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Football Faces Tougher Division this Year

Kayli Sandoval, Editor-in-Chief

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Coming back from an outstanding 10-2 season and a heart-wrenching semi-final loss in the Division Four CIF San Diego Section Tournament, the 2018 UC High Football Team, which is currently 4-4, looks to continue to challenge new teams they face in Division Three this year.

   As explained by Junior Quarterback Gunnar Gray, the team remembers the feeling of losing to Monte Vista High in semi-finals last year. No one on the team wants to lose or feel that way again. Thus, everyone wants to push and win that much more.

   Senior Wide Receiver Casey Granfors explained that the biggest challenge and difference from last year is having lost eighteen players from the 2018 graduating class. However, Granfors believes the team can still meet their goals with the heart they play with and the camaraderie of the team.

   Another challenge the Football Team has faced this season is playing the more difficult teams in Division Three. Although, Senior Guard and Defensive Lineman Leo Uzcategui explained, “We all know that we can [compete with  D3 teams] when everyone works together and does their jobs.” Granfors added, “We are not scared to keep each other accountable.”

   Head Coach Ryan Price said, “The most important part we are establishing is our discipline and the leadership by a few of our key players, which will be critical to our success this season.” He added, “Film is a huge part of being successful in football. Studying our opponents and using film to correct our own mistakes is instrumental to our success. We invest in the best technology out there, using Hudl video services with our sideline camera and end zone camera, which also allows us to view film real time during the game from the sideline, just like they do at the college and NFL level.”

   One of the biggest strengths of the team comes from the spread offense being used. “The spread is an effective offense for us due to our talent at the skill positions. We have more depth at receiver than any other position group on the team. The spread allows us to be balanced overall between running and passing, although it varies from game to game based on the team we’re playing and their approach on defense,” said Price.

   Gray also believes that this year’s passing attack is very strong, along with the team’s run game. “Our offensive line is always doing their job and they really control the outcome of our passing and running game.”

   Uzcategui added, “The run game is another crucial part of our game because there is nothing more demoralizing than running the ball down a team’s throat. [It’s] crucial for us this season. We also know that when you have a running back, like Senior Running Back E’lonie Rico, in the backfield, we have to get him into the end zone.”

   Senior Center and Defensive Tackle Ethan Detloff stated, “The O-line [offensive line] sets the tone of the offense in each game because if we can’t do our jobs, the quarterback won’t have the time to throw the ball. If we can’t open up the holes, the running back can’t do his job, which is a problem.”

   This year, the team received a change in staff. According to Price, “We hired a new Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach, Tate Forcier. Tate played Quarterback at Michigan under Coach Rich Rodriguez. He has helped revitalize our offensive scheme and passing game, and is helping Gray progress in his development as a quarterback.”

   Another vital contribution to this season’s success thus far has been the “badger” defense that UC High’s Team utilizes. Price stated, “Badger is our 4-2-5 defense, which allows us to have five defensive backs on the field instead of three linebackers. It gives us more flexibility on defense to use our eight coverage schemes, especially versus teams which like to throw the ball. This defense is largely effective at the high school level because the majority of schools now run the spread offense.

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Football Faces Tougher Division this Year