By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
PASADENA – The discovery was made the first day of spring practice.
Maranatha High School’s Robby Flewelling was at offensive tackle when first-year coach Pete Karavedas decided to make the switch.
“We saw his natural athletic ability,” said Karavedas, who spent the last three seasons as Whittier Christian’s defensive coordinator. “He was catching some balls, and I said we found ourselves the tight end we needed.”
Flewelling was a backup offensive lineman last year. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound senior said he’s looking forward to becoming a fixture in the new West Coast offense. That he’s looking forward to his increased role is evident by how vocal he’s become over the summer and heading into fall camp, which opened Monday. Flewelling is one of four captains, along with Andrew Elffers, Brian Lolik and Victor Chavez.
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Flewelling, who carried a 4.3 GPA as a junior, describes himself as aggressive.
“I don’t have any juke moves,” he said, “but I’m looking to run over people.”
That he fits the description of the prototypical tight end means higher expectations, but Flewelling isn’t shying away from the spotlight.
“I feel like I’ve worked hard over the summer,” he said. “Enough that I love the pressure.”
He’ll be a tall target for Elffers, the touted junior quarterback who also steps into the spotlight after earning Star-News Offensive Player of the Year honors as a sophomore.
Elffers sees Flewelling as a tight end who can do more than just block and sell routes.
“He’s not only got good size but he has really good hands,” Elffers said. “He runs really good routes. There are some little things he’s working on like his spacing, but that’s all stuff he can work out in camp. He has the skills to be a good tight end, and if he can add some weight, he could be a Division I tight end.”
Special teams void
When Jeremy Major decided to not play football this year, to focus on basketball, that left a void at wide receiver and at punt and kick returner.
Major’s speed was a factor, but his elusiveness and quick mind for just a then-sophomore separated him from the rest.
During the first day of practice Monday, the Minutemen worked on special teams, where Karavedas said he hopes to soon discover a solid punt returner.
Minutemen get head start
While most teams still have a week before opening fall camp and two-a-days, Maranatha is way ahead of schedule.
The Minutemen threw on pads for the first time during their Monday evening practice. Maranatha is ahead of schedule because it completed dead period and conditioning much earlier, due to the fact school starts next Wednesday.
“We get to start before anyone else,” Karavedas said.