On Tuesday afternoon, Summerville High School was being decorated to commemorate the school’s 100th anniversary and this Friday’s homecoming contest vs. Denair. The Bears cheerleaders were rehearsing in the courtyard.
THE SUMMERVILLE BEARS varsity cheerleaders are gearing up for Friday nights' homecoming contest vs. Denair. Summerville will be banking heavily on two multi-talented juniors: Trevor Larsson and Joey Brocchini. Larsson had 15 tackles last week and Brocchini had 10. AMY ALONZO ROZAK/UNION DEMOCRAT
But out on the practice field, Summerville’s football team was all business.
“We’re tired of losing,” said Bears junior strong safety/halfback Joey Brocchini. “We are doing everything we can to make sure that we will not lose on Friday. We’re not going slow with any drill or anything.”
“Our fans in the stands will see a new Bears team on Friday night,” said Summerville junior Trevor Larsson. “We will be hitting people, and then we will keep hitting people, so we can win this football game.”
Summerville lost its season-opening contest to Mariposa and was defeated last Friday by host Bradshaw Christian.
Denair, also 0-2, has the same type of run-first philosophy as Mariposa and Bradshaw. The Coyotes average 35 runs per contest and 16 passes.
“They get after you with a wing-T offense and, sometimes, mix in the I-formation,” said Summerville head coach Ben Watson.
Against Bradshaw, middle linebacker Larsson had a team-high 15 tackles and Brocchini 10.
“Trevor came through with a big game for us last week,” said Bears linebackers coach Matt Soto. “Larsson, pretty much, is my top dog for tackling. And, yes, he is definitely doing the job for us. But I am a greedy coach: I want to see even more. I don’t want Trevor thinking, ‘Oh well, I got 15 tackles last week, I guess that’s good enough.’ I want him to be thinking, ‘I could get even more than that now.’ And I’m certain that is how he’ll be thinking — that he’ll get us everything we need from him.”
“Coach Soto has been working hard with Trevor, and Trevor is getting more aggressive to the ball,” said Watson. “Trevor does have a good nose for the football. He showed us how mobile he can be last week and we’ve always known that he’s not afraid to stick his nose in there.
“This Friday, Trevor has to read through the guard and into the backfield and he can’t — as we coaches say — be chasing ghosts. He can’t be staring at the running back. If he’s just looking at the ball, then we’re in for a long night. He must read through the guard, the guard’s block, then pick up the near back. If Trevor makes that key read — and I have every confidence that he can and will — then we’ll be in good shape.”
“Our coaches had been telling us to look at our keys and that’s what I did,” said Larsson. “Last week, our defensive linemen, like Darren Vallelunga and Danny (Brunolli) and Tyler (Oliver) and Cole Busch all did a great job in front of me, so I covered my responsibilities and was able to make some tackles.”
“Trevor has been hitting,” said Brocchini. “I always knew he was a hitter and not afraid to hit anybody. He’ll get in there on Friday for sure. He’s gonna make a lot of tackles again.”
Brocchini has also made a strong impression on the Bears brass with his tenacity.
“To make as many tackles as he did last week was great,” said Soto of Brocchini. “But it doesn’t surprise me at all how well Joey is playing for us. He’s a pure athlete who likes to tackle people. When you take an athletic kid, who happens to be strong, and likes to hit and tackle, then you have a strong combination — and that’s Joey.”
“Joey flew around that football field real well last week,” said Watson. “He’s one of our young players that keeps getting better every week. As coaches, we’re really excited about his progress.”
Against Denair, Brocchini’s first duties will be containment.
“I’m the cage, the outside run defender,” explained Brocchini. “And I can’t let anything get outside of me. I must make their runners cut back in. But once I make them cut back in, then I’m getting in there and helping make that tackle.”
On offense, Summerville’s most productive play so far has been a flash pass (or “swing”) to Brocchini from junior quarterback Jesse Roberson.
The duo have connected on this play 10 times in two weeks for 100 yards total. It worked in Game 1 for an 18-yard score.
“That flash pass has been working great for us,” said Larsson. “Jesse has been hitting Joey and then Joey has been running hard.”
“Joey and I have played together for three years so I’ve gotten used to throwing to him,” said Roberson. “That play has been in our playbook for quite awhile and we’ve gotten a lot better at it blocking-wise and Joey is able to correctly read where to run."
“Coach Watson had told us it’s been successful before, so I was expecting that play to remain successful,” said Brocchini. “I just go out and over to the left side and Jesse throws a quick pass to me. Then the receiver has to make a good block — and our receivers are making those good blocks — and I just have to cut up and go off their block.”
“Right now, getting to the edge, Joey has been doing a good job and we’ve been getting some good blocks from the exterior — from (Jason) Taylor and a few others,” explained Watson. “We’ve been running that play for a few years and it’s something we’re having success with. But as the season goes on, teams are gonna make their adjustments to that so we’ve got to have something working well off of that. Hopefully, on Friday, we can keep making them have to play the sideline and that will open up a little bit of the interior game.”
“On Friday,” said Roberson with a smile, “I expect Joey to score on that play — and I know he will.”
Denair’s defense has yielded, on average, 422 yards per contest. So Summerville, most likely, will try and establish its power-run game early. And that could mean Denair gets a heavy dose of fullback Trevor Larsson. In 2011, Larsson has carried six times for 45 yards, an average of 7.5 per carry.
And Larsson does like offense.
But the kid loves defense.
Philosophy? Yes, Larsson has one with regards to playing middle linebacker.
“It’s very simple,” said Larsson. “I want to hit somebody as hard as I possibly can — so hard that he won’t ever want to come back onto the field.”