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Signing Day extra: Special day for Foothill's Yaghi, Gaitan
SANTA ANA A number of their more memorable encounters have occurred when they‘ve been separated by mere inches.
Of course, once a whistle was blown or the ball was snapped, Foothill’s Chris Yaghi and Junior Gaitan would lock horns, Yaghi representing the best of the Knights defensive line and Gaitan holding that title for the o-line in one-on-one drills.
The two friends found themselves in close proximity again Wednesday afternoon, this time for a far less combative meeting.
Sitting side-by-side amongst 19 fellow classmates, Yaghi and Gaitan each signed collegiate Letters of Intent as part of Foothill’s National Signing Day ceremony.
“Without a doubt they helped each other get better,” Knights coach Doug Case said. “And there’s a lot of other players that get overlooked in that too. But between these two guys battling each other and getting better – competing prior to the contest – that’s what makes your team get better.”
In addition to being two of his most physically dominant players, Yaghi and Gaitan were a pair of Case’s smartest too, each boasting GPA’s better than 4.0. Yaghi will be continuing his career and education at Cal, while Gaitan’s commitment to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo makes him the first member of his family to move onto college.
“It felt like it was a dream,” Gaitan said minutes after signing his intent. “Freshman year, I didn’t think I’d be right here in this position.”
There’s plenty of work ahead for the Knights duo as they prepare for summer workouts. But in typical linemen fashion, they’ve got their priorities straight.
“Got to follow the workout plan that I get from the staff, get as strong as I can and try not to miss any workouts,” Yaghi explained. “Try not to miss any meals either.”