Those who knew Cameron Ely are still in shock of Tuesday’s tragic incident in Hope Ranch.
The former San Marcos High School standout is remembered by current and former school staff as being polite and well spoken. His former coach Will Gonzalez told the News-Press that Mr. Ely was “truly the All-American boy.”
He was loved by his teammates and classmates alike. He is remembered for his loyalty – both to his coaches and his school. Many of his passing records remain unbroken – though the same cannot be said for the hearts of those who watched him shine in the realm of athletics.
Mr. Ely was shot and killed Tuesday night by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies and is accused of stabbing his mother to death at his parent’s home.
Mr. Ely set the Royals school record for passing yards in 2005, throwing for 1,893 yards and 13 touchdowns. He set the single season and career yardage passing records during the 2005 season when he led the Royals to the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs and was named All-Channel League and All-County. In his junior and senior seasons, he threw for a combined 3,527 yards and 26 touchdowns. He was also a key player for the Royals basketball team, a first-team all league baseball player as a pitcher and finished his time at San Marcos with a 4.3 GPA.
Mr. Ely left the Royals program in 2006 and moved to New Hampshire to attend Phillips Exeter Academy. There he became the team captain and was voted Most Valuable Player after leading the Lions to a 7-2 record. In an interview with the News-Press in 2007, Mr. Ely likened his prep school experience to that of junior college. Following his final season, he was named Quarterback of the Year by an association of New England-area football coaches.
The 6-foot-6 quarterback was highly recruited out of high school, drawing interest from the likes of Stanford, UConn and Boston College. He ultimately attended Harvard University, though he suffered a rupture of his left Achilles tendon just a few days after signing his letter of intent and never appeared in a game for the Crimson.
Mr. Gonzalez, who was the head coach for the Royals from 2001 to 2005, told the News-Press that he ran into Mr. Ely in downtown Santa Barbara a little over a year ago. The two crossed paths at a restaurant and spoke for about 40 minutes. The player and coach were able to catch up with one another and share old stories from the gridiron.