DOWNEY - The Downey High School football team continues to work hard and get better this summer, with many young players competing for positions and playing time, both on offense and on defense.Downey's offense was explosive last year while their defense struggled to stay consistent. Head Coach Jack Williams has addressed this issue and has continued to keep that a focus from Spring practice through Summer camp. Coach Williams has senior defensive returners whom he is relying on to step up, make plays and provide leadership. Coach Williams maintains that a lot will be determined when pads come on and that there is still a lot of competition going on for starting spots. However, if the Fall season were to start today the Viking defense would feature the following players. At defensive back, returning starter sophomore Jason Thomas, returning starter senior Brandon Davis and junior J.V. starter from last year Charles Early would get the call. Sophomore Ivan Gausin, junior Michael Rochin and sophomore Miguel Esquitin are all battling to see time as well. The linebacking corps will be led by seniors and returning starters Robert Salazar and Jeremy Villa. Returning junior starter Tristin Esparza will return to linebacker and junior Patrick Smith, who started for the J.V. team last year, will see time as well. Guys that are pushing for a starting job are junior Nick Robles, senior Josh Gonzalez, Raymond Soto and Anthony Mendez. The defensive line will feature junior Anthony Florido, a J.V. starter from last year, returning Varsity starter senior Marlon Duenas, senior and J.V. starter from last year Rodolfo Cervantes and senior Patrick Blevins, who was a Varsity reserve from last year. Players who are battling for time are sophomores Chris Blanton and Gio DeLoara. Coach Williams' defensive captains will be Robert Salazar, Jeremy Villa and Brandon Davis. Coach Williams has been impressed with the whole defensive unit and how they have made it a goal to get better from last year. These young players have put in extra time in the weight room and the film room and it is paying off with their performances and understanding of the game. Coach Williams believes that the mood of his team is up-beat and high energy. The defensive staff is stressing to be physical and running to the ball. Williams said that many players have a chip on their shoulder from last year and are excited to put the pads on and walk out to the "Friday night lights." Coach Williams concluded by saying that his team will have a little more experience and speed than it had last year and is excited to see what the end product looks like.
********** Published: August 02, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 16