a brand new chapter of life and football.
The standout middle linebacker is set to play ball this fall at San Mateo Junior College, where he hopes to continue delivering the crunching pops that helped earn him All-League and All-State recognition and admiration from his Truckee fans and coaches.
He’s done his homework, so he knows the competitive Bay Area program boasts one of the highest transfer rates in the nation ” a statistic that factored into his decision.
“I don’t know where yet, but I definitely want to continue playing at a four-year college. I’d like to get a scholarship and see what happens from there,” said Tenorio, who’s visited the campus several times and will make another trip this weekend.
His high school linebackers coach, Jim Doughty, played a major role in setting up Tenorio with his new team.
“The connection started there,” said Larry Owens, head coach of the San Mateo Bulldogs. “I coached with (Doughty) for four or five years at San Mateo. I trust Jim wholeheartedly, and he thinks (Tenorio) is a really good football player.”
After viewing film of the 6-foot, 218-pound linebacker in action, Owens had confirmation.
“He’s got ability. You can tell he’s been well-coached,” Owens said. “And he played for a winning program, so we’re hoping that will rub off on us and that our success can rub off on him, too.
“From what I’ve seen and heard, he will fit in real well here.”
A three-year varsity starter, Tenorio tallied 84 tackles ” 50 solo, 34 assisted ” his senior season while forcing three fumbles, recovering one fumble and recording two sacks. To help bolster Truckee’s undersized offensive line, Tenorio also played offensive tackle for the first time in his high school career.
It was an selfless move, and one that left him physically drained after four quarters of all-out, nonstop effort.
“He got tired, but we needed him, and he contributed hugely to our success,” said Truckee coach Bob Shaffer. “He’s a team player.”
His performance was rewarded with All-League honorable mention recognition on offense. And it was that “hustle and effort” that impressed Owens most.
“You can’t coach that,” Owens said. “We want a kid who comes in with that intensity. A big thing about him is that you can tell he loves the game.”
He’s also big on improving his game, as he’s been lifting weights two to three hours a day and running five days a week to prepare for the Bulldogs’ summer session on Aug. 6, followed by the first official day of practice on Aug. 14. While Tenorio said he adopted a new weight-lifting routine in which he focuses on smaller, quick-twitch muscles, he still can bench press 300 pounds and squat 455.
Tenorio also has been working out at a speed training center in Reno since his junior year. And the results have been impressive, he said. Not only did he gain speed and agility by learning proper footwork, he shed 22 pounds, dropping from 240 to 218 before his senior season.
At San Mateo, Tenorio plans to stick to the position he knows best ” middle linebacker. It’s an attainable goal his freshman year, Owens said.
“It’s an open opportunity. I don’t care if it’s a freshman or sophomore, the best player is going to play,” the coach said. “It’s a competitive situation here; we have some good players. But if he comes in and performs, the sky is the limit.”
With all the coaching tips he’s absorbed the past three years, Tenorio is confident he’s ready to perform with the big boys.
“I think (Truckee coaches) have prepared me well,” he said. “The whole coaching staff is good. I think they know a lot more than most high school coaches. All of them have done a lot for me. I’m prepared for the next level, and it’s because of all my coaches.”
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