Special Teams Player Key to Vista Murrieta's Success

Tackles like this and blocked kicks have become Brandon Worthy's specialty for Vista Murrieta High this season. Fans of football ...

Tackles like this and blocked kicks have become Brandon Worthy's specialty for Vista Murrieta High this season.

Fans of football will often point out how well their team did on offense or defense and attribute the success of their favorite team to those aspects. Rarely does the special teams unit get the same respect. But with a team like Vista Murrieta High School, special teams can be just as important.

The Broncos, who are preparing for Saturday's CIF West Valley Division championship game against Mission Viejo, take special teams practice very seriously. Led by senior Brandon Worthy, Vista Murrieta's special teams unit has been the difference between winning and losing in several games this season.

A defensive back, Worthy ranks second on the team in tackles (84) and interceptions (4). While this alone would make him a player to be watched, his success on special teams has made him a standout. This season, he has blocked three punts, a PAT, and even a field goal attempt in last week's playoff game against Upland High School.

"It's a big emphasis for us," Worthy says about special teams. "It's the way we practice and the way we play. We practice special teams just about as much as we do offense and defense. Special teams can score you points and it can stop points."

Worthy said a big play on special teams is exciting, but perhaps no more so than a big hit from his defensive position.

"Making a big play on special teams is always exhilarating," he said. "I think playing defense and rockin' dudes is the greatest feeling in the world, and that's why I do it everyday."

Going back for a sixth straight appearance in the CIF division finals is a big deal for any team. Moving to a tougher division this season, it caught many by surprise that Vista Murrieta returned to the championship game.

"I think sometimes people take it for granted that we're in the finals," Worthy said with a smile. "At the start of the season, I don't think anybody thought we would make the finals, especially with the new tougher division that we're in. It's a blessing to be here and we're playing a great team."

Worthy is being heavily recruited by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. When asked about his plans after his high school football career is over, he said, "I've had some schools talking to me and we'll just see where that goes. Hopefully, I see myself in Division 1-AA ball.

"Defense is definitely where I see myself in college, but hopefully I get the opportunity to play special teams as well."

Playing in Angels Stadium can be intimidating for a player, but Worthy doesn't appear concerned.

"It doesn't matter where we play," he said. "We just want to go in there and get the job done and just play Broncos football -- play sound and play fast."

Brandon Worthy leaps toward a punter on one of his many attempted blocks. He has blocked three punts this season.


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  1. Great job kid, proud of you. Keep up the hard work, it will pay off soon !!!

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