Carson High football coach Blair Roman and his coaching staff bid a fond farewell to their senior football players at Sunday’s team banquet at the Carson Nugget.
The Senators went undefeated in league play en route to compiling an impressive 10-2 record, both losses coming to the Reed Raiders. It was the sixth conference/league title under Roman’s guidance.
“This was one of the most successful seasons in the history of Carson High,” Roman said. “We won 10 straight games for just the second time in school history, and we won 10 games for the third time in school history. I’m excited about next season. We have an outstanding group of juniors coming back, who will be complemented by a solid group of sophomores, and I expect to be in the conversation for a league and region title.”
The Outstanding Senior Award was shared by Asa Carter, a three-time all-league player and two-time Sierra League Player of the Year, and offensive lineman Kevin Rusler, who Roman considers the best lineman pound-for-pound in the region.
“Sometimes this award goes to our best player, but the biggest criteria is performance on the field, and attitude and leadership off the field as well.” Roman said. “Both Asa and Kevin dominated at their positions, and both do the right things off the field. They are great role models for Carson football.”
• The Hoggie Award (outstanding lineman) went to Eddie Duarte, a two-year starter for the Senators.
“I felt like he set the pace and leadership tone for our line group, especially the offensive line,” Roman said. “We had a lot of rushing yards this year, and I can’t remember Eddie giving up a sack this season. I’m not sure we’ve had a better pulling lineman on our toss play than Eddie, either (maybe Aaron Cowee, but it’s close).”
The Pat Houlihan Award is awarded to the senior who epitomizes coach Houlihan’s values of intensity, and heart that is the foundation of the program. Quarterback Joe Nelson and Ikela Lewis shared that honor.
“Ikela was an easy pick,” Roman said. “I think a player of his size to accomplish what he did speaks for itself. He was the heart and soul of our defense this year.
“I awarded Joe this award because a lot of people don’t know that he played the last half of the season with a torn ACL. Although it was his decision to play after the injury, I cannot tell you the heart this young man has to play at the level he did on one leg. He showed incredible toughness and leadership for the team.”
• Jacob Drahos won the Most Improved Senior Award.
“I felt like Jacob was far and away our most improved senior player (Connor Sievers was also considered),” Roman said. “He was a self-made player, who put in a ton of work and had a tremendous all-league season for us.”
• Vic Castro V was named the recipient of the Pride Award, which goes to the senior who maximized his talent and displayed great passion and pride in Carson football.
“Of all our seniors, I don’t think I could have picked a better recipient than Vic,” Roman said. “He lived and breathed Carson football for four years and maximized every bit of God-given talent he had to contribute to our 10-win season this year.”
• The Scholar Athlete Award was shared by Tristan Martel and Max DeMar.
“Max and Tristan were both academic all-state last year and this year, and both have 4.0 GPAs,” Roman said.
• Alex Estrada was the winner of the Weight Room Award.
“There were a lot of seniors who could have been selected, but Alex was picked because here was a young man who I really didn’t think would be with us because of a poor attitude,” Roman said. “He decided to buy in and work hard. All the work he put in enabled him to contribute to the team as a defensive end and on special teams. No one on the team probably came farther in the weight room last year than Alex.”
• The Commitment Award is given to seniors who played this year, but didn’t play all four years. This year’s group was Isaiah Prater, Johnny DeLao, Jesus Lopez-Rodriguez, Carlos Pacheco and Blaine Soukup.
• The Senior Award recognized players who compiled a 16-0 league record in their league careers at CHS.
Connor Pradere, Carter, Lewis, Caulin Bartley, Ian Schulz, Gage Gunzburg, Austin Rudy, Connor Chech, Elijah Fajayan, Mathias Williams, Tyler Lethcoe, Connor Sievers, Sam Haight, Corey Jasper, Austin Ackerman, Adam Domitrovich and Logan Menzel.
• The Captain Awards were handed out to Carter, Lewis, Rusler and Nelson.