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SAM GANGWER , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Eric Barriere signs his letter of intent to attend Eastern Washington as two athletes from La Habra High sign their letters of intent Wednesday morning.

Signing Day extra: La Habra players enjoy another highlight

STAFF WRITER

LA HABRA Eric Barriere and Jacob Colacion found themselves in their element at the heart of La Habra’s quad Wednesday morning – shaking hands, bumping fists, taking countless photos with teammates and classmates on the cusp of yet another football-related achievement.

After helping write the latest championship chapter in La Habra’s storied history, the duo penned their names on what’s arguably the most important document they’ve signed yet – a college letter of intent.

The lone La Habra players to sign on National Signing Day, Barriere made his commitment to Eastern Washington official, and Colacion did the same with Arizona.

“It’s kind of surreal because as a kid I’ve pretty much just wanted to play college ball,” said Barriere, donning a red Eagles cap with a matching EWU jacket. “Now I’m getting the opportunity to play so it’s really special.”

The first-team All-County quarterback had a flare for the dramatic in his senior season, tossing a pair of game-winning Hail Mary’s, the second of which likely immortalized Barriere in La Habra lore as it helped secure the Highlanders their seventh CIF-Southern Section title.

Despite three-plus year as a varsity starter, an arm capable of making all the throws and a set of wheels that always make him a threat to tuck it and run, Barriere was never offered by any major Division 1 programs, namely, because his 6-foot, 195-pound frame.

Eastern Washington’s spread attack has excelled in recent memory under quarterbacks who might have been an inch or two shorter than prototypical stature. Vernon Adams – who measured in at 5-foot-11, 195 pounds – was a three-year starter for the Eagles before transferring to Oregon this past season, where he ran the Ducks high-powered offense.

“We’re hoping he erases all memory of Vernon Adams,” Highlanders coach Frank Mazzotta joked.

That process might have already begun.

If you logged onto Eastern Washington’s football webpage Wednesday, the first photo you saw was of Barriere, sporting an EWU uniform.

Like his teammate, Colacion will trade in La Habra blue for a shade of red when he makes the move to Arizona this summer.

The linebacker was walking without crutches Wednesday, a positive sight after suffering a torn ACL that sidelined him for La Habra’s final eight games of the season.

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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