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Football: Servite's weight room is the place to discover future stars

March 14, 2012 | 10:17 am

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I made my annual visit to the Anaheim Servite weight room on Tuesday to let Coach Troy Thomas point out the young player who's going to be the next Friar standout.

A couple years ago, he introduced me to this tall, slender sophomore, Troy Niklas, who'd go on to earn a scholarship to Notre Dame.

Last year, he pointed out another sophomore, Charlie Etiaki, who became the Friars' standout junior running back last fall.

So there I was in the middle of the weight room and Thomas introduces 6-foot-4, 220-pound freshman left tackle Clayton Johnston.

"He's the next Matt Kalil," Thomas says.

Special things happen in the Servite weight room. I saw Etiaki and another running back, sophomore Andrew Moore, and both look so fit and powerful that it's hard to believe the Friars will even attempt a pass this fall.

Yes, Santa Margarita returns 10 starters on offense, but who's going to tackle Etiaki and Moore running behind Johnston?

I can't wait to make a return appearance to the Servite weight room in 2013 to hear about the next player on the rise.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Photo: Freshman tackle Clayton Johnston. Credit: Eric Sondheimer

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