Record-setting running back Cozine on first team, junior lineman Maino on second team

he plaudits just keep coming for Taft High’s record-setting ball carrier and the guy who punched holes for him to run through.

Senior running back Robert Cozine, who rushed for 2,729 yards and 28 touchdowns, and junior two-way lineman Maino Maino were named first team All-State small school by Cal Hi Sports.

Both also are first team All-South Sequoia League and All-Area.

Was their coach, George Falgout, impressed?

“Man, as a coach I’m just proud of Robert and Maino and their achievements,” he said.

“As a coach at Taft Union High School, I am grateful and blessed to have been able to coach outstanding athletes like these two young men.”

Cozine broke the single season school rushing record and is seventh in Central Section history. He ran for fore than 400 yards in two games.

“His great vision and hard running got him to be one of the top running backs in the nation,” Falgout said. “As a coaching staff we knew there was something special that was going to happen, but we had no idea it was going to be this special for Robert.”

Cozine my play at Bakersfield College next fall, his coach said.

“I know people think of Robert as being small, but he is strong and fast,” Falgout said. “With continual work in the weight room, I do not think he would have any problems playing at the college level.”

In order for Cozine to run for nearly three thousand yards he needed some help up front, and one of the guys leading the way was Maino.

“He was a huge part of our offense,” Falgout said. “As a big, strong junior he has shown why he is a force to be reckoned with up front. Maino made some huge holes on the right side of our offense and pulling through the left side clearing people out for Cozine.”

He said Maino was a big reason the Wildcats rushed from almost 5,000 yards.

“Maino will be our top lineman next season and a leader in our football team. With a hard working attitude in the weight room and on the football field Maino is going to be off the charts, and I can’t wait to see what his achievements will be next season.”

Both Cozine and Maino played on both sides of the ball last season.