The Carter High School football team had good season in 2014. But it wasn’t great and great was what it needed to over take Redlands East Valley for Citrus Belt League honors.
The Lions (9-3 overall and 6-1 in CBL play) will try and knock off that juggernaut again this year but coach Alex Pierce knows it will take a monumental effort.
“They’re still the team to beat,” Pierce said. “They graduated a few guys but they still have a lot of talent coming back and they have a great program. So we know that’s always going to be our biggest obstacle.”
Carter returns about half its starters – five on offense and six on defense, so massive reloading isn’t necessary. Pierce did graduate many of his linemen on both sides of the ball, which is key for the Lions because of the style they play.
The Lions have been noted for a physical, punishing ground game. They will still depend on that but Pierce says his team is going to throw the ball a little more than it has in the past. He has a new quarterback in Sonny Robison, a move-in from Nevada. Brett Hernandez, who played there last year, is being move to tight end and linebacker.
The Lions strength will be on defense as they” be led by four Division I prospects, most notably senior linebacker Lokeni Toailoa who has committed to UCLA.
Brother Leni Toailoa is among the other marquee defenders. He made a verbal commitment to San Jose State but Pierce says he has recently been drawling attention from higher profile programs.
The other noteworthy defenders are senior defensive Marcus Stone and senior corner Marquis Green. Green has also committed to San Jose State.
Pierce also singled out junior defensive end Justin McKinstry.
“Our defense has always been our bread and butter and it still will be,” he said. ” We just need to find the right pieces in a few places and i think we can be pretty good.”
Carter starts the new season at home on Aug. 28 against Los Osos. It’s first Citrus Belt League contest will come on Sept. 25 it will be against REV.
Unfortunately for the Lions, the non-league schedule will do little to help them prepare for that game against REV. Their three non-league foes were a combined 6-25 last year.