Tarek’s Take: Alemany’s Paden White, Notre Dame’s Wyatt Becker standout amidst the losses

Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now.

Tarek’s Takes is a weekly review of my high school football predictions from the week before. Where I was right and where I was wrong, and why.

I predicted the outcome of seven Week 8 games and went 5-2, including the right pick in the Game of the Week between Chaminade and Bishop Amat.

Right picks: Chaminade over Bishop Amat (36-29); Thousand Oaks over Moorpark (24-17); Notre Dame over Alemany (22-14); El Camino Real over Taft (28-14); Canoga Park over Kennedy (47-33)

Wrong picks: Sierra Canyon over Serra (35-21); Bishop Diego over Calabasas (48-21)

2022 pick record: 39-15 | Game of the Week: 5-3

Tarek’s Take


Enduring a losing season is hard. But Alemany junior running back Paden White and Notre Dame sophomore quarterback Wyatt Becker stood out when the two teams met Friday night for a Mission League showdown.

I was asked by parents, coaches, admin, and even an off-campus police officer, what I was doing at the game.

…What are you doing here? … Isn’t there a better game somewhere?

Alemany (2-5, 0-3 Mission) and Notre Dame (4-4, 2-1) are the weakest teams in the league. Notre Dame did move to 2-1 with a 22-14 win Friday night, but one win came via forfeit. Gardena Serra beat the Knights on the field 13-7 on September 30.

Despite what seemed like a ho-hum game. There is a bright spot on each team, and I wanted to see them for myself. White and Becker didn’t disappoint.

White, a shifty tailback, has been forced to play quarterback and run the wildcat offense after the team’s lone QB CJ Ceron went down with a season-ending injury. White raised his hand to take on the challenge.

“He’s been unbelievable,” Alemany coach Casey Clausen said. “Great kid. Does anything we ask him to.”

White rushed for 136 yards on 28 attempts and a touchdown, but that’s not what was most impressive. He ran the ball almost every play, get pummeled by a squadron of defenders, pop right back up, and jog to the huddle for the next play. Over, and over again.

“Cryotherapy,” said White, when explaining how he takes care of his body after being hit so many times. “I do it every Thursday to get my body prepared for Friday nights.”

Becker didn’t exactly have a clean jersey after the game, either. The young righty bolted up the middle of the field for a 9-yard gain to convert a first down. But multiple Alemany defenders made him pay the price. He laid on field for a moment to collect himself while a teammate waved to the sideline for a trainer, it looked like Becker was hurt.

A few ticks later, Becker popped up and commanded the huddle.

Notre Dame quarterback Wyatt Becker throws a pass against Alemany in Mission League action October 14, 2022.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

“It always feels good to win a league game,” Becker said. “We executed and converted third downs tonight. That was big.”

Becker threw for 121 yards on 14 of 22 passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s up to 1,515 yards and 15 touchdowns this season with a 61.8 completion percentage.

While Becker was slinging it, White was running it.

White stands 6-feet tall and hovers around 185 pounds. He can cut and go. He can make defenders miss in tight spaces. He also showed he can be a patient runner – waiting for blockers ahead to pave the way before he bolts through a gap.

“I learned a lot from Floyd Chalk and Jaylen Thompson last year,” White said of the two backs that tallied over 2,800 yards rushing en route to the team’s CIF-SS Division 2 final.

White said his goal is to reach 1,000 yards rushing this season. He’s over 800 with two games to play. He’ll have to earn those yards, especially with the opponents knowing the Warriors can’t pass the ball.

Alemany’s Paden White against Notre Dame in Mission League action October 14, 2022.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

“I’m working with a quarterback coach so I can throw if we need it … keep the defense honest,” White said. “I have a never-give-up attitude.”

Becker’s future is bright. He’s already garnered a slew of college scholarship offers, including Florida State, Penn State, Georgia and Tennessee.

Despite a stretch of losses (on the field), Becker and White both shared honest, refreshing optimism about their respective programs.

“I truly believe we can win our last two Mission League games,” Becker said.

And maybe, more than their apparent talent, the spirit and energy they both ooze when speaking about their programs is what could anchor more wins in seasons to come.

“We’re going to battle the last two games,” White said. “But next year is going to be great.”

Share the Post:

Related Posts