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HE'S GOT A NAME TUIASOSOPO SERVES AS A.V. SIGNAL CALLER.



Byline: Ramona Shelburne Ramona Shelburne is an American sports journalist currently writing for the Los Angeles Daily News.

Shelburne was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She attended El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, California where she was a class valedictorian.
  Staff Writer

Sometimes it seems Ronaiah Tuiasosopo knows what you're thinking before you even have a chance to ask the question.

``Everybody asks about that,'' he said. ``I'd play in basketball tournaments and people would see `Tuiasosopo' on the roster and they'd come up to me and ask, `Tuiasosopo, aren't you supposed to be a football player or something?' ''

With a cousin, Marques Marques may refer to:
  • marque, or brand name
  • Marqués, a surname
  • A Spanish form of Marquis.
  • ''Marques, a tall ship.
, in the NFL NFL
abbr.
National Football League

NFL (US) n abbr (= National Football League) → Fußball-Nationalliga
 with the Oakland Raiders

    This article is about an American football team. For other uses, see Raider.
    The Oakland Raiders are a professional American football team based in the city of Oakland, California.
    ; his father, Titus, a star lineman and tight end at USC An abbreviation for U.S. Code. ; his uncle, Manu - Marques' father, who played in the NFL with the 49ers and the Seahawks; and another cousin, Zach, playing for the University of Washington, Antelope Valley's sophomore quarterback Ronaiah Tuiasosopo has a big name to live up to.

    Until last fall, he was making his name as a basketball player.

    ``It's the funniest thing,'' he said. ``I never had thought of playing football when I was younger. I grew up playing basketball.

    ``Then freshman year, I came out for football and the coach told me to throw the ball. I did and I must've done OK because he turns to me and says, 'You're going to be our quarterback.' ''

    And so another Tuiasosopo began his football career in auspicious aus·pi·cious  
    adj.
    1. Attended by favorable circumstances; propitious: an auspicious time to ask for a raise in salary. See Synonyms at favorable.

    2. Marked by success; prosperous.
     fashion. Teammates and coaches can't stop raving rav·ing  
    adj.
    1. Talking or behaving irrationally; wild: a raving maniac.

    2. Exciting admiration: a raving beauty.

    n.
     about his potential and natural ability.

    ``Trust me, he can do it,'' senior wide receiver Randy Burton said. ``He's got all the ability. ... When he first came to our school, I knew he was going to be the one to do it for us. I was shocked when I found out he'd only been playing for two years.''

    The only thing he lacks, Burton said, is experience.

    In practice, Tuiasosopo looks like a star. He has a strong arm, but can also throw with a soft touch. He's poised, possessing leadership skills well beyond those of a typical sophomore. He doesn't run like his older cousin Marques does, but he's learning.

    But when it comes to games, he can look like a sophomore, which is a tough position to be in when you have a senior-laden team counting on you to run its offense.

    ``At first I was really nervous, I had so much pressure,'' he said. ``It felt like everything was in a rush. It didn't matter if I messed up, I just wanted to get it over with. But I've come to learn if you take it play-by- play, breathe and relax, you'll get the hang of it.

    ``But everyone on the team has been really cool with me. I want to do it for them, for the seniors especially. And I'm learning that my job is to just manage the offense so I'm slowly building confidence in myself.''

    Tuiasosopo said he's leaned heavily on another cousin to help him get through the challenge of quarterbacking Antelope Valley This article is about the Los Angeles County region. For the census-designated place in Wyoming, see Antelope Valley-Crestview, Wyoming.

    The Antelope Valley
     as just a sophomore.

    His cousin, Conan Amituanai, is a senior tight end/defensive tackle at Long Beach Poly.

    ``He's been my biggest inspiration,'' Tuiasosopo said.

    Amituanai lost his mother, Aima, when he was in junior high. Aima Amituanai, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo's aunt, passed away Jan 1, 2001, after collapsing while walking out of the Rose Bowl. Marques had just won the MVP (Multimedia Video Processor) A high-speed DSP chip from Texas Instruments, introduced in 1994. Officially introduced as the TMS320C80, it combines RISC technology with the functionality of four DSPs on one chip.  award as Washington beat Purdue 34-24.

    ``It was really hard. But it brought the whole family together,'' Ronaiah Tuiasosopo said. ``I'm really close to my cousin, Conan, we talk every day. He's been my biggest inspiration. Despite the fact that his mom passed away, he's continued to succeed and excel.''

