Transferring cross country is tough, especially if it’s your senior year of high school. You never know how you’re going to fit in socially, academically or athletically.
That’s what Isaiah Prater faced when he moved from North Carolina to Carson City this past summer.
Prater came to Carson from Hickory Ridge High School, a 3A school near Charlotte, where he played football and wrestled as a junior.
“It is going all right,” Prater said Monday. “My mom got a job here, so we moved over the summer. It’s been pretty easy to get along with everybody. They have been very accepting.
“Everybody has talked to me about the rivalries; about Reed, Damonte Ranch and Douglas.”
The 6-foot-2 260-pound Prater played offensive tackle at Hickory Ridge as a junior, and he said his old school made the second round of the state playoffs last year.
Entering Friday’s game against Hug, Prater has contributed seven tackles, five solo, from his defensive tackle spot. He admitted he has had problems because Carson’s defense is a little more complex than what he’s used to.
“There are things I need to do better,” Prater said. “I have to stop looking in the backfield.
“Coach (Vic) Castro is working with me on staying on the line.”
In Carson’s scheme, a defensive lineman needs to stack up his offensive counterpart and let the linebackers make the tackle.
“He was pretty raw when he got here,” coach Blair Roman said. “Four games in, I’m seeing some progress.
“I think he’s played well the last two weeks. A key is Sheldon (Miller) coming back, so Isaiah is able to stay fresher.”
LET’S TALK HUG
Roman said the Hawks have improved quite a bit since starting the season 0-2.
Hug put up 40 points in a 40-35 come-from-behind win over Douglas last weekend.
“Their improvement from the Manogue game to Douglas is pretty significant,” Roman said prior to Monday’s practice.
“I’ve seen steady improvement in every area. I haven’t seen the Fernley film, but they are a pretty decent 1A team. They have a lot of good athletes.”
Quarterback Shayne Davis rushed for 163 yards and four scores against Douglas last week, and like last year’s QB Dikembe Montgomery, is a serious threat to break one every time he touches the ball.
“I don’t know if he’s as good as Montgomery, but he makes a lot of plays with his feet,” Roman said.
Davis went 3-for-11 passing last week for 34 yards in his season debut. He’s backed by capable playmakers in Ja’lawnie Thomas (19 carries, 150 yards) and Jalan Williams (37 carries, 217 yards).
Defensively, expect the Hawks to hit hard. Rigoberto Grajeda (12 tackles) excels as nose tackle and linebacker Sam Moala has a team-leading 44 tackles (14 per game). Roman expects the Hawks to attack with blitzing style of defense. Clayton has 29 tackles thus far.
Carson has five football players — quarterback Joe Nelson, linebacker Ikela Lewis, safety-wingback Asa Carter, lineman Eddie Duarte and wide receiver Connor Pradere — up for Homecoming king on Friday night.
That might be a record. In years past, it’s usually two or three players involved.
Homecoming and Senior Night might be the two toughest games for a coach for obvious reasons.
“Homecoming festivities should be enjoyable,” Roman said. “When they step across the lines, the focus has to be on football. That seems to resonate with the kids this year.”
The only Carson player certain to miss the game is tight end Josh Thompson (meniscus injury), and trainer Adam Hunsaker said he could be out for a while.
Center Austin Ackerman (concussion) is awaiting results of his testing to see whether he can play against Hug. Tight end Ian Schulz, who also plays defensive end, believes he can play this week. He’s been sidelined with a bad ankle sprain which has kept him out for three weeks.
Wingback Tyler Huling (neck sprain) and Nick Andreas (shoulder) are day to day. Andreas did practice on Monday.