Isaac Joseph perfectly positioned for Valley Christian football

Valley Christian quarterback Isaac Joseph (11) passes against Silverado in the CIF-SS Division 9 Championship football game Saturday, December 03, 2016, Cerritos, CA. Valley Christian led 31-7 at halftime.Photo by Steve McCrank, Press Telegram/SCNG
Valley Christian quarterback Isaac Joseph (11) passes against Silverado in the CIF-SS Division 9 Championship football game Saturday, December 03, 2016, Cerritos, CA. Valley Christian led 31-7 at halftime.Photo by Steve McCrank, Press Telegram/SCNG

Isaac Joseph’s athletic career didn’t start with dreams of becoming the starting quarterback at Valley Christian High. He grew up playing multiple sports and multiple positions on his youth football teams.

However, after transferring from Lakewood High as a sophomore, Joseph led Valley Christian to its first CIF Southern Section title since 1996 last season. The senior captain is statistically one of the best quarterbacks in the area this season, and he will lead Valley Christian (3-2) against St. Anthony (2-2) in nonleague play at Clark Field on Friday.

“(Joseph) works hard,” Valley Christian coach Woodie Grayson said. “He’s a competitor, he wants to play well and he works hard on his craft. He’s grown a lot since he’s been here.”

This season, Joseph is completing 70 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and a 133.5 quarterback rating, according to MaxPreps. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound dual threat has compiled 2,811 passing yards and 587 rushing yards in 26 games at Valley Christian, which is ranked No. 4 in Division 8.

“It feels like we have been playing for four years,” senior tight end Garret Williams said. “It seems like every pass is on the money. We haven’t had a drop yet between us. It seems like we have been playing so long with the chemistry and his leadership.”

At the age of 5, Joseph was inspired by the movie “The Longest Yard” and told his dad, Edward Joseph, that he wanted to play tackle football. In the first year of youth football he played running back, cornerback and even offensive line. Joseph remembers not being comfortable and wanting to be more involved in the game. He had to decide between football and basketball, but that was an easy decision.

“Football has been the main sport that has kept me happy,” Joseph said. “It feels better playing football if you get a win, it feels better, and scoring a touchdown, it feels better than scoring a bucket.”

After deciding he wanted to try quarterback, Joseph and his dad practiced throwing the ball at a local park.

“Once I saw that he had an arm and was pretty good at it, I knew he would be a quarterback,” Edward Joseph said. “He’s really quick to memorize plays and he’s sharp and that’s what it takes to play the position.”

Joseph said the transition from Lakewood to Valley Christian was rough because he’s naturally a quiet person, and he had to battle for playing time with returning starter Jesse Smith. After playing in five games as a sophomore, Joseph won the starting job as a junior and led Valley Christian to the CIF-SS Division 9 title with a 59-13 rout of Victorville Silverado.

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“He has grown as a leader, he was really timid at first but now he’s more outspoken and a leader,” senior wide receiver Bailey Torres said. “He’s a really fun guy to be around because he always lightens up the room with his jokes and himself.”

Joseph averaged 154 yards of total offense with 22 touchdowns last year.

“I think that’s where his confidence grew,” Edward Joseph said. “I think that transition has helped him into this year. I was very proud of him during that run, and hope they can do it again.”

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