May 30, 2013
Despite mammoth jump, Center's Howell still under the radar

Even after jumping 6-10 early in the season, then going 7 feet at last week's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships, the phone hasn't been ringing off the hook for Center's Xavier Howell.

The 6-foot-4 Howell is a late bloomer. His best jump as a junior was 6-5, though he was injured for much of the season.

A basketball-first athlete most of his career at Center - he hasn't ruled out trying to play the sport at the next level - Howell has only received a couple of nibbles, no solid offers.

"I think there are schools that are missing out," said Center coach John Gallagher. "Maybe it's the size of our school or competing in a smaller division, but Xavier is a quality athlete."

Howell said his best option might be staying close to home and going to a community college to continue to hone his skills.

"It'll give me a chance to work on all my events," said Howell, who has competed in the long and triple jumps and sprints this season.

Howell admits, though, he's had a whirlwind week since his mammoth jump last Thursday. Howell got a standing ovation from his classmates the next day in his econ class.

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Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at or

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