Sears Begins Varsity Career on a Painful Note

Defensive back <b>Johnny Sears</b> took his first reps Friday as a varsity football player. Sears and the Fresno Edison Tigers took on Serra High School from San Mateo, led by top division one prospect Will Powers. The night began strong for Sears but ended early after he suffered a potentially serious injury.

"Butterfly's," was how defensive back Johnny Sears described his feelings before taking the field for his first game as a varsity player against Serra High School in San Mateo. Michigan fans are well acquainted with Serra, the Padres being the team of former Michigan and current New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Johnny Sears prepares to take the field for his first game as a varsity player.
Sears, who is already committed to Michigan and sports offers from several top-notch division one schools, is a work in progress. When GBW first saw him in action during a scrimmage against Bakersfield Sept. 3, he showed he has the physical tools necessary to make it at the next level. On Friday he had his first opportunity to showcase those skills in his first game as a varsity football player. Sears transferred after his from McLane High School after his sophomore year and had to play a year of junior varsity due to California Interscholastic Federation transfer rules, which require a player to sit out a year when changing schools. Sears' nervousness was apparent as the usually talkitive young man kept to himself prior to the game. "I'm excited and anxious," he said. "I've been looking forward to this for a long time."

Sears makes his second tackle of the evening against Serra. Edison eventually fell to the Padres 29-15.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, Serra took advantage of a depleted Edison lineup, five Edison players were knocked out of the game, to win 29-15. "We've been working on our conditing since January," Serra Head Coach Patrick Walsh said. "We model our conditioning program on the (Concord, Calif.) De La Salle system, where I'm from. Obviously it worked to our advantage and we played a very good game against a great team."

One of the Edison players who took an early exit was Sears. Before the game Edison defensive backs coach Tony Perry said they were going to move Sears to safety from his normal position of cornerback. "Serra is a running team and we need Johnny to come up and make some tackles," Perry said. "We need to take full advantage of his ability." Sears was initially up to the task, recording two tackles on the first three plays of the game. Somewhere near the half-way point of the first quarter Sears took a seat on the bench and was seen talking to one of the Edision trainers. Shortly afterwards his father came down to the field. Before halftime Sears removed his shoulder pads and was led to the Edison locker room. He didn't return. "We wanted to get some more tests done to make sure everything is ok," Dr. Richard Blanks, the physician who examined Sears on the sideline, said. He had some amnesia, forgetting some events that happened during the day and on the field here, so we want to make sure there isn't more damage."

Sears is consoled by his father and a teammate after being taken out of the game. He was later taken to a local hospital for further tests and released.
About an hour after the game Perry said the Sears was alright though he would most likely sit out of practice. "We'll keep him out of contact for the week," he said. "He should be okay to play after that." GBW spoke with Sears' mother Sunday evening and she said further tests were not necessary and her son would sit out at least one practice. "The doctors at the hospital gave him a physical and said he was ok," she said. "Since he wasn't nauseous they didn't feel any further tests were necessary after the physical. We're not letting him practice on Monday but he should be ok to practice after that and play this Friday.

Edison takes on Yosemite High School this Friday at McLane High.

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