By Charles Whisnand
Appeal Sports Editor
At 8 a.m. this morning, the Blair Roman era in Carson High football will officially be launched.
While Roman has been working hard ever since he was named as the Senators' football coach to build his program, his era really begins in earnest this morning with the opening of fall practice.
Roman and his coaches will be able to look across at the new field turf surface that has been placed at Carson High's football stadium as they practice. And the players will take to that field turf surface on Monday in preparation for their season opener at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29 against Spanish Springs.
The Senators will Christen their new stadium and field turf surface, which features the Senator mascot with Carson under it in the middle of the field, on that night. "It just looks phenomenal," said Roman about the field.
After Carson opens its season on Aug. 29, the stadium will effectively be closed for a month, so the new track can be laid down. During that time, no football or soccer games will be played at the stadium.
That renovation has caused one change in the schedule as Carson will play its originally schedule home game against Reed at Reed on September 19. After three road games and a bye, the Senators are scheduled to return home on October 3 against Manogue. Carson will conclude the regular season on Nov. 7 at Douglas.
Along the coming new track, the stadium renovations have included the refurbishing of the bleachers. "It's going to be first class," Roman said. "It's going to be nice."
And an encouraging sign for Roman's program is he expects about 140 players to show up for the opening practice at 8 a.m. this morning. Roman said he expected 50 freshmen, about 35 junior varsity players and 56 on the varsity.
Carson has never really had a large number of players so the McQueen-Douglas type number of 56 players is impressive.
"I think that's a real positive step in the right direction," Roman said. "Hopefully we can continue with that."
But it's not just enough to have a large number of players, Roman said. "Every kid you have, they have got to feel that they have an important role," he said. "You've got to develop every kid. The kids worked hard all summer."
But there's no denying what the large number of players means. "It's a sign of enthusiasm which is great," Roman said. "It makes a huge difference in practice."
Roman, though, isn't promising instant success " but he's not backing away from saying his program can have a great deal of success relatively quickly, either.
"I'm not into making predictions," he said. "I'm worried about the first game. The fact of the matter is there's no shortage of athletes at our school. We feel we are going to be competitive right away."
Carson will run the Pistol offense that's used by the University of Nevada. "We're committed to the pistol I don't think that's a big secret," Roman said.
In the 1990s Roman served as an assistant under then CHS head football coach Bob Bateman, who is now Carson's athletic director and has returned to be Roman's defensive coordinator. So the 50 defense that Bateman has always used will return.
Blake Plattsmier and Josh Peacock are battling for the starting quarteback job and Roman said if the season was to start today, Plattsmier would be the starter as he has a "slight" edge over Peacock.
There's experience back at tailback as Mark Sinnott, who had his share of impressive showings last year, returns. There's also Jake Madden and Luke Carter. Maciek Kuroczka, who also had impressive showings at tailback, has been moved to H-back.
Carson has plenty of experience at receiver as well in Ian Witter, Steven Fowzer and Nick Peternell and Calvin Kase and Brennan Shaffer add depth. Tight end-defensive end Blake Davidson also returns.
In addition, there's depth in the offensive line. "We have a lot of competition which is good," Roman said.
Carson's top returning lineman is Ernesto Cortez and another impressive lineman has been Dan Gould.
On defense among the top returners are middle linebacker Jeff Butler and defensive back Robby Barlow. Fowzer, Madden and Carter should all see action on defense as well.
Others who return who saw starting action last year are linebacker Erik Roberson and lineman David Laumea.
Roman will have a chance to see what his team looks like when it will scrimmage North Valleys at North Valleys on August 23. The freshmen and JVs will scrimmage at 9 a.m. and the varsity will scrimmage at 11. It will be a Homecoming of sorts for Roman, who used to be North Valleys' coach.