DeLaSalle ve Poly notes

Here are a few notes from the sidelines of the DeLaSalle vs LB Poly game after witnessing one of the more impressive displays of football execution that I've ever seen:



DeLaSalle
The common perception is that LB Poly had too many athletes but as one Poly coach said "we may have better athletes but they have better football players". The notion that the DLS skill players take a back seat to anybody is one that can also be questioned. Maurice Drew is as solid a high school running back as you will find, they have two gifted receivers, a junior running back in Jackie Bates who will be a good one as well as a pair of corners who are solid. Their QB also played as good as you would want a QB to play in this game.

After going to the Spartan practice on Friday and interviewing players and coaches it is surprising to see how little stress they feel within the program with regards to the winning streak. It is arguable that they faced no greater danger to the streak than the game with Poly yet the walk through practice on Friday was notable only in its simplicity and focus on efficiency. This is not a football prgram that messes around, they work hard. One player told us that on the days when they had summer passing league games they would put in a five hour workout during the day. With a work ethic like that being passed down from player to player through the years it is easy to get a sense of what makes them so special. In a football sense, what separates them is their absolute ability to execute their assignments in a crisp fashion. When the ball is snapped all 11 players are moving as one and taking care of their jobs, very impressive to see.

Maurice Drew is a special player. It's not really fair to compare him to one of the greatest running backs in NFL history but with his combination of balance and incredible leg strength it's hard to ignore the comparisons to a Barry Sanders. Maurice is also a class young man who loves working with Pop Warner kids. He has been offered a scholarship by the Trojans as a RB after we originally talked to him about playing corner. When he told our coaches he wanted to play offense they quickly told him that was fine and there is little doubt he is a player who would be an attribute to our program. At this point he is wide open in regards to his college choice and will wait until after the season before narrowing things down.

The Spartans also have a senior kicker Binswanger who can really kick. If we are taking a kicker this year it would be wise to give him a look, some of his kickoffs were sailing past the crossbar at the back of the end zone.

It's a shame that cornerback Damon Jenkins has grade issues because he's another guy who can play.

The most talented junior on the team is wide receiver Cameron Colvin, a tall and lanky player with a smooth stride who should instantly be at the top of the WR recruiting list for next season. Willie Glasper (CB) and Jackie Bates (RB) are two other juniors who will also get a look.

LB Poly
It will be interesting to see how the Jackrabbits will respond to this loss. It can be argued that Mater Dei has not been the same since DLS put a thumping on them a few years ago because high level teams like MD and Poly just don't expect to get beaten as soundly as what we saw on Saturday. The score may have only been 28-7 but make no mistake about it, this was a whuppin.

No player on Poly really stood out in terms of having a good performance. The defensive line had a few nice plays where they got pressure but one would expect Lemau'u and Tauanuu to dominate in a situation where they have so much of a physical advantage. Marlin Simmons had one real solid hit on a cutback run by Bates and Marlin later even saw time at strong safety in the game. Derrick Jones basically got shut out by a Spartan secondary that was playing deep and was determined not to let him get behind them. Kevin Brown struggled on offense while Mark Washington was pretty much a non-factor at linebacker. One bright spot was a brief showing by junior FB Jeremiah Toloumu who has good hands and the ability to deliver a blow once the ball is in his possession.

This isn't meant to knock the Poly players because they ran into a buzzsaw in this game. By the midway point through the game many of faces on the Jackrabbit sideline were filled with blank stares as the players couldn't believe this was happening to them. It just goes to show the power of discipline, conditioning and execution because nobody I've seen at the high school level puts those three elements together as well as the Spartans.


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