Carson High football hoping for all the right moves
Carson High football coach Blair Roman has three clear goals for his team during the 2018 season.
They are tangible win-loss goals, but they are simple goals Roman expects will lead to positive results when it comes to the win-loss record.
Simply put Roman wants his players to be intense, to do their job and to be vocal.
Roman likes what he sees so far as the Senators approach their season opener at home at 7 p.m. Friday against Lower Lake from the Santa Rosa area in Northern California.
Here’s a position-by-position breakdown for the Senators:
Roman states the obvious when it comes to injuries at the quarterback spot in recent years. “It was a major issue,” he said.
But Roman says he now has two capable, experienced quarterbacks in Johnny LaPlante and Blake Menzel. He said his expectations for those two is to be better than just “solid.”
LaPlante is still the starter, but he banged up his thumb during Friday’s scrimmage against Reed, leading to Manzel receiving more playing time in the scrimmage.
“Blake had a really good week of practice last week,” Roman said.
Roman, though, said, “nothing’s changed right now,” as far as LaPlante being the starter. “But it’s early. They’ll both get an opportunity. We’re confident with what they can do.”
Chance Smith also showed what he could do when he broke free on a 60-yard touchdown run against Reed in the scrimmage. Look for Smith to be used as a receiver out of the backfield as much as possible as well.
Gilbert Vasquez will also see his share of carries. “I feel very confident in those two kids right now,” Roman said.
Brad Maffei will take over at the starting running back position that was filled by standout Abel Carter.
“He has a nice first step,” Roman said. “That’s really a key at that spot.”
Roman added Maffei has a nice set of hands and it would be nice to get him involved in the passing game as well.
Quintyn Madsen, 5-6, 140, will be the starting wing-back. “He’s just a tough, physical kid,” Roman said. “He’s got good quickness and speed.”
Menzel could also see time at wingback.
Lucas Van brow will be a big, tall target. He’ll be joined by Sethro Griffith and Brayden Marler.
JoJo Acosta is an excellent blocking tight end, Roman said, who added, “he’s got a soft set of hands.”
There’s also Tim Horn and Luke Konrad. Roman said Acosta was the best blocker, Horn had the best set of hands, and Konrad was the combination of two.
Carson has an experienced group led by Carl Kavner, 5-10, 252, at guard, an all-league second team choice last year. Another experienced player, Cole Ashton returns at the other guard. “The kid just has a motor that won’t quit,” Roman said.
Niko DeSormier, 6-2, 200, who has gained 20 pounds and strength, Roman said, is at right tackle along with Mason Van Sickle and Brandon Herrera.
Chandler Tierney, 6-2, 295, a three-year varsity player, who Roman said has made great progress, will be at left tackle.
Garrett Clampitt, who has been in the program all four years, will be at center.
“I feel like they’ve got a chance to be pretty formidable,” Roman said. “They’re really motivated.”
There’s Acosta, who can play inside or outside. “JoJo is a dynamic defensive lineman,” Roman said. “JoJo is a football player. He just plays the game the right way.”
Acosta is one of only two returning starters on defense.
DeSormier is the other defensive end. “A prototypical defensive end in our defense,” Roman said.
There will be a rotation of several players in the interior defensive line including Kavner, Tierney and 325-pound Clayton Greene.
John Rupert and Manny Vasquez are splitting time at middle linebacker and that can continue or one of them could move to outside linebacker.
Maffei and sophomore Jeremy Heaton are at outside linebacker. Roman said they’re athletic and are strong in pass coverage.
There’s plenty of speed with Smith and Maffei at strong safety, Vasquez at free safety and Ben Granados and Griffith at corner.
The inexperienced group had breakdowns in communication against Reed, but Roman said the group should turn into a strong defensive backfield.
Roman said he feels comfortable with Granados 40 yards in and added he has a range up to 50 yards. Acosta will handle the punting.
The league will be tough with quarterback Cade McNamara, who has committed to Michigan, leading Damonte Ranch, and Manogue.
“I think Manogue’s the team to beat this year,” said Roman about the Miners being the Northern 4A favorite.
But he also said Reed and Damonte are in the same class. And there’s always traditional power Reno as well.
Roman said by the time league begins, “we want to be firing on all cylinders.”