By Brandon HENSLEY
Summer is full swing for most students, but the Crescenta Valley High School football team still has to wait a few more days for its break.
It looks like it is well-deserved, according to Head Coach Paul Schilling. The Falcons have reached great heights the past three seasons, compiling a 29-5 record since 2013, a CIF championship, and Schilling hopes this upcoming season will see similar success. What he’s liked the most this summer is the size his team possesses in the trenches.
“The most exciting thing is our offensive and defensive lines are really good,” he said this week. “It’s really good up front, and that isn’t always the case. We have some good big guys.”
The offensive line will see Riley Center at center, and he’ll be surrounded by Destin Jordan, Mike Alvarez and Tommy Chun, who is listed at 270 pounds even though Schilling said he’s at 290. Either way, Schilling said Chun has moves to go along with his size, which will make the O-line that much more dynamic.
The defensive front will see returning Nobel LeDuc and Kevin Taix on the attack.
“Those guys are so quick and strong. They’re not real big, but it’s hard for anyone to block them, they’re so quick,” Schilling said.
The Falcons have enjoyed some success this spring and summer in passing tournaments. They lost in the finals last week at a Morro Bay tournament, which hosted 30 teams. CV had to win nine games in two days to advance to the championship.
The Falcons were 7-2 last season, 5-2 in the Pacific League, and lost in the first round of the CIF playoffs to Cathedral, one year after going undefeated and winning the CIF Southeast championship. This weekend, they play at Arroyo High School before going on summer break for three weeks.
The big name this season, as was last season, will be Tyler Hill, who has played every year on varsity. The 6’1”, 200-pound senior will once again be asked to play multiple positions aside from his comfortable spot at safety. Hill was the starting quarterback last season and shared time with Evan Nelson.
“On offense he’ll play some tight end, he’ll be our wildcat quarterback,” Schilling said of Hill. “We’re going to kind of use him all over the place.”
As the 2015 season went on, Hill (700 yards passing, eight touchdowns and six interceptions) was used in the wildcat formation, which saw him take the snap and smash his way for big yardage. His strength and agility allowed him to record two games of 100 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Most of the passing plays were given to Nelson, and eventually freshman call-up Cole Doyle.
Doyle has received praise from the coaching staff for months. He came in late in the season after an injury to Nelson, and connected with Will Rees for a 52-yard game-winning touchdown in the season finale against Arcadia.
Schilling loves Doyle’s arm strength, and his mental makeup. He said not too many sophomores are operating at the level Doyle is.
“He’s a dual threat. He’s fast, he can run,” Schilling said. “He’s got great composure. He’s not a normal CV sophomore. He’s been playing tackle football for a while.”
A key returning player will be Brandon Beardt, and he’ll start at middle linebacker on defense, while spending time at running back and receiver on offense. Brian Erickson and Austin Lee will flank Beardt as outside linebackers.
Chuck Weinmann, a senior, will receive time at running back along with senior Joe Suh, who in 2015 rushed for 305 yards on 61 carries with three touchdowns.