Turlock senior offensive lineman Everett Johnson is looking forward to the start of the football season.
“The weather gets cooler and cooler and practices get more fun,” Johnson said. “Right now, we are practicing for scrimmages and soon we will practice to go up against Freedom and Clayton Valley and the hard teams we have in non-conference.”
Johnson, a University of California commit who plans on signing early and enrolling in January, said the team’s goals are winning another Central California Athletic League title (went 5-0 in inaugural CCAL season), beating Pitman in the Harvest Bowl, and making a deeper run in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs.
The Bulldogs beat Cosumnes Oaks in the first round last year before falling to Oak Ridge in the quarterfinals.
Injuries came at the wrong time as quarterback Jonah Kosakiewicz battled an ankle injury in the playoffs.
Senior Brock Paslay started against the Wolfpack in the Div. I opener and coach James Peterson said it was a tremendous opportunity. Paslay threw a touchdown in the 28-0 win.
Kosakiewicz graduated and the 6-foot-2 Paslay takes over a balanced, spread offense.
While Johnson said the Bulldogs’ offense will be more passing than last year’s run-heavy team, Peterson said the goal is to remain 50-50.
Senior running back Anthony Frias, who ran for 620 yards and six touchdowns, is expected to get most of the carries with senior Dalton Linn helping out as well.
Senior wide receiver Holden Baldwin (322 receiving yards), who has received an offer from the University of San Diego, will be Paslay’s No. 1 target.
“We are deep at every position,” Johnson said. “We have juniors stepping up and putting in work at practice and I am excited to see how they do.”
One of those juniors is running back Cade Gilbert, who Peterson said has tremendous burst.
Senior linebacker Jayden Jackson and senior defensive lineman Tamirr Bullock are two key players on defense while senior defensive back Darian White is going to be really “special”, Peterson said.
“We have really strong character guys on this team,” Peterson said. “Their GPA’s are through the roof and we had 33 players last year with GPA’s between 3.5 and 4.5 and a lot of them are back.”
Record: 8-4, 5-0 in Central California Athletic League
Players to Watch: Senior running back Anthony Frias, senior linebacker Jayden Jackson, senior offensive lineman Everett Johnson
Biggest Game: Oct. 4 at Downey
Something special about school: 2019 is the football team’s 99th season.
Playoff appearances last five years: 2018: Lost to Oak Ridge in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Quarterfinals 2017: Lost to Tracy in Div. I First Round 2016: Lost to Elk Grove in Div. I Quarterfinals 2015: Lost to Franklin in Div. I First Round 2014: Lost to Tracy in Div. I First Round
at Clayton Valley Charter