After suffering through a second non-winning season, Carson High football coach Blair Roman is already looking ahead to next season.
Yes, CHS football fans, Roman is coming back for his 11th season. Roman has posted a 73-38 record, including six seasons when he won nine or more games.
“How much longer I can do this, I don’t know,” Roman said Wednesday morning in his football office. “I feel a little less energy and less patience dealing with off-the-field issues that we had last year.”
Roman said he’s in the process of evaluating the entire program and seeing where things could be improved.
The 2017 season was one that was plagued by injuries. Carson lost six starters for the season — quarterback Daniel Morrison, lineman Blaise Bonomo, defensive back Kyle Glanzmann, defensive back-running back Bradley Maffei, running back Chance Smith and defensive lineman Chandler Tiearney, who missed the last 1 1/2 games.
“We somewhat recovered (from) losing Blaise, but not Daniel,” Roman said.
The loss of Morrison meant entering the season with two untested quarterbacks, Jonny Laplante and Blake Menzel, neither of whom had ever taken a varsity snap.
Laplante had some ups and downs, which you would expect from a sophomore, and he will no doubt be the No. 1 quaretrback entering spring and summer practice.
“Both have a lot to work on,” Roman aid. “I really enjoyed working with both of them this year. Both work very hard and are very coachable.
“I wish I could have played Blake a little more during league games, but that is how it worked out.”
On the plus side, barring injury, Roman will have a starting quarterback for the next two years.
The three biggest issues facing Roman are replacing his entire linebacking corps, finding two defensive ends and not having the luxury of having Abel Carter at his disposal.
Carter rushed for more than 1,900 yards this year, including a school-record 421-yard effort against Douglas in the regular-season finale.
Carter, Dawson Lamb, Vinny Hershman, Dawson Breuer and Richie Romero were all seniors.
“That (linebacking) is our biggest issue,” Roman said. “None of our juniors got significant reps last year.
“We have to find two kids (defensive ends) who can play consistent football for us.”
Losing Carter is huge. The cupboard isn’t exactly bare, but it’s unproven.
Roman said the Senators will be more well rounded, and without Carter, they will have to be.
Chance Smith, who gained 262 yards and scored twice in four games before appendix surgery ended his season, returns.
“Losing Chance when we did was big,” Roman said. “He gave us a good 1-2 to complement Abel. It would have made a difference in a couple of games (if we had him). I think Chance has an opportunity to shine.”
Other backs in the mix are Zach Glanzmann (49 yards), Maffei (9 yards), Tucker Nichols (26 yards) and Quintyn Madsen (4 yards).
The offensive line loses center Brandon Macias and tackle Dallin Shaffer, but Nikolaus Desormier, Clayton Green, Cole Ashton, Carl Cavner and Jon Acosta all return and all started at one time or another this past season.
Nik Hylan and Colton Schafer are listed as tight ends this year, and Lucas Van Brow, Miguel Gamiz, Brayden Marler and Ben Granados are listed as receivers.
Marler caught two passes this year, and Van Brow and Gamiz each caught one.
Tiearney heads the defensive line, but Acosta and Greene both saw late-season action there, too.
“We have a couple of good-sized kids coming up from the JV team,” Roman said.
The defensive backfield will be led by Sherman Smith. Granados will battle for a starting spot, and Nichols could end up there, too.
“I think Sherman Smith has a chance to be pretty good,” Roman said. “Ben made great progress at the end of the year. He will be one of the fastest kids in the league.”