Thunder quarterback not nervous anymore

Jimmy Laughrea has helped Rocklin start 7-0
By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Rocklin High junior quarterback Jimmy Laughrea says he was nervous starting at the varsity level last season. Things have changed this year. “Last year I was kind of learning to play at the varsity level and I was so nervous and I didn’t really have the experience,” says Laughrea, who took over the starting position in the third game a year ago. “I thought the coaches and players did a great job last year and this year it’s even better coaching and playing by all of us. Things are a lot easier.” Laughrea and his Thunder teammates are 7-0 and will try to remain unbeaten when they host Oakmont on Friday night. Laughrea, nearly 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, was 100-for-203 passing for 1,522 yards, 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions for the 4-6 Thunder last year. He also rushed for two scores. This season he is 92-139 for 1,495 yards, 15 touchdowns and three interceptions. He has also run 23 times for 238 yards and five touchdowns. “Jimmy has always been a competitor but it really showed up during the pressure situations (during Friday night’s 14-7 victory at Granite Bay),” Rocklin coach Greg Benzel said. “To make plays in critical situations is a sign of a great football player. Big players make big plays in big games.” Friday’s game had extra meaning for Laughrea as he was Granite Bay’s starting quarterback on the freshmen team two years ago. Laughrea has always lived in Rocklin but he started high school at Granite Bay as his father was employed there. Laughrea battled injuries throughout his freshman season and it eventually ended early because of a broken collarbone. “It was definitely more emotional because that was my old school and I know those guys,” Laughrea said. “And it was awesome (throwing a fourth-quarter touchdown to beat them).” Laughrea likes to follow quarterbacks Matt Barkley (USC) and Tom Brady (New England Patriots) on the weekends. “Matt Barkley is a pretty good quarterback and then I grew up watching Tom Brady,” said Laughrea, who would love nothing more than to play football at USC. “Both of them are great quarterbacks. Matt Barkley, starting as a true freshman at USC is pretty impressive and I grew up watching them and wanting to go there. And Brady, my grandparents are back east and I’ve grown up watching the Patriots.” Laughrea has received some interest from colleges. “Stanford sent me a few letters and Sac State too,” Laughrea said. “I sent out a few highlight videos a few weeks ago.” Laughrea will go through his usual routine prior to Friday’s game against Oakmont. “We have defensive walk-throughs during last period and then I go home and get my stuff and maybe a take a nap,” Laughrea said. “Sometimes I watch ‘Remember the Titans’. And before going back to school I go to Sonic and get a small cherry slushy and then I go back to school at 5 or something. Then we have offensive walkthroughs and get taped up for game time.” He hopes his normal routine ends with the usual result – a W.