Steven Bradshaw is Paloma Valley’s tackling machine
By Matt Jocks
MENIFEE — The numbers for Steven Bradshaw jump off the screen at you. Unless you are Steven Bradshaw.
“Really, it’s what I expect from myself,” he said. “I set high standards for myself.”
Operating at middle linebacker for Paloma Valley, Bradshaw can sometimes seem as if he is two or three Bradshaws. He has registered 91 total tackles in six games, more than 15 per game and nearly twice as many as the next highest on his team.
Topping the Wildcats is nothing new for Bradshaw – he did that as a sophomore and junior as well. However, he has already topped his full season totals from those years.
“You know, with the stats, sometimes you’re not sure,” Wildcats coach Tom Tello said. “But after one game, when he had something like 18, I went back and looked at the tape and they were legit. It’s because he is always flying to the ball.”
What coaches see on the tape and what others see on the stat sheet are the result of a drive that has been pushing Bradshaw for years. From his days of playing youth tackle football as a 7-year-old through watching his brother Mat play quarterback at Heritage to the coach who told him as a freshman that he would have to get bigger and faster to have a chance to play at the next level. It all added fuel to the fire.
And the fire burns hot.
“You hear coaches yelling for everyone to pick it up (in practice),” said Paloma Valley quarterback Chance Nolan. “They have to tell him to slow it down. Because he’s killing everybody out there.”
Nolan and Tello first encountered Bradshaw as an opponent, Nolan as a youth football player, Tello as an assistant coach at Heritage.
Each saw a different element that has made Bradshaw’s game what it is.