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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended May 14, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 19May00

Summarized by Paul Pickett

LDS High School Football Star Profiled
(Promising Olson Has Star Quality)
The Los Angeles Times pg10 10May00 S2
By Eric Sondheimer

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- LDS sophomore sensation Ben Olson is the focus of this article in the L.A. Times. The 6-foot-4 1/2-inches quarterback for Thousand Oaks High School is showing some outstanding talent. Last season, Olson shared quarterback duties on the varsity team and passed for 673 yards and five touchdowns in a run-oriented attack.

First-year coach Mike Sanders, who helped tutor St. Francis quarterback John Sciarra, one of the region's top prospects, has brought in former Royal High, UCLA and Idaho quarterback Ryan Fien to serve as Olson's coach. Both coaches praise Olson's athletic skills and work ethic.

"The first time I saw him, he was dunking a basketball," Sanders said. "He's a super kid. You leave John Sciarra and think, 'I'm not going to get a chance to coach another [quarterback] like him for a while,' and then there's Ben. I'm excited."

With a 3.8 grade-point average, 4.6-second speed over 40 yards and the willingness to listen and learn, Olson is capable of distinguishing himself in many ways.

Olson also does extra work on his own. He rises at 5:45 a.m. to do push-ups and sit-ups and attend a seminary class at his Mormon church. Occasionally he'll make a run up what he calls "Tarantula Hill," near his home.


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