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HUBKEY HAS FLAIR FOR DRAMATICS.

Byline: GIDEON RUBIN Special to the Daily News

ROSAMOND -- Cody Hubkey is a Rosamond High two-way football standout with a propensity for making big plays.

Hubkey, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound senior tight end/defensive lineman, leads the team with eight touchdowns and is the Antelope Valley's overall leader, averaging 28.32 yards per reception.

He has four catches for 50 yards or more, including an 82-yarder in a 27-8 nonleague victory over Vasquez of Acton on Sept. 22. He is also sixth on the team with 43 tackles.

His flair for the dramatic extends beyond the football field.

Hubkey is also a rising star in Rosamond's theatre arts department.

He was named the school's rookie actor of the year for his appearance in a Rosamond production of ``Mr. Western,'' and has a leading role in ``The Diviners,'' which will open on campus later this month.

Hubkey and his defending High Desert League champion Rosamond teammates take center stage in a pivotal High Desert League showdown against Bishop at Bishop tonight at 7 p.m.

Rosamond (7-2, 3-1) can win a share of its second consecutive league title for the first time since the late 1970s. Bishop (6-3, 4-0) is ranked No. 6 in the Southern Section's East Valley Division poll. Rosamond is ranked No. 9.

Rosamond senior running back Ricci Davis is involved in the school's theatre arts program too, and also has a role in ``The Diviners.''

``People think it's kind of funny that the football players are in drama,'' Hubkey said. ``People stereotype us, and I really don't like being stereotyped.''

Hubkey was a first-team all-league lineman last season. He never played a skilled position in high school before this year, when coach Lon Boyett, who returned to the program after a 10-year hiatus, moved him to tight end.

``We saw that he had good hands and we needed (a tight end),'' Boyett said. ``It's his first year (at the position), so he's had to learn to run patterns and release, and he's done a great job.''

Boyett believes tight end is Hubkey's natural position. Boyett said Hubkey is a potential four-year college prospect, although he said he'll probably have to add some bulk to his lean frame and will probably have to start out at a junior college.

``He's got good form and he's a really good blocker,'' Boyett said.

But although football is Hubkey's favorite extracurricular activity, it isn't his only scholarship possibility.

He said he hopes to impress colleges with his performance in ``The Diviners.'' He will also direct a school play in the spring.

Hubkey has won over skeptics in the theatre arts department. Rosamond senior Jonathan ``Bonesy'' Robertson, who's also involved in the school's theatre arts program, feared having a ``football jock'' on stage would be a ``catastrophe.''

``He proved me wrong,'' Robertson said. ``He came on stage and he blew me away.

``He was able to put his emotions on the stage. He wasn't just the jock that I knew.''

Hubkey's football teammates have taken note of his ability to bring intensity and a light mood to the team.

``He's a very comedic guy, he's always telling us jokes and making us laugh,'' Rosamond senior receiver/defensive back Jesus Bautista said. ``He makes it fun.''

Hubkey said that other than memorization and performing before a crowd, the two disciplines don't directly correlate.

He said rewards for achieving success in both, however, are similar.

``If you catch the ball and you say the line right, then you feel like you've got it done and that's a good feeling,'' Hubkey said.

TONIGHT'S GAMES

QUARTZ HILL (3-6, 2-3) at PALMDALE (8-1, 5-0), 7 p.m.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Palmdale Sr. OL/DL Hayworth Hicks. The 6-foot-4 320-pound Hicks is one of the region's most highly regarded linemen. He'll showcase his talent against the Golden League's most physical lines on both sides of the ball.

OUTLOOK: Palmdale was won eight consecutive games and can win sole possession of its fifth consecutive league title. The Falcons are coming off an emotional 45-31 title-clinching victory over Lancaster and are heavy favorites. Upset-minded Quartz Hill shouldn't be underestimated though. The Rebels have no pressure and have a history of playing Palmdale well. Quartz Hill nearly shocked Palmdale last season in a 32-27 loss.

KNIGHT (4-4, 3-2) at HIGHLAND (4-5, 4-1), 7 p.m.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Knight Sr. QB Terrell Merritt. Knight's option offense revolves around Merritt, a dynamic playmaker who's a threat to run and throw. He's accounted for 70 percent of Knight's 2,030 yards of total offense (665 rushing, 746 passing).

OUTLOOK: Knight, a second-year varsity program fielding its first senior class, clinched its first playoff berth in last week's 26-14 victory over Antelope Valley. The Hawks can force a three-way tie for second place with Highland and Lancaster.

Highland has won four of its last five games and is playing for sole possession of second place.

ANTELOPE VALLEY (0-9, 0-3) at LITTLEROCK (0-9, 0-5), 7 p.m.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Littlerock Sr. DB/WR Marlon Hogains. Hogains is a playmaker on both sides of the ball, averaging 5.1 tackles and 32.2 receiving yards per game. He led the team with nine tackles in last week's 48-21 nonleague loss to West Ranch of Santa Clarita.

OUTLOOK: Something has to give as the two beleaguered programs hit hard by expansion seek their first victory. Defending Golden League co-champion Antelope Valley graduated four players now at Div. I programs, and has seen much of the area's talent flock to Eastside. Littlerock has suffered enrollment since Knight's opening in 2003.

KILPATRICK of Malibu (3-5, 0-3) vs. PARACLETE (1-2, 4-4), Friday at 7 :30 p.m., at Quartz Hill High.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Paraclete Soph. RB Daniel Ballin. Ballin rushed for 96 yards in Friday's 21-14 upset of Valley Christian of Cerritos in his first game back after missing three games with an ACL strain.

OUTLOOK: Paraclete needs a victory over Kilpatrick to remain in playoff contention. The Spirits are coming off their biggest win in years, in which they rushed for a season-high 216 yards.

Kilpatrick looks to be a spoiler.

ROSAMOND (7-2, 3-1) at BISHOP (6-3, 4-0), 7 p.m.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Rosamond Sr. QB Nich Gutierrez. Gutierrez's ability to put the ball in the air gives Rosamond's traditional power running game an added dimension. He's 51-for-96 passing for 978 yards with 10 TD's and six INT's.

OUTLOOK: Defending High Desert champion Rosamond looks to win a share of its second title for the first time since the 1970's. Rosamond's biggest advantage is a more balanced offense, led by Sr. QB Gutierrez and Sr. RB Javier Navarro. Bishop, ranked No. 6 in the Southern Section's East Valley poll is tough to beat at home. Rosamond is ranked No. 9.

CAPTION(S):

photo, 3 boxes

Photo:

(color) Rosamond High's Cody Hubkey has eight touchdowns and 43 tackles this season.

Gene Blevins/Special to the Daily News

Box:

(1) TONIGHT'S GAMES

(2) FIRST AND 10

(3) INSIDE THE NUMBERS
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 9, 2006
Words:1176
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