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Irwin builds hype with huge season

Football: Local eighth-grader leads youth team to title and shines in all-star game.

January 14, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk,

Trenton Irwin's exploits on the football field have taken him from the Santa Clarita Valley all the way to Texas in the past year, but the recent youth-league champion and national all-star game most valuable player began his journey right here in the Jewel City.

Irwin, a promising wide receiver and safety, honed his skills within the Glendale Bears youth program for seven years, starting at age 5. Still a Glendale resident and currently an eighth-grader at Rosemont Middle School, Irwin joined up with the Santa Clarita Indians of the Pacific Youth Football League two years ago and led the Indians to the PYFL Senior Super Bowl championship this past November.

"Football's a big thing [to me]," Irwin said. "It's fun, it's just an enjoyable thing to do."

Irwin, 15, further made a name for himself among the best youth players in the nation when he competed for the West squad in the Eastbay 2011 Youth All-American Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Sunday and garnered the eight-grade unlimited game's offensive MVP award.


"It felt good, it was cool being offensive MVP," Irwin said of making his mark in the same annual exhibition that, over the years, has featured current NFL stars such as Reggie Bush and Vince Young when they were rising youth stars. "It was just a cool experience."

It was Irwin's second straight selection as a receiver in the Eastbay Youth All-American Bowl — he played in last year's seventh-grade exhibition — and Trenton's father, Craig, said the selections were the culmination of a long audition process that included compiling extensive highlight reels from game footage and performing well at elite camps and clinics.

Trenton Irwin has participated in camps such as the Top Gun Camp in Orlando and other events conducted by Football University, which co-sponsors the Eastbay Youth All-American Bowl. Craig Irwin said his son has also won national awards, including former NFL wideout Andre Rison's Spider-Man Award for the top youth wide receiver.

"It was kind of a whole composite thing," Craig Irwin said. "It sort of took us a long time to get in.

"There's probably four or five kids from California, but only one or two wide receivers."

Competing against and alongside hulking specimens, some listed as large as 6 foot 6 and 260 pounds on the game's official roster, the 5-foot-11 Irwin ended up playing both ways in the West's 32-28 loss when one of the team's starting safeties went down with an injury.

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