The Competition is Fierce
October, 2017 - Issue #157

They play for rival SCV high schools and are committed to different college football programs, but DeGabriel Floyd of Golden Valley and JT Shrout of Hart have more in common than not - a deep love for the game that has garnered these two SCV sports superstars national attention... and even rumored looks from NFL recruiters.

Floyd, who recently committed to USC, and Shrout, who's heading to Cal, are at the top of their game, smashing records and chalking up accolades. "I feel like I am living the dream," says Floyd. "It's amazing what has happened over these last few years of my life. It is a blessing I have to take advantage of. I will post a picture of a college offer on Instagram and will have people commenting, constantly telling me how blessed I am. It makes me say to myself, 'You can't mess this up, Man. So many people are watching and hoping for you. You have to take advantage of what God has given you,'" shares the high-school junior.

"It's an exciting time," agrees Shrout. "I'm enjoying my senior year and my last year of high-school football, every practice, every film, every Friday night when I go to battle with my brothers. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else - it's the one thing I wake up every day looking forward to. I have a passion; this is what I want to do for the rest of my life."

But the process doesn't come without pitfalls. When multiple national ranking sites and respected analysts start talking about your stats and hypothesizing about your performance, colleges come knocking and people start talking about what team you'd like to play on professionally, the pressure can get intense.

"It doesn't get to my head - but my team messes with me and makes jokes. I'm a quiet dude, I don't really talk about the things I have, accolades I've earned. I just play the game and hope to perform as well as the websites and recruiting analysts say I can. It's pressure, yes, and then again, no - because if they feel that I'm a top-tier player, I have to trust that, and trust in myself," says 16-year-old Floyd.

"I don't think it's a lot of pressure," says Shrout. "You see stuff on social media, people write stuff - but I just focus on what I can do to make myself better. Being a pro athlete has always been a dream of mine. I am a great believer in God; He always has a plan for me and puts me in the right situations."

One of those "right situations" recently occurred when these two rival superstars were put on the same travel team.

"JT and I played seven-on-seven this year on the same team. We get along real good. It's really nice knowing that it's been both of our dreams to play college ball and to get to the NFL, and here we are, committed. We hit one major milestone and it feels really good - I'm happy for him... but I still want to win that game when Cal plays USC!" laughs Floyd.

"He's a good friend of mine," says Shrout, when talking about Floyd. "Playing against each other this year and in college - that will be interesting. He's a heck of a football player, so it's going to be fun to compete against him. We'll definitely be friendly rivals."

So what do these high performers have to look forward to now that the season is underway? "I'm looking forward to playing Valencia," says Shrout, the Hart Indian. "They are our hometown rival and hopefully we can beat them this year. I think every team wants to win the league championship, CIF and state - but our main goal is to take every game week by week."

Says Floyd: "I just like playing the game. When I'm not, I'm home watching film or I'm watching a player who plays my position," says the recent SCV transplant. "There's a lot more of a relaxed environment in Santa Clarita, so I'm taking advantage of that. I can stay out of trouble and focus, take care of my craft and my education."

Don't Miss these Upcoming Rivalries
Tune into KHTS AM 1220 for Full Coverage

Friday | October 6
Valencia vs Hart (KHTS)
Golden Valley vs Saugus
Canyon vs West Ranch

Friday | October 13
West Ranch vs Saugus (KHTS)
Golden Valley vs Valencia
Hart vs Canyon

Friday | October 20
Valencia vs Saugus (KHTS)
Canyon vs Golden Valley
Hart vs West Ranch

Friday | October 27
Golden Valley vs Hart (KHTS)
Valencia vs West Ranch
Canyon vs Saugus

Friday | November 3
Saugus vs Hart (KHTS)
Golden Valley vs West Ranch
Canyon vs Valencia

Hear Every Play!
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Can't make the game? Don't want to sit in the cold or contend with parking? You can still catch every action-packed second of Santa Clarita's biggest football rivalries live on KHTS AM 1220.
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