Carson’s Tschetter ready to face former team, Galena
Justin Tschetter readily admits he’s had the Oct. 16 game against Galena circled on his calendar for a while.
Tschetter went to Carson as a freshman, and then he and his mother moved to the Galena area, and he started for the Grizzlies’ varsity as a sophomore.
Last spring, Tschetter was suspended for violating a school rule. He and his mom moved back to Carson shortly thereafter. Tschetter had to miss a game (vs. McQueen) because Galena said he failed to serve the suspension before leaving the school.
“Galena was saying I didn’t finish my suspension, but I did,” Tschetter said earlier this week. “I don’t have any issues with (Galena) football. Everybody treated me well there. I don’t have any complaints about the program.”
But like any athlete, amateur or professional, you always want to beat your old team. Tschetter may have friends on the other side of the ball, but when the whistle blows Friday night, all that will be forgotten.
When Tschetter returned to Carson, there was a noticeable difference.
“I came back a more responsible person,” Tschetter said. “I’ve taken responsibility for my actions.”
“He is a lot better in the classroom,” CHS coach Blair Roman said. “He’s matured a lot as a person. As a person there is a night and day difference.”
There has been no difference on the field. Tschetter was always a good player, and that hasn’t changed. He has been an absolute force the last three weeks, and he’s playing like Roman envisioned he would. In the three-week span, he’s averaging nine tackles a game, and has arguably been the Senators’ top defensive player.
“We’ve got a couple of good senior starters (Ikela Lewis and Asa Carter), but Justin has been playing great football the last three weeks,” Roman said. “His freshman season I saw potential in him, and he’s starting to live up to that potential.
“He is all football. He is 100 percent football.”
Since his eligibility problems have been resolved, he has two 10-tackle games under his belt (Hug and Manogue), and an eight-tackle effort (Damonte Ranch). He has caused problems for opposing offenses, who haven’t done a good job of containing him. He has 46 tackles, two sacks, two hurries and a caused fumble.
“The Manogue game has been my best in terms of solo tackles (8), but each game I want to get better,” Tschetter said. “I’m hoping the Galena game is my best, then Douglas and into the playoffs. I did a lot of things to get ready for my junior season (diet and lifting weights). I want to be one of the better linebackers in the north.”
That recognition may come by the end of the year. His strong play in the middle has helped the Senators’ defense become one of the best in the region. The first-string defense has been strong since the 44-27 loss to Reed. The first-team unit has not allowed more than 14 points in a game since the opener.
Damonte scored twice against the first unit, but no other team since Reed has managed that. Manogue scored 13, but that was against Carson’s second and third-string defense.
“Our team has gotten a lot better since that first game against Reed,” Tschetter said. “I believe we can be the No. 1 defense (in the north). It’s up to us to go out and execute.”
One thing that has helped Carson is it’s putting more pressure with its pass rush. Steve Dilley, defensive coordinator, is mixing things up nicely.
Tschetter’s maturity is also showing on the field.
He no longer relies just on natural talent. He has realized proper technique is needed to excel at this level.
“My freshman and sophomore years, I was just doing my own thing,” Tschetter admitted. “The coaches here (Blair Roman, Steve Dilley and Shane Quilling) are the best. They break it down so easily for you; make it so simple to understand.”
Roman said Tschetter could play inside or outside, but he projects his junior linebacker to be an outside linebacker in college.
“I was smaller (170) last year at Galena, so they played me outside,” Tschetter said. “I gained 30 pounds since last season, and I plan on gaining 20 more in the off-season.”
That was Tschetter’s way of saying don’t count him out as a middle linebacker in college.
Another plus for Tschetter is he played varsity as a sophomore, gaining valuable experience.
“Look at Asa (Carter) and how he has grown as a player,” Roman said.
“When you get to play as a sophomore, you are one of the better players by the time you are a senior. It (playing as a sophomore) definitely helps with the speed of the game. For a lot of juniors, it takes a few games to adjust to that, and to get used to the speed and intensity at practices.”
No problem there, Tschetter goes all out 100 percent of the time.