Amador Valley High quarterback Kyle Moreno knows what Brown can do for him -- Brown University that is.
The Dons senior is excited to be heading to the Ivy League school in Providence, R.I.
"It was a tough summer going to camps and everything, but I got it done," Moreno said. "I'm real excited to be a Brown Bear and get (the decision) out of the way, so I can focus on Amador."
He has some unfinished business.
Moreno wants to help Amador Valley achieve its two main goals -- advance to the North Coast Section Division I playoffs and beat arch-rival Foothill for the first time since 2004.
"Foothill has a streak against us and we're trying to break that," Moreno said.
The Dons fell short of their goals in 2011, missing the playoffs after closing the season with a loss to the Falcons.
Amador Valley coach Rick Sira is encouraged by the new squad's depth and its high-character players. Setting the tone is the bright guy behind center.
"Smart guy, great kid," Sira said of Moreno. "Excellent leader. Very hard worker. The kids kind of all look to him for mental support and leadership, and he's done a good job of doing that."
Consider Moreno, in his third year with the varsity, an exception in a league full of inexperienced quarterbacks this season.
The Dons took a hit when standout linebacker/left tackle Mitchell Mayo recently suffered a broken ankle, which could sideline him for at least the first three
Kyle Greenan, Grant Miller and Justin Cruz figure to be Moreno's go-to receivers, and running back/linebacker Sam Peters could be sitting on a breakout season.
"Right now we're thin in numbers, but we have a lot of talent," said Moreno, who is 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds. "I've played here three years on the varsity, and this is probably the most talented team I've been on."
The Dons continue to usher in the "pistol" offense, which they began utilizing toward the end of last season to take advantage of the play-action pass.
Moreno checks off some of the team's strengths: "A very good offense, very explosive, probably the best offensive line in the East Bay Athletic League, in my opinion," he said. "Very big offensive line, all of them are returning. Our defense is very strong."
Nate Vickers and Jesse Cerdas are looking solid on the line. Running back/safety Jimmy Ferrara, who transferred last year but did not play, is an impressive newcomer.
Sira expects more of the same from the EBAL competition.
"The great thing about the EBAL is how tough it is, how well-coached (the teams are), the training of the athletes and all that," Sira said. "The bad part about the EBAL is all those things too. But it's a great experience for the kids in our area. I think all the great things that athletics can give to kids, our league does that."
Moreno appears to be making the most of his journey.
He upped his dedication in the weight room in the offseason, in addition to throwing to his wide receivers each day, he said. Sira believes Moreno can be successful at the next level as a dropback passer.
And it's tough to top an Ivy League education.
"Getting a great education is No. 1 with me and my family, and there's some great football (at Brown), obviously," Moreno said. "I'm really looking forward to it."
Amador Valley schedule
Aug. 24 FREEDOM 7 p.m.
Aug. 31 at Concord 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 at Dublin 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 at California* 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 SRV* 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 at Livermore* 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 DE LA SALLE* 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 GRANADA* 7 p.m.
Oct. 26 at Monte Vista* 7 p.m.
Nov. 2 FOOTHILL* 7 p.m.
Home games in CAPS