Tribune honor goes to Concha-Foley for award-laced football season |

Tribune honor goes to Concha-Foley for award-laced football season

Roberto Concha-Foley has realized some honors that are extremely uncommon for a Whittell High School football player.

After producing one of the most explosive offensive seasons in school history, the senior quarterback was voted as the Nevada Class 2A offensive player of the year and the Northern League most valuable player.

Hence, Concha-Foley became one of the few small-school selections for the annual Sertoma Classic all-star football game played on Friday night in Reno.

“I appreciate them all. I feel honored the most by the Sertoma selection,” Concha-Foley said.

All three accomplishments helped Concha-Foley be selected as the Tahoe Daily Tribune male athlete of the year for Whittell High School.

The all-star game gave Concha-Foley a chance to prove that he could compete at a higher level before enrolling in college.

“I feel I have to show up for 2A, that we’re just as competitive,” Concha-Foley said. “I feel it’s my one chance to show that the 2A can compete with the 3A and 4A. I feel it’s more of an opportunity than an award.”

Concha-Foley, a team captain, expected to share the Blue team’s quarterback duties with two other players, including Douglas’ Tim Rudnick.

Given the numbers Concha-Foley produced during his final season in Zephyr Cove, his spot in the Sertoma game shouldn’t be questioned.

The versatile, left-handed quarterback played more than one position well. He was a return specialist and was the team’s last line of defense at free safety. Concha-Foley passed for 1,044 yards and 17 touchdowns and ran for 377 yards and nine scores in only nine games. If you missed this offensive show, check out some of his highlights on YouTube.

Concha-Foley also returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns and made three interceptions.

More importantly, Concha-Foley took the Warrior football program on a ride that its followers haven’t experienced often since the 1990s. Whittell celebrated qualifying for the postseason, then was eliminated by Battle Mountain in the state quarterfinals. Considering the program was a year removed from ending a 26-game losing streak and five years past a season without football, qualifying for the playoffs seemed as far-fetched as “The Terminator” becoming the governor of California.

“We really stuck together through the thick and thin and were able to pull it off,” said Concha-Foley, whose Warriors posted a 6-3 record. “Morale wasn’t good until we got that first win.

“For all of us, it didn’t look realistic going to the playoffs my senior year. What’s most important to me is the team camaraderie and pulling through together.”

Concha-Foley’s next step is to create a college football career. He couldn’t ask for a better role model than Whittell coach David Atherton to show him the way. After setting the single-season rushing record (1,622 yards) at Whittell, the undersized Atherton outworked many players to earn substantial playing time at Shasta College, Mesa College and Missouri Valley College.

“I honestly believe he’ll get a D1 scholarship out of JC if he can keep his mental focus,” Atherton said. “He doesn’t know what college is going to do to him. If he keeps fighting, he will be in the newspaper for years to come.”

Like Atherton, Concha-Foley will start his college career at a junior college – Cabrillo – in Northern California. With Cabrillo returning one of its two quarterbacks, Concha-Foley may have to show patience in getting on the field.

“I think it will take me a while until I’ll be able to start,” he said. “I’m hoping this year I will start. More realistically my sophomore year I will be able to compete and start.”

In the spring, Concha-Foley and several of his football teammates showed off their speed on the track and field team. He did his part to help an improved Whittell boys’ team take third in the 4×400 relay and fourth in the 4×100 relay at the state meet in Las Vegas.

Any Whittell quarterback in the future can only hope to be compared to Concha-Foley.

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