A whole lot of speed, talent and dedication linked up at Huyck Stadium last week.
Of course, former Lompoc great Sheldon Canley, Sr. was on the new artificial turf surface as his son and current Lompoc standout Sheldon Canley, Jr. was preparing for his senior season in blue and white.
Canley Sr. played in the NFL after starring at San Jose State. Canley Jr. is the top football recruit in Santa Barbara County with offers from multiple Mountain West schools and another from Washington State of the Pac-12.
The two, though, weren't alone on the Huyck field. They were joined by former Lompoc High star and, perhaps, the greatest athlete in county history: The one-and-only Napoleon Kaufman.
Kaufman rushed for 86 touchdowns while playing for Lompoc High from 1988-90. He scored 520 points in his prep career and rushed 590 times for 5,151 yards and 68 touchdowns. He also caught 45 passes for 730 yards and six more scores. On defense, he intercepted eight passes and returned four of those for touchdowns.
He also returned four punts and four kicks for touchdowns and averaged nearly 70 yards per return during his junior and senior seasons. Kaufman earned the Cal-Hi Sports junior Player of the Year in 1989 and was the state Player of the Year in 1990, earning USA TODAY, Parade, Super Prep, ESPN, Street and Smith and Sporting News All-American honors.
Kaufman also won the 100 (10.57 seconds) and 200 (21.15 seconds) state championships as a junior. He did not run track his senior year as he prepared to play football at the University of Washington.
The one-time Brave played four seasons at Washington and rushed 710 times for 4,041 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also had 424 yards receiving and 825 yards on kick returns and earned All-American honors in Seattle.
The Oakland Raiders would draft Kaufman with the 18th overall pick in 1995. He played 91 games for the Raiders and rushed 978 times for 4,792 yards and 12 scores. The 5-foot-9 tailback retired after the 2000 season, at the age of 27, to practice his ministry in the Bay Area. Kaufman later became the head coach of the football team at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland.
Canley Sr., also a running back, preceded Kaufman at Lompoc High and starred at Hancock College, where he earned JC All-American honors. Canley Sr. earned the Northern League MVP honor as a senior at Lompoc and took All-CIF recognition, too.
He then starred at San Jose State from 1988-90 and eventually was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2010. At one point, Canley held 12 school records at SJSU. He was the first college player to ever average over 200 all-purpose yards per game in his career (205.8).
Selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1991 NFL draft, Canley spent his first professional season on injured reserve. After that he was on the NFL rosters of the New York Jets and Denver Broncos, before finishing his playing career for the Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League in 1994.
Canley was inducted into the Northern Santa Barbara County Hall of Fame in 2008.
In three seasons at San Jose State, Canley rushed for 2,513 yards on 576 carries for 27 touchdowns. He also had 828 yards receiving and three more scores. Canley had two return touchdowns and 1,800 yards on returns during his days with the Spartans.
Canley Jr. holds offers from San Jose State, San Diego State, Colorado State, Nevada, Washington State and William & Mary.
In 15 games in a Lompoc uniform, Canley Jr. has rushed for 1,320 yards on 136 carries and 22 touchdowns. He also has 162 yards receiving and another score. His junior season was limited to four games due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Canley Jr. had a stellar track season, dropping his PR to 10.64 in the 100-meter dash and advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division 3 Finals.
Kaufman holds the school record in the 100 with a time of 10.39, ran during a Northern League meet in San Luis Obispo. Kaufman ran a 10.49 during the state prelims.
Canley Sr. held a series of popular running back camps and Kaufman was an occasional coach at the clinics.