Carson’s Hesse quietly goes about his business
Patrick Hesse is one of those guys who goes unnoticed because he’s not loud or flamboyant.
The Carson senior linebacker just goes about his work in a quiet, businesslike fashion, and then you are surprised when you see that he has chalked up nine or 10 tackles at the end of the night.
Hesse, Carson’s second-leading tackler through four games, will be expected to play a big role when the Senators (3-1, 3-0) host arch-rival Douglas (1-4) tonight at 7 p.m. in the 70th year of the storied rivalry.
Carson has won the last two games in the series, and Heese & Co. would like nothing better than to make it three straight.
“Beating Douglas is the No. 1 goal in our program,” Hesse said before Tuesday’s practice. “Things are a lot more intense than usual. We’re more focused this week getting ready for this game.
“Douglas was a hard opponent last year and last year they had us up against the wall. We expect another tough game.”
Hesse and the Senators expect to get a heavy dose of Conner Peterson, the Tigers’ outstanding 200-pound running back.
“He runs hard,” Hesse said. “We’re going to need five or six guys running to the ball to stop him. We have to be able to wrap him up and not give him any extra yards. We’ve been working hard on our tackling (techniques) this week.”
Carson coach Blair Roman expects Hesse to be in the middle of the action the entire game like he has all season.
“I’d call him one of our top four or five hitters,” Roman said. “He’s not the biggest kid, but he can hit. His work in the weightroom has really shown this year.
“He has really blossomed as a senior. He has been the consummate program player. He’s paid his dues. He’s turned into a very solid linebacker. He was good enough to see the field last year and would have had a lot more playing time if it wasn’t for the seniors ahead of him. He still got some important minutes for us when guys were hurt or needed a breather.”
Hesse chalked up 10 tackles against Highlands and North Valleys, and added five tackles and a blocked punt against Hug. The blocked punt led to a score in the 54-0 rout.
“I think I’ve been playing well,” Hesse said. “I love defense. I like to hit people instead of getting hit. I’ve been grading out at low Bs (mostly).
“There are areas where I need to improve in. I’m working hard everyday, and you can always get better. My reads need to get better. There have been a few plays where I have misread and gone to the wrong spot and taken myself out of the play. It’s not a matter of guessing wrong or not recognizing, because I don’t try to guess out there.”
Roman said Hesse’s self -valuation was just an example of a player being too hard on himself.
“Last week Manogue threw 26 passes and Patrick was on the field for 50 or so plays,” Roman said. “He had two bad reads. He’s being a bit hard on himself. You’re not going to play a perfect game at linebacker. It’s such a difficult position to play.”
The biggest noticeable difference in Hesse’s game this year is that he’s playing a lot looser.
“Last year I didn’t get in as much and I was a lot more nervous,” Hesse said. “This year I knew I had a good chance to start because of all the seniors that graduated, and I’ve been a lot calmer.”
Defense isn’t the only are where Hesse is having success on the field. He’s a member of every special teams unit.
“I love it because I can make an impact on the game like I did against Hug,” he said. “Special teams can have huge effect on the game, and it’s fun.”
And it was special teams that got him on the field a year ago.
“I’d say 60 percent of our starters play somewhere on special teams, and Patrick is on all of them,” Roman said. “My philosophy is that special teams is just as important as any offense or defense position. I do try to put my best players out there.
“My other philosophy is that I don’t have 22 starters, I have 77 starters. If you’re a junior or sophomore and you have a older player ahead of you, special teams is a chance to get on the field and make a difference in a game.”
DOUGLAS AT CARSON
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Carson High School
TV/Radio: Gustin Sports Productions out of Reno is broadcasting the game on
a tape-delayed basis.
Note: If you can’t attend, follow the game at http://www.nevadaappeal.com for live updates.