By Judd Liebman
Varsity football heads into Friday’s home game against Sylmar coming off their 42-8 conquest of the Leuzinger Olympians last Thursday night. It was the first victory of the season after a 14-14 tie with Fairfax High. The team currently has a record of 1-1-1; the game against Fairfax ended in a tie because there is no overtime in non-league games.
Head Coach Vic Eumont stressed the importance of the team’s first game because it showed the progress of the team since the beginning of summer training. The Wolverines watched film from their first game against Venice High, a 47-16 loss, to evaluate their improvement.
“You never know how everything is going to work and how the injuries are going to work, but we’re a resilient team, and we adapt, and our kids like that kind of challenge,” Eumont said.
The first win was paramount to veteran starting quarterback Max Heltzer ’11, he said. Heltzer said his goals for the preseason games were to execute better and not make any mistakes. In that aspect, Heltzer said, he has succeeded in improving his game, Heltzer has yet to throw an interception and said he is making better decisions with passes.
“The first two games, I think, we had some jitters, and we had to get those out. But I think now that we’ve got our first win under our belt, when we played well and executed well, we should carry that into next week,” he said.
Helping his offense execute is Offensive Coordinator Dave Levy’s main focus for the start of the season, he said. Making consistent drives down the field rather than relying on big plays was Eumont’s main focus in the preseason, Eumont said.
“We’ve been spotty. We haven’t run the ball as well as we’d like to and I think as well as we should. We’ve been effective throwing the ball. We’d like to be a little more versatile in doing that, but we’re up to par so far,” Levy said.
Part of the reason the offense is not as consistent as Levy would like is because the team is both plagued by injuries and full of underclassmen, he said.
“We’re young and we’re thin. It’s not an excuse, it’s a reason, but we’d like to think we’re improving and we just got to keep working at it every day because that’s what it is, making progress,” Levy said.
“We’ve had a lot of young guys step up and for the most part they’ve done a good job. We’ve lost a lot of veteran experience but everyone’s doing a good job on the line,” offensive and defensive lineman Richard Weisman Jr. ’11 said.
Making up for the injuries that are keeping players Nicky Firestone ’11, Wade Clement ’12, and Ethan Neale ’11 on the sidelines, has been challenging for the Wolverines, Eumont said. The amount of injuries has worried Eumont, he said, but he said the team has always come out stronger in the past.
For now, Eumont said that he and his team need to focus on improving every day by working on fundamentals and studying film.
“We’ve progressively gotten better, and I’ve seen us do a better job blocking on our field routes and along the line. We just get progressively better every game,” starting wide receiver Lewis Dix ’11 said.