    Tuiasosopo said he's also close with Marques, Matt (a top prospect in the Mariners' organization) and Zach, but because that side of the family lives in Washington, he doesn't see them as much.

    ``I love my cousins and all, but I don't just want to be known as Marques' little cousin,'' he said. ``I want to do something, achieve something on my own.''

    Ramona Shelburne, (818) 713-3617

    ramona.shelburne(at)dailynews.com

    THE GAME OF WEEK

    LOYOLA of L.A. (3-0) at ANTELOPE VALLEY (2-1)

    7 p.m.

    Key stat stat
    adv.
    With no delay.

    adj.
    Immediate.


    STAT Stat! Clinical medicine adverb Fast, quickly, immediately, schnell, vite Lab medicine noun
    : 11-2-1

    Loyola's all-time record against Antelope Valley.

    Outlook: The history of this rivalry has diminished some in the past two years with the retirement of longtime coaches Brent Newcomb, who retired after the 2003 season after 34 years at Antelope Valley, and Steve Grady, who retired after the 2004 season after 29 years at Loyola. Still, for two schools from such different areas, the rivalry remains fierce.

    Both programs have gotten off to a good start, even though Loyola has faced only one significant challenge - a 28-13 victory over City Section contender Venice in Week 2. Loyola senior RB Chad Peppars is the key to the Cubs' offense. Peppars has rushed for 272 yards on just 32 carries (8.5-yard average) and five touchdowns.

    Antelope Valley's defense has been solid and ranks among the area's best but its offense has yet to get untracked despite the presence of big-play threats RB Andre Chrenshaw, WR D'Andre Goodwin and WR/TE Randy Burton.

    Antelope Valley will be without leading tackler, senior LB Allan Mohan, who was suspended after receiving an unsportsmanlike conduct Unsportsmanlike conduct (or unsporting behaviour, or archaically ungentlemanly conduct) is a term used in many professional sports to refer to a particular player or team who have acted inappropriately and/or unprofessionally in the context of the game.  penalty in last week's 14-0 victory over Silverado.

    TODAY'S GAMES

    KNIGHT (2-2) at PALMDALE (0-3)

    7 p.m.

    Key stat: 121

    Points allowed by Palmdale in 11 games last season. The Falcons have already allowed 98 points in three games this year.

    Outlook: Not many expected Knight High, in its first full season of varsity play, to have a better record coming into this game than Palmdale, the three-time defending Golden League champion.

    Palmdale's offense, with WR Tyreace House (218 yards receiving, 147 yards rushing) and RB Dominic Blood (157 yards), is still dangerous as any team in the area, but its defense, which suffered heavy losses to graduation and the loss of longtime defensive coordinator A defensive coordinator typically refers to a coach on a football team in the National Football League or college football who is in charge of the defense. This position aids the head coach a great deal in many ways by delegating play calling to other coaches and allowing the head  Steve Lockhart, to Eastside High, has struggled.

    LANCASTER (3-1) at QUARTZ HILL (2-1)

    7 p.m.

    Key stat: 25

    Points allowed by Lancaster in the three games since its 28-14 loss to Orange Lutheran on Sept. 3.

    Outlook: It's never too early to talk playoff play·off also play-off  
    n. Sports
    1. A final game or series of games played to break a tie.

    2. A series of games played to determine a championship.

    Noun 1.
     implications, and this game is loaded with them. Quartz Hill has finished fourth in the Golden League each of the past two seasons and needs a win over one of the top three teams (Lancaster, Antelope Valley or Palmdale) to jump up a spot and earn a playoff berth.

    Lancaster has league title aspirations aspirations nplaspiraciones fpl (= ambition); ambición f

    aspirations npl (= hopes, ambition) → aspirations fpl 
     after finishing second last year to Palmdale. The Eagles are the most consistent team in the area. Senior RBs Josh Gaines (303 yards rushing, 2 TDs) and Tony Jackson
    This article is about the United States composer. For the UK bass guitarist see Tony Jackson (bass player). For the former St. John's standout see Tony Jackson (basketball player)


    Anthony (Antonio) Jackson, best known as Tony Jackson
     (333 yards, 5 TDs) make a potent one-two punch one-two punch
    n.
    1. A combination of two blows delivered in rapid succession in boxing, especially a left lead followed by a right cross.

