Carson High football has high expectations as practice begins |

Carson High football has high expectations as practice begins

Chance Smith pumps up the team at the start of the season opening football practice at Carson High School.
Jeff Mulvihill, Jr./instaimage

Expectations could be lowered when it comes to the Carson High football team.

But that’s not the Senator way or the philosophy of Carson coach Blair Roman.

The Senators are coming off a 4-6 season in 2017, but that doesn’t mean Carson is going to set the bar lower. The Senators still aren’t too far removed from when they were a perennial Northern Nevada power year-in and year-out and Roman said that standard remains.

So when the Senators opened practice for the 2018 season on Monday, it didn’t matter what anyone else expects of the Senators. It just matters what they expect of themselves.

“We expect a lot based on what we’ve been able to do,” Roman said. “I’m not lowering the bar. That’s not what we’re about.”

So based on a 4-6 season last year, expectations may not be that high for the Senators, but when asked if his team could be a surprise this year, Roman said, “We could.”

A more stable situation at quarterback will definitely help. The past two seasons were adversely affected by quarterback injuries.

But while the quarterback situation may still be one of the question marks going into the season, the position is also the most stable it’s been in years.

Carson has two experienced quarterbacks in junior Johnny LaPlante and senior Blake Menzel. Based on what he did in the summer Roman said LaPlante has won the starting job.

“You might see both play,” Roman said. “Based on injuries the past three years I feel like you’ve got to have two ready to go.”

This year’s team is young, especially the defense in which virtually the entire starting lineup will be new. But as far as his overall team, Roman said he likes the size he has at some positions and his team speed.

Among those speedy players is running back Chance Smith, who has taken on a leadership role, Roman said. Another player who has taken on a leadership role is offensive guard Carl Kavner.

Carson opened with a two-a-day on Monday, practicing inside on Monday morning due to the extremely smoky conditions. The air quality improved enough for the Senators to practice outside on Monday night.

Roman said the plan was for a couple of two-a-days to be held and for the team to begin contact on Thursday. But that all obviously depends on the air quality, which the Senators were monitoring on an hourly basis, so if they had to move a practice from outside to inside, they could.

Carson will scrimmage defending Northern 4A champion Reed at home on Aug. 17. The junior varsity scrimmage will be at 5 and the varsity scrimmage will be at 7.

“It will be a great barometer for us,” Roman said. “It’ll definitely test our pups and some of our returners to see what we’ve got.”

Carson will open the season at 6 p.m. Aug. 24 at home against Lower Lake, a team from the Santa Rosa area in Northern California that went 7-3 last season.

“Based on what I’ve seen on film it should be a great first game,” Roman said.

Carson has about 50 players on its roster and a total of about 140 players in the program.

“We’ve got a pretty good group of kids overall,” Roman said. “It’s going to be a fun year. It’s a really, really good group of kids. They work hard.”