Sievers heading in the right direction for Carson High football team
CARSON VS. MANOGUE
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Where: Bishop Manogue
Last year: Carson 42, Manogue 0
When Connor Sievers showed up for football workouts this summer, Carson High head coach Blair Roman was surprised.
Sievers suffered not one, but two, concussions in a span of a month last season. He missed the Senators’ final eight games of the season.
“I was surprised because the concussions were so severe,” Roman said. “I didn’t think he’d be able to play this year. When he did come in this summer, he started to impress us. You could sense the commitment level in him. It was the first step in the right direction.”
Sievers’ first concussion came in the 2014 opener against Clayton Valley, a 55-6 loss. He missed games against McQueen and North Valleys before returning against Spanish Springs. In the first half disaster struck again. Sievers suffered another concussion, though he didn’t tell the coaching staff or trainer Adam Hunsaker until afterward.
“I couldn’t tell you the specifics (of either concussion),” Sievers said. “I was woozy (against Spanish Springs), and I knew I had another concussion. I just wanted to tough it out and finish the game. I somehow got through the rest of the game.”
Sievers admitted he may not have fully healed from the original concussion when he returned to action.
Sievers did participate in wrestling last winter, and then decided he wanted to play football again. He had talks with his parents and primary care physician.
“I’d been thinking about it since last spring,” Sievers said Monday. “My parents and I talked about, but it was my decision, and they said they would support whatever decision I made.”
Concussions are serious, and Roman said he talks to all parents and players about the dangers. He stressed that players are told to tell a coach or a trainer if there is an issue.
Sievers’ return was desperately needed. Will Lee opted to not play this year, and Sheldon Miller missed the first two weeks for violation of a school rule.
“I’m glad we had him,” said Steve Dilley, Carson’s defensive coordinator. “It was good to see him step up. Not playing much last year put him behind the 8-ball, but he plays hard and does everything asked of him.”
Sievers has nine tackles, a fumble recovery and a deflected pass so far this season. The latter two came in last week’s 17-14 win over Damonte Ranch. It was his best outing of the season.
“I’d like to think I’ve been pretty consistent,” Sievers said. “I think I filled the role that had been given me. I think our defensive line has been playing pretty well.”
Isaiah Prater, Miller, Adam Domitrovich and Tyler Lethcoe have teamed with Sievers at the tackle spots. Nick Andreas is starting to work some in there. The defensive unit has allowed an average of 8 points a game over the last five contests; an impressive stat.
At 6-3 and 210, Sievers doesn’t have the bulk that some of the opposing linemen have.
“He’s all heart,” Roman said. “Wrestling really helps him. He understands what leverage is all about.”
Leverage is all about staying low off the ball and then exploding up into the offensive lineman.
“I do better when I play low,” Sievers said. “When you stay low, you’re able to move people. Sheldon (Miller) does it really well. When I start to play high, I don’t play as well. A lot of it is keeping the hips down. You don’t want to come up right off the bat. You want to stay low and hit first.”
TALKING BISHOP MANOGUE
The Miners are 1-5, coming off a 21-19 loss to Douglas last Friday.
The Senators are an overwhelming favorite, and Roman admits that concerns him a lot.
“Frankly I’m worried about a letdown,” said Roman, whose team is coming off a tough 17-14 win over Damonte Ranch. “We’re going to work hard this week. If we don’t stay with the process, we could be in a dogfight. Manogue traditionally plays well on Saturdays and on homecoming. My message to the team is that we have to take care of business.”
Offensively, the Miners have averaged just 163 yards per game. Each quarterback, freshman Lincoln Hauck and senior Jordan Dicus, have played three games apiece. Hauck is the better passer, completing 57 percent of his throws for 344 yards and a score. Dicus has completed 47 percent of his throws of 141 yards and three interceptions. Moises Aparicio has run for 231 yards and Angelo Reviglio has gained 146. Artie Henderson leads the receiver corp with 20 catches for 158 yards.
“They try to be balanced,” Roman said. “They throw a lot of formations at you to keep you off balance. If they establish a running game, it (the offense) will be a lot to deal with.”
Michael Lynch, Johnny Cavilla and Bailey Bright average more than seven tackles a game to lead the defense.
“Scheme wise, Manogue does a lot of what it did last year,” Roman said. “I’m sure they will bring eight or nine the box to stop the run game. We have to do a good job of throwing the ball and establishing our best plays.”
It’s a short list this week, but two starters are on it.
Linebacker Jace Keema, whose big run on a fake punt play set up Johnny Barahona’s 40-yard field goal in the second half, may have suffered a concussion after taking a big hit on the play. He was being tested on Monday and is day-to-day.
Defensive end Ian Schulz, who has been hampered by ankle problems all season, may have re-injured his ankle. His status is unknown.
If Keema can’t play, Jordan Aikins will start. If Schulz can’t go, tackle Eddie Duarte will move out to tight end and Blaine Soukup will start at tackle. Soukup was impressive in his only other start this year, the 45-7 home win over North Valleys.