“We return nearly everybody up front. That’s where you win ball games.” — Rosemead coach Matt Koffler
By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
Rosemead High School lineman Sal Chavarin does not know how to play football any way except how his coach, Matt Koffler, describes it.
“We play the Rosemead football way,” Koffler said. “That would be finding ways to dominate the lines. We return nearly everybody up front. That’s where you win ball games.”
Chavarin is the biggest presence in the middle of the Panthers’ line. The senior is 6-foot-2 and 350 pounds. He will play noseguard and “any position they want me to on offense,” he said. “I love noseguard; that’s my passion,” he said. “If they want me to do something on offense, I’ll do it.”
Koffler said the only aspect of the defensive line that needs work is rushing the quarterback.
Rosemead went 8-4 last season, finishing second in the Mission Valley League and reaching the second round of the playoffs.
With the current line making most of the starts last season, Rosemead rushed for more than 2,800 yards and threw for more than 1,400 yards.
“It’s good to put my helmet back on,” Chavarin said. “We’re starting to pick up a little bit.”
The Panthers began two-a-day practices on Monday and will put on full pads Thursday.
“The first couple of days is always fun to get the kinks out,” Koffler said. “We have a veteran group, so for us, it’s about putting the things together.
“The seniors did a pretty good job of taking care of the young guys and making them understand that we play a different way over here. We’re physical.”
Koffler said he has not seen any surprises.
However, he said Christian Garcia is emerging as a running back.
“That is a surprise,” he said. “We need to find a way to get him outside with the ball, especially with his speed.”
Rosemead opens the season Sept. 9 at Montebello.
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