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Pleasanton Preps: Foothill alum Mannion set for Super Bowl with LA Rams

Also: Up and down week for high school basketball teams

One of the many things being talked about regarding this weekend's Super Bowl is that it will be a battle of Bay Area quarterbacks, with the New England Patriots' Tom Brady (Serra/San Mateo) facing the Los Angeles Rams' Jared Goff (Marin Catholic).

Lost in the shuffle of the hype of the starting quarterbacks is there is one more Bay Area signal caller -- Foothill Falcons alum Sean Mannion -- making the trip to the NFL's championship game.

Mannion is a 2010 graduate of Foothill, and he followed with a record-setting career at Oregon State. He was the third-round pick of the 2015 draft for the Rams and has played in seven games in his first three seasons.

This year, Mannion was only 2-for-3 but is the backup for Goff and that means one thing -- Mannion is one big hit away from playing in the Super Bowl with the eyes of the world watching.

It's enough excitement that has me, a devout 49ers fan, on the edge of rooting for the Rams, something I never thought I would do -- of course other than when they play the Las Vegas Raiders!

Mannion is easy to root for because he is as a good person as he is a quarterback. He graduated from Foothill the same year as one of our daughters, so we were around him regularly. In addition, I was the sports editor of the now non-existent Try-Valley Herald and spent three years covering his varsity days.

But it's not just Sean that is a great person. His parents John and Inga are both wonderful, sincere people. John spent years as an assistant to Foothill icon Matt Sweeney before eventually taking over the job when Sweeney stepped away from the program due to health concerns.

When Sweeney returned to the program, he was content to be John's assistant, but John stepped aside so Sweeney could take the reins. When Sean went to Oregon State, John and Inga followed, moving the family to Oregon where he was first the coach at Silverton and then at Mountainside High in Beaverton.

I last saw Sean at a surprise retirement party last May for Sweeney when he retired from the Foothill job. Sean flew up from Southern California for the day to pay tribute to Sweeney.

He was the same down-to-earth person he was as a high school kid. Now he is traveling to his first Super Bowl, and despite it being the Rams, I couldn't be more excited for Sean and his family.

I have always been a person that believes good things happen to good people. And for Sean, it's coming to fruition. Whether or not Sean gets into the Super Bowl, those who know him will be looking for No. 14 on the sideline throughout the game.

Amador boys basketball

The Dons went 2-1 last week, beating San Ramon Valley and Livermore before falling to California.

The week started with a 49-42 win over San Ramon Valley. Jules Bellosguardo led the way with 23 points for the Dons. John Venzon added 6 points to round out the top scorers.

Next up was a 56-29 win over Livermore, with Bellosguardo leading the way again, this time with 13 points. Tyler Nanney added 10, with Patrick Gallagher and Will Sadler adding 8 points each.

In the final game of the week, the Dons dropped a 66-59 game to California. Jaden Sheppard had 18 points to lead the way. Venzon chipping in 9 points, and Demetre Aaron and Gallagher added 8 each.

Foothill girls basketball

The Falcons started last week with a 47-35 win over Livermore.

Hope Alley paced the attack with 13 points. Katelynn Jensen scored 7 points, Lauren Twamugabo, Gianna Lyng and Reese Lombardi had 6 points each.

Later in the week, the Falcons fell 47-26 to Monte Vista. Lombardi and Jensen had 8 points each.

Amador girls basketball

The Dons dropped a 62-51 game to California at the end of the week. Isabella Maurico had 18 points to lead the Amador attack. Emily Tincher had 11 points and Jennie Yang 10 for the Dons.

Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact Miller or submit local high school sports scores, game highlights and photographs for his weekly Pleasanton Preps column, email him at acesmag@aol.com.

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