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Athlete of the Month: Eli Brickhandler

Eli Brickhandler throws a pass in Xclusive Speed's 35-7 win on Jan. 30, 2021. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Eli Brickhandler throws a pass in Xclusive Speed's 35-7 win on Jan. 30, 2021. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

Nothing could stand in the way of Pittsburg senior quarterback Eli Brickhandler in January.

As part of Xclusive Speed’s club football team in the Winner Circle Athletics Champions League, Brickhandler provided some of the top performances during his four weeks of the regular season – featuring an incredible effort on Saturday.

Brickhandler totaled 303 yards offensively, finishing with a 15-for-19 line through the air with 243 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 60 rushing yards on 10 carries, continually extending plays for big gains – including the final score of the game, when he ran to the right sideline, stopped for a second and then found Denmark (Georgia) senior receiver Azari Brown for the 36-yard touchdown to put the stamp on the 35-7 victory.

That was the second time Brickhandler obliterated opponents, coming just three weeks after another masterful performance when he helped will Xclusive Speed to its first win of the travel ball season in Southern California. He threw for 183 yards and three touchdowns, adding another score on the ground, in Xclusive Speed’s 27-21 victory in week No. 2, all the while making an incredible diving play on the fourth down on the final drive before tossing the game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds.

Brickhandler’s career is filled with these types of efforts every stop of the way, as the dual-threat quarterback shined at his previous school at Rocklin’s Whitney High School, surpassing 3,000 total yards (2,259 passing, 743 rushing) and leading Whitney to a Sac-Joaquin Section championship berth after a winless season the year prior.

The first two Division I offers rolled in for Brickhandler over the past two weeks from Presbyterian and the University of San Diego. His other offers include Black Hills State, Iowa Wesleyan, La Verne, Lawrence Tech, Rocky Mountain College and Saint Anselm.

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