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Carson High football set for new era

Charles Whisnand column

It figures that first-year Carson High football coach Shane Quilling is chomping at the bit to begin his new era with the Senators.

Quilling won’t have much longer to wait as Carson will begin two-a-days when fall practice starts at 7 a.m. next Thursday, Aug. 16. But what Quilling is really looking forward to is when his Senators first put on the pads, which will happen on Aug. 20. Carson opens the season on Aug. 31 at Elko.

“I can’t wait until we get some pads on, but we’ve got to hold off,” Quilling said. “We’re pretty excited. We’ve had a good summer.”

While Quilling and the rest of the Senators have to wait for fall practice to begin, as he said his program has stayed busy this summer.

“We had over a 100 kids every day,” said Quilling about much of the summer.

Carson has invested $15,000 to $16,000 to update its weight room to make sure that the Senators can be competitive, Quilling said. While there may not be much of an effect this season, the commitment to the summer program should pay off in the next couple of years, Quilling said.

“That’s not a quick fix,” said Quilling about the off-season condition program. “It’s a good place to start.”

Quilling’s program is also already beginning to groom future Senators. Carson held a Pop Warner football camp for ages 7-14 on Saturday in which 97 players participated.

“It was a great day,” Quilling said. “It’s something we’ll definitely continue doing. It was just awesome.”

In the wake of the recent death of Minnesota Vikings’ offensive lineman Kory Stringer, Quilling said the incident shouldn’t affect his upcoming practices. But he admitted his awareness of how players are trained has been heightened.

“It makes you think about it,” said Quilling, who called Stringer’s death a “freak” occurance. “It’s sad to see.

“Most coaches are good about getting their kids water. I bet everyone’s awareness around the country got a little more heightened after that.”

Quilling’s team is relatively young with only 15 seniors and not many players with varsity experience.

But Quilling said team speed is a strength and should make for an exciting offense. “It should be fun to watch,” said Quilling about his team’s offense. “We’re very athletic, but we’re young.”

One-thousand yard rusher Josh Carter returns and will be joined at running back by Chris Kotter and Rodney Black. “We’re pretty loaded,” said Quilling about the running back position.

Scott O’Brien and Frank Bleuss are at quarterback and will have plenty of targets at wide receiver, including Javier Vega, returing receiver George Pincock, Matt Waterman, Nick Samaras and Shawn Heinz. All could see action at defensive back as well. Vega is a returning starter at defensive back.

Anchoring the offensive line will be Mitch Price, Chris Randall, Matt Borda and Mike Moore. At tight end are MIke Rankin and sophomore Nick Shine, who will be a starting inside linebacker.

“He’s going to be a big-time player for us,” said Quilling about Shine.

On defense, Black and Bleuss should see time at free safety. Josh Aguilar, Paul Carter, Chris Barredo, Jack Brooks and Josh Ezekial will join Shine at linebacker.

Josh Carter, Borda and Rankin are at defensive end while Dan Suppe, Josh Minter, Price, Alan Wooldridge and Bobby Gillings are at defensive tackle.

All Carson athletes participating in fall sports must have a blue slip before they can begin practice. Blue slips will be available in the Carson High administrative office from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., beginning today.