By Zach Cavanagh
College football signees have been few for Dana Hills High School in recent seasons, let alone Division I signees and, rarer still, early signees.
However, things have been very different for Dana Hills this season, and that includes the announcement from senior quarterback Bo Kelly on Wednesday, Dec. 15.
Kelly, Dana Hills’ all-time passing leader, signed his National Letter of Intent with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to open the early signing period for football.
Kelly also had offers from Portland State and University of San Diego, but the Dolphins’ signal-caller was enticed by the spread offense that Cal Poly runs. Cal Poly head coach Beau Baldwin is in his second year with the Mustangs after three years as the offensive coordinator at Cal and an NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision title at Eastern Washington in 2010.
Dana Hills football head coach Tony Henney is also a Cal Poly SLO alumnus and was an assistant coach with the Mustangs before returning to the high school ranks at Dana Hills.
Kelly, the Pacific Hills League co-offensive player of the year, was instrumental in the recent turnaround of the Dana Hills program and spurred on the Dolphins’ success with a potent offense. Kelly set the program’s single-season records for passing completions (177), yards (3,502) and touchdowns (39), helping Dana Hills qualify for the CIF-SS playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Kelly also finished his Dana Hills career as the Dolphins’ all-time passing leader with 5,868 yards and 61 touchdowns. Kelly played in 25 games over his Dana Hills career, with nine split games as a sophomore and 16 games as the undisputed starting quarterback as a junior (five) and senior (11). Dana Hills was 17-8 in games that Kelly played.
Kelly won’t be the last college signee for Henney’s Dolphins, either, as there are five other Dana Hills players with college offers. While the early signing period runs from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15, the regular National Signing Day is Feb. 2, which opens the regular period through April 1 for Division I and Aug. 1 for Division II.
Football Earns 15 All-League Honors
In addition to Kelly’s distinction as the Pacific Hills League co-offensive player of the year, the Dana Hills football program earned 14 first- and second-team honors in the league’s year-end awards.
Dana Hills earned eight first-team selections, highlighted by senior wide receivers Owen Chambers and Omarjaye Black. Chambers set school records in single-game receiving yards (251) and touchdown receptions (four, twice) and single-season receiving yards (1,197) and touchdown receptions (15). Black tied the school record in single-game receptions (10, also set by Chris Kearney in 2010) and career touchdown receptions (21).
Other Dana Hills first-team players included senior linebacker Jagger Wiesen, senior tight end James Allemann, senior defensive back Hayden Dendiu, senior kicker Kian Afrookhteh, junior linebacker Christian Guarascio and junior offensive lineman Ethan Torbert.
The Dolphins had six players selected to the second team, including senior defensive backs Miles Darst and Broghan Daley, senior linebacker Ethan Geske, senior offensive lineman Jaden Kessi, junior defensive lineman Ethan Brougham and junior offensive lineman Johnny Owen.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at email@example.com.