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Wheatland's Vetrone headed to Valparaiso on scholarship
His broken ankle may have cost the Wheatland High football team a shot at the Northern Section championship, but it didn't cost Vince Vetrone a college football scholarship.
After rushing for 826 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight games during a senior season that was cut short due to a broken ankle, Vetrone has signed to play with Valparaiso University in Indiana next season.
"They're going to the spread offense and they want a gamebreaker and some speed in the backfield," Wheatland coach Javier Lopez said. "They liked what they saw in Vince and they're giving him a pretty good chunk of change to go there."
With the speed to outrun and the strength bull over defenders, Vetrone was one of the most explosive players in the area last fall. He ran for an average of 103.3 rushing yards per game and averaged a stellar 8.34 yards per carry before breaking a small bone in his ankle against on Oct. 30 at home against Gridley.
The Pirates, who were 8-1 and put up more than 42 points per game at the time of the injury, were beaten 42-15 by rival Sutter in the Butte View League title game the following week and never recovered.
One week later, Wheatland was bounced from the Northern Section Division II playoffs with a 19-7 loss to Central Valley. Vetrone never touched the field in either game.
The muscular 5-foot-9, 170-pounder joins a Valparaiso squad that finished 3-8 overall and 2-4 in the Pioneer Football League last season. And as part of the PFL, Vetrone will get a chance to play against former Wheatland teammate Clint Johnson when the Crusaders travel to play the University of San Diego on Oct. 23.