Carson football coach Blair Roman got his first look at his varsity football squad during a recent three-day camp at Incline High School.
Carson went against Douglas the first day, and then Bishop Manogue joined the rivals for the last two days. Carson previously had gone to a camp in South Tahoe, but schools located in California are unable to have “contact” camps, thus the change in location.
Roman said the teams did some 7-on-7 and 11-on-11, and that it was controlled hitting. Still, it was a chance to see how players do with pads on, and hitting somebody besides a teammate.
The veteran coach, who took his team to the regional finals again last year, believes he might have found some depth at wide receiver with Colby Zemp, Tanner Kalicki, Kyle Glanzmann and Terin Keller.
“We have a couple of seniors (Luke Myers and Connor Quilling), but we needed to develop some depth,” he said. “Luke is the No. 1 guy and Connor (1 catch, 16 yards) is in the mix. We had some question marks after that.
“They all did different things well. All four had their moments. I think all four bring a lot to the table.”
The offensive line lost some key players, and Roman has made some changes. Roman has toyed with the idea of moving tight end Josh Thompson, who suffered a knee injury and missed almost the entire season, to an interior line spot. It appears that won’t happen.
Sheldon Miller has moved from defensive tackle to offensive tackle and teams with returnee Bryceton Schilling at offensive tackle.
“I really like Josh at tight end,” Roman said. “Those two (Miller and Schilling) are really good. We are solid there. We have to piece together the interior spots (guards and center). We have a couple of seniors and a junior. I feel we have the right pieces, but it’s a matter of getting them into the right spots.”
Zac Frewert, a back-up last year is working at center along with Brandon Macias. Sophomore Chandler Tierney and junior Dallin Schaffer are working at guard. Also in the mix is senior Bernardo Lopez, who sat out last year. Lopez was a starter his freshman and JV seasons.
Tyler Huling will replace Asa Carter at wingback, and he has huge shoes to fill. Huling carried 17 times for 104 yards, and missed several games with injuries.
Roman raved about Carson’s defensive speed, and the three-day camp did nothing to dispel that.
The linebacking group of Justin Tschetter (92 tackles), Jordan Aikins (31 tackles), Abel Carter (30 tackles) and Sevon Mandoki (12 tackles) are in starting spots. Mandoki is playing the hybrid linebacker/strong safety spot Abel Carter played last year. Carter has moved inside.
“Our linebacking group can run down some plays,” Roman said. “Abel looked good.”
Roman admitted he’s concerned about his secondary which is minus both Carters and Caulin Bartley. Brandon Gagnon has taken over at one corner, and running back Greg Wallace starts on the opposite side. Spencer Rogers, who racked up 78 tackles last year at cornerback, has shifted to free safety.
“Brandon had a tremendous camp and opened some eyes,” Roman said. “We moved Greg to cornerback, and Landon Truesdale will back him up. Spencer looked comfortable (at safety).”
Carson starts official practice on Aug. 8. The Senators’ opener is Aug. 27 against Desert Vista of Arizona at 6 p.m. The game is scheduled for Mackay Stadium as part of a doubleheader, but could be moved to Carson if the renovations at UNR aren’t on schedule.