The Del Norte Warriors are playing a big role in helping to re-establish College of the Redwoods football this fall, with several of their players playing a pivotal role early in the season.
The Corsairs are off to an 0-2 start, but they have been competitive in both games and some former Warriors are helping to set the tone on both sides of the ball.
At running back, Levi Cox-Cooley is quickly finding his feet at the collegiate level and has emerged as one of the team’s chief offensive threats, while tight end Kaleb Price has found the end zone in both games.
Two other Del Norte players have been equally effective on the defensive side of the ball and have been influential in the defense’s impressive start to the new season.
Tackle Sam Schauerman has been a force in the trenches, while linebacker Tanner Forkner is quickly emerging as one of the team leaders.
Overall, head coach Jason White has been more than happy with the Del Norte contingent’s contribution through the early season.
“They kind of bring that blue collar mentality to our program,” he said. “They work hard every day, and they’re good athletes. In their own individual way they all bring something to the table that sets them apart.”
The 5-foot-7, 175-pound Cox-Cooley ran for 67 yards on 12 carries in Saturday’s 30-27 loss to San Jose City College at the Redwood Bowl and also pulled in a 13-yard touchdown reception.
“He’s strong and he’s really good at setting up his blocks and reading everything and being patient as a runner,” White said. “He’s deceptively strong, and he can change direction very quickly.”
Price too has been a big addition to the re-instated program, which did not field a team in either of the past two seasons.
The tight end has scored in both games, pulling in a 12-yard TD catch in a season-opening 27-19 loss at Merced and following that with a two-yard diving TD catch against San Jose.
“That’s what Kaleb brings to the game,” White said of the 6-4, 215-pound Price. “He’s got incredible hands. We can create mismatches with him.”
Price has been working hard on developing into a better all-around tight end, and the coach feels he’s getting there.
“He’s learning to be a good blocker right now,” White said. “That’s a part of his game he’s trying to improve.”
Schauerman (5-11, 270), meanwhile has been a force inside on a defensive line that has been one of the team’s strengths early in the season.
“Sam is extremely physical,” White said. “He’s so strong, and he’s a great kid who always has a smile on his face. He’s very coachable and he really has been solid for us inside.”
Rounding out the Del Norte contingent, Forkner (5-9, 185) might be the most impressive of the four.
“You look at him and he’s not real big, but he’s extremely intelligent and he just knows the game,” the head coach said. “He never comes off the field for us, and he’s got great instinct at linebacker.”
The Corsairs will try to get their first win when they play at West Hills on Saturday.
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