Big 'Gaines' for Chowchilla football star

Chowchilla wide receiver Fred Gaines.
Chowchilla wide receiver Fred Gaines. Merced Sun-Star photo by Marci Stenberg

CHOWCHILLA -- Fred Gaines was a standout player on both sides of the ball for the Chowchilla football team.

And now it looks like Gaines will reprise his dual-threat role at Cal Poly in the fall.

The senior will sign a national letter of intent with Cal Poly today.

"This is a great day for Fred Gaines," Chowchilla coach John Henson said.

"To have a chance to go to a prestigious academic university like Cal Poly is a big deal, but to also get an athletic scholarship is an even bigger deal."

Gaines was the unequivocal star of Chowchilla's run to a Valley Championship.

There wasn't much the defensive back/running back couldn't do.

Gaines led Chowchilla's ground-based attack with 1,008 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging nearly 9 yards per carry.

On defense, he paced the area with nine interceptions.

Gaines was named the North Sequoia League's Most Valuable Player, and was an All-Area first-team selection on defense.

Henson said Gaines was recruited as a defensive back, but could also find time in Cal Poly's triple-option Flex Bone offense.