Johnny Sears. The 2004 Fresno, Calif. Edison High School Homecoming King held court Friday against Clovis East. GoBlueWolverine Magazine was there to see His Majesty in action."> Johnny Sears. The 2004 Fresno, Calif. Edison High School Homecoming King held court Friday against Clovis East. GoBlueWolverine Magazine was there to see His Majesty in action.">

This King is Already a Wolverine

There is a well know King who is a highly sought after defensive back prospect from Pennsylvania. However, Michigan is already blessed with one "king", though this one is from California and goes by the name of <b>Johnny Sears</b>. The 2004 Fresno, Calif. Edison High School Homecoming King held court Friday against Clovis East. GoBlueWolverine Magazine was there to see His Majesty in action.

When GoBlueWolverine Magazine last visited Grizzly Stadium in Fresno, Calif. to see first-hand if Michigan made the correct decision in offering a scholarship to, then accepting a commitment from, defensive back Johnny Sears from Edison High School in Fresno. What was making fans skeptical was the fact that Sears had never played a down of varsity ball. Unfortunately we had to wait a bit longer as Sears was injured early in the Tigers matchup against Serra High School from San Mateo, Calif.

Edison wide receiver Johnny Sears is wrapped up by Clovis East linebacker Robert Montano.
Sears gave a glimpse of his talents in his few minuted of action against the Padres, making two of Edison's first three tackles and displaying an uncanny lack of fear for someone 6 foot 0 and only 170-pounds.

After sitting out a practice Sears was right back in the nic of things while leading a stubborn Edison defense that rebounded from the sting of an opening 29-15 loss to Serra to post three-straight wins, 63-7 over Yosemite, 45-13 over Clovis West, the team that handed perrenial national powerhouse Concord De La Salle their second loss of the season earlier in the year, and 14-10 victory over Central Section powerhouse Buchanan. This set up Friday's match-up between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the section in Clovis East and Edison, respectively.

Sears puts a move on Clovis East defensive back Durrell Oliver
Edison jumped out to a 7-0 lead on quarterback Arkelon Hall's 1-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the game. Clovis East scored a TD on their second posession of the game but missed the extra point. The teams went into the halftime locker room with Edison leading 7-6. That was as close as the game would be. Clovis East scored again and went for the two-point conversion but failed. One more score in the second half, along with a successful two-point try, put the final score at 20-7.

Clovis East runs a very disciplined Winged-T based offense that relies on misdirection. Running back Tracy Slocum finished the night with 154 yards on 27 carries, along with two touchdowns. While the Timberwolves offense was effective, putting up 299 yards total rushing, it was the potent Edison offense that brought the demise of the Tigers. Five turnovers, three in the red-zone, stifled drives. "You can't win ball games like this when you make mistakes," Edison defensive backs coach Tony Perry said after the game. "We just came off a big win over Buchanan and felt we had what it took to beat a very good Clovis East team, we just didn't get it done tonight. We'll be back."

One bright spot for the Tigers was the future Wolverine, Sears. On a team with at least three division 1-A prospects, including Washington State commitment Hall, Sears stands above the rest. "Johnny has been fantastic since he was hurt the first game," Perry said. "He is dominating receivers and has three or four interceptions this year." Since Clovis East threw only two passes the entire night, the prospects of adding to that total were between slim and none, and slim was leaving. But, Sears contributed in so many other ways this evening. He showed excellent speed during the first and last Timberwolves scoring drives and he came from the opposite end of the field to catch and trip a break-a-way Clovis East runner. Although the effort only prolonged the inevitable as the Timberwolves eventually put the ball in the end-zone on both drives, the fact Sears was able to chase down both players should be enough to excite Wolverine fans. But that's not all. Even at his size,
Johnny Sears lays a hit on Clovis East running back Andrew Pancotti
Sears is not afraid to put his head down and lay a hit on an opposing ball carrier. Remembering he suffered a head injury during the first game of the year, it was even more impressive to see him go head on with Clovis East running backs on several occasions (one pictured at right).

GBW readers will recall that Sears had an emergency appendectomy shortly after his outstanding performance at the Stanford Nike camp. the performance that earned him his Michigan offer. As such he was held out of summer drills and forced Edison Head Coach Tim McDonald to gradually ease Sears into the Tiger attack. "We need to have his athleticism on the field as much as possible," McDonald told GBW in August. "We want him to play offense and defense when he gets to 100 percent." However, the speedy Sears wasn't utilized as a wide receiver until the final Edison drives of the game, where he made several catches, including one spectacular sideline catch that brought the ball to the Clovis East 18-yard line late in the fourth quarter. On the next play running back Dalen Mason fumbled the ball and Clovis East recovered. Edison has one more chance to score. On the last play of the game Hall connected to Sears, who went on to showcase his speed, quickness, footwork, and heart as he eluded Timberwolves defenders in a valiant but
"King" Johnny Sears and "Queen" Brooklynn Edwards at Edison Homecoming ceremonies Friday.
futile attempt to score as time ran out.

When asked after the game why he wasn't used on offense more, Sears only said, "I'm back to 100 percent, it's the coaches decision not to use me but I'm ready."

It was homecoming night for Edison and at halftime Sears was honored as Homecoming King. Joining him was Homecoming Queen Brooklynn Edwards. The pair received a standing ovation when they were announced together.

Edison visits Hoover this Friday.

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