By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
One of Jonah Manheim’s fondest memories came five years ago when, as a senior year at Palisades High, he quarterbacked the varsity football team to a 14-7 upset of Venice, snapping a 15-game losing streak to its archrival and earning the Dolphins a share of the Western League championship.
Manheim completed seven of 10 pass attempts and scored the game’s first touchdown on a sneak then engineered a seven-play, 50-yard scoring march on Palisades’ next possession. He was thrust into the quarterback role when first-stringer Gabe Galef suffered an MCL injury on the first play of the season opener against Sierra Canyon. Manheim ended up playing all 12 games, throwing for 772 yards and eight touchdowns and running for seven more scores. Now, he’s back with his alma mater, only this time as the quarterbacks coach.
“I had an amazing four years at Indiana University studying Sports Marketing and Management and I graduated in May,” he said. “What really led me to coaching is that I had a coaching minor in college and it was such a cool opportunity and a cool program so I thought I might as well go and do that, we’ll see where that goes and it’s led me here. It’s something I really enjoy doing and it feels like we’re playing again, competing, the juices flowing, nerves, getting all fired up and stuff like that. They need the help, I love Coach Montz and all the other coaches so it’s good to be back, do whatever I can to help on staff now, not as a player.”
Manheim is growing more and more comfortable in his new role and while part of him longs to be in the huddle, he is glad to mentor the latest school of Dolphins, which includes his younger brother Toby, a junior outside linebacker.
“He’s brought a whole new vibe, a whole new energy to practice,” Toby said of his older sibling. “He has a football brain and after what he did in high school the guys really respect him.”
Jonah can relate to current quarterback Dylan Hassid, who became the starter unexpectedly after All-League signal-caller Forrest Brock transferred to Birmingham.
“The first week I came in and helped with the install, helped organize and refine the offense,” Jonah said. “I’m super happy to be back at Pali. I learned my senior year that you’ve got to be ready for anything and be prepared for whatever life throws at you, good or bad. It’s all about persevering and rolling with the punches.”
Jonah’s other brother, Eli, was a wide receiver at Pali High, graduating in 2019, and their mom Lisa is President of the Quarterback Club.
“The four game season helped Dylan,” Manheim said. “They won three of the four and it was all about winning games at that point. From the bleachers I was like ‘make your mistakes now’ because we have lots of young guys getting experience.”
Manheim is a stickler for details and his job is to make sure receivers are running the right routs and the quarterbacks are making the right reads so they don’t make mistakes Friday nights at Stadium by the Sea.
“Pali is like a family, it’s a close-knit group and a tight community and it’s nice to be able to be on the sidelines, helping call plays, being in Dylan’s ear,” he added. “We’ll disciplined, we’ll be good. We’re going to run the ball, we’re going to pass the ball and we’ll see how the season progresses, but I’m fired up. I can’t wait for the first game!”
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