MR. NICE GUY, BUT…
Dallin Shaffer is Carson High’s answer to Jekyll and Hyde.
“Off the field, he is ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir;’ the kind of kid you want your daughter to date,” Carson line coach Vic Castro said Monday afternoon. “He has two personalities, and you start to see the one side come out of him. When he goes into battle, he’s nasty. He has a nasty streak in him.”
Shaffer smiled when told of Castro’s comments, but he doesn’t dispute the assessment.
“Ever since my freshman year, I had the mindset to try to go hard and do what I can to help the team win,” he said. “Coach (Castro) always talks about flipping the switch. I try to put people on their backs when I’m out there.
“You have to be physical; have to get used to playing at that level of intensity. The young guys don’t understand it; the level of intensity you need to have (on varsity).”
Shaffer does, and that’s why he worked his way into the starting lineup early last season.
He did things the right way, and Castro noticed.
“He was in the mix; in the rotation last year,” Castro said.
“The first couple of games were cotton candy, and the kids came through. The Reno game is always physical. We had a couple of linemen who had good size, but were getting out-physicaled.
“He has good technique, and he’s very coachable.”
Shaffer didn’t let the Senators or Castro down. He never yielded the starting guard spot the rest of the year.
The 5-9 220-pounder doles out his share of punishment.
The Senators averaged 357 yards per contest, including 278 on the ground, and Shaffer was a key factor in that success, opening holes for Abel Carter, Spencer Rogers and Jace Keema.
This year, Shaffer has a different challenge facing him. He’s being moved to tackle.
“Coach Castro pulled me aside,” Shaffer said.
“I think it’s good. I’m a quick learner. I had a pretty good teacher last year.
“Bryceton Schilling taught me the position. I know how to put my foot in the ground. You need a good first step to handle your man.
“Guards pull a lot. They handle big guys like the nose tackles. Tackles go against quicker defensive ends and outside linebackers. Usually you see one guy the whole game.”
Castro is looking forward to seeing his student do battle starting Friday in a scrimmage at Fallon (6 p.m.).
“He is probably going to be the shortest offensive tackle in the league, but I trust him out there on the island,” Castro said. “He has such good feet and technique. It’s going to be fun to watch him battle out there.
“The guard gets a lot of help, especially when we double-team. The tackle is a lot of 1-on-1 base blocking; man blocking. He does a good job out there because of his technique.”
Shaffer is the quiet leader of the Senators front line that includes Blaise Bonomo and Brandon Macias.
And, don’t be surprised if Shaffer moves around a bit.
“I know how to play every position,” Shaffer said.
“I played guard all last year, and I know center a bit. If somebody goes down, and we need to fill a spot.
“He (Castro) will probably put me there.”
It’s certainly added pressure to have to know four other positions, but it’s the way the Senators have done things, dating back to the days of the program’s former offensive line coaches Pat Houlihan and Jim Franz.
It isn’t uncommon to see a player play two or three spots on the offensive line in the course of a season.
Line coaches want their best five guys out there at all times, so any linemen has to know how to adjust to new positions.