    2. Informal An especially forceful or effective combination or sequence of two things.
     in the backfield.

    LITTLEROCK (2-2) at HIGHLAND (1-3)

    7 p.m.

    Key stat: 585

    Rushing yards by Highland senior RB Micah Littlejohn this year.

    Outlook: Both teams were humbled last week after strong starts to the year. Highland suffered its worst loss of the year, a 28-9 road loss to Inglewood while Littlerock was shut out, 21-0, at home by Alemany.

    Highland has been able to move the ball effectively, albeit only with its ground game, in every game behind Littlejohn. Littlerock and QB LaMont Jordan LaMont Jordan (born November 11, 1978 in Forestville, Maryland) is a National Football League running back, currently playing for the Oakland Raiders. He is considered to be the real LJ. Since coming to Oakland the team slogan has gone from justwinbaby to justfeedmonty. , have looked good at times this year, but haven't shown consistency.

    KILPATRICK of Malibu (0-3) vs. PARACLETE (1-2)

    Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Quartz Hill High

    Outlook: With several key players injured in·jure  
    tr.v. in·jured, in·jur·ing, in·jures
    1. To cause physical harm to; hurt.

    2. To cause damage to; impair.

    3.
     or unavailable, senior receiver/defensive back Garrett James' athleticism and versatility figure to be vital for Paraclete, which looks rebound from two consecutive lopsided lop·sid·ed  
    adj.
    1. Heavier, larger, or higher on one side than on the other.

    2. Sagging or leaning to one side.

    3.
     losses in a final tuning for Olympic League play. The Spirits will be without injured senior linebacker Chris Winkler Winkler may refer to:
    • Winkler, Manitoba, a Canadian city
    • Winkler (novel), by Giles Coren
    • Winkler (crater), a crater on the Moon
    • Winkler (surname), people with the surname Winkler or Winckler
    See also
     (concussion concussion

    Period of nervous-function impairment that results from relatively mild brain injury, often with no bleeding in the cerebral cortex. It causes brief unconsciousness, followed by mental confusion and physical difficulties.
    ) and standout two senior two-way lineman Jake Dean Jacob "Jake" Dean is a fictional character in the long-running British Channel 4 television soap opera Hollyoaks.

    He is played by actor Kevin Sacre. Description
     won't play due to a wedding he will attend. Injured senior running back/defensive back Joel Medina (ankle) is questionable. James is James I, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona
    James I (James the Conqueror), 1208–76, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona (1213–76), son and successor of Peter II.
     the backup quarterback and can play every skill position, including running back.

    VASQUEZ (4-0) vs. BELL-JEFF of Burbank (0-2)

    Saturday at 7 p.m. at Burroughs High of Burbank

    Outlook: If not for a scheduling change, Vasquez would be playing tonight for what would have at least tied the state record for most wins in a calendar month. Led by junior quarterback Joe Perez (36 for 56, 546 yards, five touchdowns, 198 rushing yards), the Mustangs are off to their best start in school history and are coming off a thrilling 14-13 victory over Rosamond. Bell-Jeff defeated Vasquez 22-18 last season on its way to a 9-2 overall record.

    BLAIR of Pasadena (0-3) at ROSAMOND (1-2)

    7 p.m.

    Outlook: Led by tight end/linebacker Eric Leon (10 receptions, 161 yards, four touchdowns, 57 tackles), running back Spencer Rodney (94.7 yards per game) and quarterback Nicholas Gutierrez (27 for 60, 356 yards, six touchdowns, two interceptions), Rosamond has held its own in close games against some formidable competition, with both losses coming by just one point. The Roadrunners are heavily favored against a Blair team that's been outscored by 80 points and is coming off a 40-6 loss to Marshall of Pasadena.

    CAPTION(S):

    photo, 4 boxes

    Photo:

    Until last fall, Antelope Valley quarterback Ronaiah Tuiasosopo had been more successful on the basketball court.

    Jeff Goldwater/Staff Photographer

    Box:

    (1) GAME OF THE WEEK (see text)

    (2) TODAY'S GAMES (see text)

    (3) FIRST AND 10

    (4) INSIDE THE NUMBERS
    COPYRIGHT 2005 Daily News
    No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
    Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

     Reader Opinion

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    Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
    Date:Sep 30, 2005
    Words:1551
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