Youth football players are increasingly drawing attention from coaches at higher levels of competition, and one of the more intriguing of these is Bay Area quarterback Jake Haener. Having grown up in the San Ramon Valley T-Birds organization, he is now set to lead the Midget squad (up to 160 pounds) through the Diablo Valley Youth Football Conference.
Haener benefits from a football background provided by his father, Ryan, who played quarterback at Fresno’s Bullard High School before moving to running back at the Div. II university level. The elder Haener is now an assistant for the T-Birds’ Jr. Pee Wee team, which Jake played on previously.
As for the teammates at his level, the younger Haener told me, “Other than a few new players here and there, we’ve had the same core team for the last few years.” That familiarity has brought success to the emerging new wave of East Bay talent.
In his three seasons as a starter, Haener has helped lead his respective team to a 33-2 record as well as Jr. Pee Wee and Pee Wee championships. And with such merits to Haener’s credit, Jake is quick to point out that, “It’s a team game, everyone works equally hard and I just happen to be the quarterback.”
When it comes to throwing, Haener is a pro-style quarterback who models his play after some well known locals. “I follow Brett Nottingham from Stanford, Kyle Wright when he was at Miami and Drew Brees of the Saints.”
The former two were highly touted players from Danville’s Monte Vista High School. Back in 2003, Wright was widely considered the top prep QB in the nation. More recently, Nottingham finished second in NorCal prep history with 3,962 yards and 45 touchdowns in 2009.
Along with Monte Vista, Haener is considering nearby San Ramon Valley and De La Salle for his high school future. All three play in the East Bay Athletic League, which produces remarkable talent on a yearly basis.
To hopefully add his name and profile to the next wave of East Bay stars, Haener trains with NFA up to three times a week and has been doing so for three years already. Haener’s personal coach, Will Hewlett, remarked on the results by telling me, “Jake has one of the fastest and fundamentally sound releases I have ever seen. He could be one of the best pro-style QB prospects to come down the pipeline into NorCal in quite some time.”
Still young and still growing – he’s four inches taller since the end of last season – Jake Haener is definitely a name to remember for the future.