GARDEN VALLEY — Meet Golden Sierra’s Brian Cann.
Excuse the fact he might hibernate for the winter once football ends. Afterall, the Grizzly senior should be exhausted after the role he’s played.
Cann’s done it all — run, pass, kick, punt, tackle, defend — in helping Golden Sierra to a second-place finish in the Sierra Delta League, two playoff wins and an appearance in Saturday’s Sac-Joaquin Division V section title game at Lodi’s Grape Bowl.
“Nobody thought we’d make it this far so we’ll go out, play as hard as we can and take it to them,” Cann said.
Taking it to Le Grand, the three-time defending section champ is something he missed last year when the two teams met to open the postseason. Minus Cann, hurt in the regular season’s last game, Golden Sierra lost by just two points, 24-22, on the Grizzlies’ field.
“I was in physical therapy but I just couldn’t do it (play). That was pretty hard,” Cann said.
Cann embodies the true spirit of Grizzly athletics when it comes to football, a sport regularly undermanned year-in and year-out in Garden Valley.
“He’s the quietest kid but such a competitor. You don’t know he’s there and don’t think he’s explosive but boom!, he gets there and gets the job done,” Golden Sierra coach John Hilton said. “His level of play is the reason we’re going to the section finals — without him we wouldn’t be in the spot we’re in.”
Earlier in the season, Cann threw some on behalf of starting quarterback Daniel Lesher who had arm troubles. Of his four completions, one went for a touchdown. He’s also scored 12 touchdowns via the rush and caught two of Lesher’s three touchdown tosses.
On the ground, Cann (915 yards, 7.50 yards per carry) has an excellent chace to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark tomorrow. He’s also nailed 36-of-37 point after kicks.
Last week, the Georgetown resident scored four touchdowns at Mariposa, including the game-winner in overtime. Cann wanted the ball, guaranteed Hilton a score and delivered.
“No matter what, we decided to go out and play hard,” said Cann who rushed for 177 yards but gave all the credit to his offensive line
Win or lose tomorrow, Cann’s two-year varsity stint has been successful: last season’s undefeated league championship and now as one of two teams left in contention for a section title.
“That (praise) has to go to the coaches who get everyone to do their job,” Cann said. “We’ve become a family … we’re there for each other and play as one.”
Cann, who’ll play volleyball in the spring, is uncertain on his football future after Saturday.
“Honestly, I don’t have future plans but we’ll see what happens,” Cann said. “It’s been a great experience playing football at Golden Sierra — the challenges — it’s made me work harder and I am the way I am because of it.”
Hopefully, tomorrow evening, Cann will emerge a section champ because that’s what he’ll also be.