Spurlock more than makes up for lost time
Nearly all the Carson High football players on this year’s squad have at least a couple of years of Pop Warner under their belts.
Not senior lineman Aaron Spurlock.
Spurlock didn’t play a snap of football until his sophomore season on the JV roster.
“I just never did (play football),” Spurlock said before Thursday’s practice. “I always played basketball and ran track. My freshman year I broke my leg right at the beginning of track season.
“A lot of my friends played football, and they talked me into it. I liked it and just kept on with it.”
Carson coach Blair Roman, who was starting his first season as varsity head coach in 2009, remembers Spurlock very well.
“Having never played before, he had a lot to learn,” Roman said. “By the end of the season, he was starting on defense and had turned into a solid player on JV. Through a lot of hard work he had caught up to everybody else.”
After playing sparingly as a junior, Spurlock has played a key role because of his versatility. On offense, the 180-pounder has played center and both guard spots. On defensive end, he has played nose guard, defensive tackle and defensive end.
When Carson takes the field at Galena tonight (7:30 p.m. kickoff), Spurlock will start at center.
“They have been moving me around a lot, playing me where they need me, mainly because of injuries,” Spurlock said. “I’ve played guard because Jacob Myers is out and Levi Carter missed a game.”
It sounds like it would be mentally challenging learning that many positions, but line coach Pat Houlihan expects his linemen to know how to play all five offensive line spots.
“For the most part, the guard spots are interchangeable,” Spurlock said. “If you know one spot, you just flip it to the other side. We go through things everyday at practice. It’s like second nature.”
Roman said it’s been nice to have three guys (Spurlock, Aaron Cowee and Justin Stevens) that can play center.
“Aaron (Cowee) is probably more suited to play tackle,” Roman said. “It’s a luxury to have two senior centers.”
Roman said that Galena playing a “40 front” will be good for Spurlock, who is usually giving up a lot of weight to defensive players.
“One of the things about Aaron is that he is one of the strongest guys pound-for-pound that we have on the team,” Roman said. “He’s worked hard in the weightroom the last two years.”
Spurlock said he would prefer guard because he said getting a chance to pull also gives him a chance to use his quickness.
One of the challenges that Spurlock faces tonight is that the Grizzlies like to twist the linebacker and defensive tackle.
“They put the defensive tackle over the guard and then the linebacker comes into the B gap,” Spurlock said. “You have to keep your eyes open before the snap. You have to recognize what they are going to do.”
On defense, Spurlock has recorded 24 tackles and a half-sack. It’s most likely that he will just rotate in on defense the remainder of the season because the Senators have some depth at defensive end where Logan Krupp and Logan Peternell are the starters.
“Defensive end has a lot more responsibility, but I think it’s better than defensive tackle or nose guard for me,” Spurlock said.
“He’s helps us on both sides of the ball,” Roman said. “It’s hard for linemen to play both ways. It’s much easier for skill position guys to do that. Aaron will rotate in and spell guys.”