Pradere shoulders heavy load for Snators
Brock Pradere wears many hats for the Carson High football team.
Besides starting at wide receiver, he holds on extra points and field goals for Austin Pacheco, and because of injuries he’s been pressed into heavy duty on defense as both a cornerback and safety.
That’s a lot of time on the field, but Pradere likes being out there, and he’s expected to put in yeoman-like work again when the Senators (5-1, 5-0) host Spanish Springs in a homecoming game tonight at 7:30.
Pradere is coming off his best game of the year. Last Friday against Damonte, he had four catches for 81 yards and a score, and he also contributed eight tackles on defense.
With Dylan Sawyers sidelined the past two weeks with a calf injury, Pradere has really stepped up his game. In the last two weeks, he has seven catches for 166 yards and two scores.
“We have a lot of guys who can catch the ball on this team, but Brock is the leader of the pack,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “Brock isn’t fast. He just seems to glide out there. He’s got such a long stride. His dad, Steve, was a heck of a distance runner. He has it in his genes.
“The biggest thing about Brock is that he runs such darn good routes. Brock is in a class with guys like Ean Witter, Gabe Pongasi and Chris Steele.”
Two of his catches against Damonte figured in the scoring.
The first catch came early in the second quarter on a second-and-2 play from the Damonte 39. Carson QB Matt Nolan threw one to the yard markers on the left. The Damonte defender appeared to get his hands on the ball first, but Pradere grabbed it a split-second later, and under high school rules simultaneous catches go to the offense. Four plays later, Austin Pacheco kicked a field goal for a 6-0 lead.
Pradere came back on the next drive and caught a 9-yard pass in the right corner of the end zone, he had to do a great job of staying inbounds as Nolan threw the ball where only Pradere could grab it.
“On the simultaneous catch, the ball was a little underthrown,” Pradere said. “I wanted to at least keep it out of the defender’s hands, and we ended up both getting it. On the TD, we work on the sideline routes every day.”
When summer practice started, Pradere was catching more balls from Chance Quilling than Nolan. Right before the season, the situation became reversed as Nolan won the starting job.
“It probably took about a week (to get used to Matt),” Pradere said. “It was a little frustrating at first making the adjustment. Matt has gotten so much better. I like catching passes from him now.”
A year ago, Pradere was the back-up holder for Pacheco. He held for Pacheco when they played JV football.
“You have to have somebody back there that you trust and somebody that has good hands,” Roman said. “It’s a lot harder than it looks.”
There are times when Pradere makes it look easy. On a PAT against Hug, the ball was snapped really high, yet Pradere was able to reach up and get it placed for Pacheco to convert the kick.
“I like doing it,” Pradere said. “You can’t get nervous when there are big kicks.”
Pradere admitted being nervous before Pacheco’s big 64-yarder to beat Manogue, but the nerves evaporated when he ran onto the field.
“I knew as soon as he kicked it, it was going to be long enough,” Pradere said. “It was just a question of whether it was going to be good.”
On defense, Pradere is seventh on the team with 24 tackles, an average of four per game. He’s broken up four passes and recovered a couple of fumbles.
“I’ve played back there more than I expected (at the start of the season), and I think I’ve done a good job,” Pradere said. “I like defense; I like being out there all the time. I like safety more than corner because you get to see the whole field.”
“It’s been a pleasant surprise how well he’s played on defense,” Roman said. “He’s done a heck of a job.”