The hybrid position on the Carson High defense may be the toughest one to play.
It requires the ability to defend the pass and drop into the box and be able to be a run stopper.
For 5-11 165-pound senior Sevon Mandoki, it’s been a learning-on-the-job experience. Mandoki took over as the starter in the fourth week of the season, and has 23 tackles going into the regular-season finale on Oct. 27 against Douglas.
“Kellen (McDermott) and I were toe-to-toe during the season, and he started the first two games. I started the second half of the Reed game and I’ve been there ever since.
“It’s been a little rough getting the hang of it. It isn’t easy, You have to read run and pass (based on formation).”
Mandoki said if a team has two running backs in the backfield plus the quarterback he becomes a linebacker. If there are multiple receivers, he becomes a defensive back.
Mandoki has been learning on the job.
“He has gotten a lot better,” said linebacker coach Shane Quilling. “He has improved so much (since the season started).”
“He has come a long way,” defensive coordinator Steve Dilley said. “He is very coachable and wants to get better. He has bought into what’s expected of him at that position.”
In terms of stats, Mandoki said his best games have been against McQueen (6 tackles) and last week’s game against Damonte (5 tackles). He did miss an open field tackle against Damonte, leading to a long gainer.
“I took a bad angle,” Mandoki said. “Other than that, I thought I did pretty well.”
Mandoki backed up Ikela Lewis last year, but played few snaps from scrimmage. He played mostly special teams.
INJURY UPDATE: Quarterback Jace Keema said his surgery to repair his lisfranc injury to his foot lasted 90 minutes.
Kema believes he could return to the basketball team by the time playoffs roll around, but he expects to play baseball in the spring.
Linebacker Justin Tschetter had an MRI on Tuesday. The extent of his injury is unknown, but it’s doubtful he’ll play the rest of the season.
DAY OFF: The Senators had the day off on Tuesday and resumed practice today. This is the second straight year Carson has had a bye before the Douglas game, and coach Blair Roman has opted not to fill the date.
Roman has said before he doesn’t want to risk getting anybody hurt before the big game.
SIERRA LEAGUE VIEW: Damonte can wrap up sole possession of the league title with wins over Manogue (Friday) and Galena (Oct. 27th).
If Damonte splits those games and Carson beats Douglas on the 27th, the teams would share the Sierra title, but Damonte would have the league’s top seed and two potential home games in the playoffs.
The only way Carson wins the title outright is if Damonte loses twice and Carson wins on the 27th, and nobody sees Damonte losing twice let alone once.
If Carson beats Douglas, the Senators would grab the No. 2 seed and host Spanish Springs or McQueen on Nov. 4.