By Tom Behrens
“Spring is where we learn about our team for the coming year” Coach Dave Meadows.
Coach Dave Meadow at Morton Ranch says he and his coaches try to learn as much as they can about their
offense and defense possibilities in spring practice.
“We try to find out who are the better players at the different positions. We try to find the guy who might be a good player at one position where we already have good players that might help us at another position. Our goal is to come out of spring pretty solid with starters and backups. There is always some shuffling around.”
This year’s spring’s possibilities at Morton Ranch look promising, especially at running back with several good prospects wanting to show what they can do.
Nick Hernandez, senior, comes back as quarterback. “A super athlete, has great speed, great sense of timing,” says Meadows. “He throws the ball well, but we’re an option team. He is a perfect option passing quarterback; he is among the better option quarterbacks I have ever been around and I have had some pretty good ones through the years.
“Nick is one we feel like when the ball is in his hands, he’s going to make the right decision. The right guy is going to end up with it, whether it’s a pass or a run. If he runs it, he’s a threat to score on any play. If a defensive player zeroes in on him, he pitches the ball.”
In the past the Rams have had some great drives stalled because of a dropped ball on the option. “We do it enough at practice that we’re confident that we are able to pitch it around and still hang on to it, but you know when you do that you are going to drop it once in awhile.”
Meadows says at the slot back position, the Rams came out of spring with two or three running backs and slot receiver position prospects, with one a running back and tight end spot.
“We have numerous skilled people that are all going to play, and some will play more than one position. All have the ability to make big plays.”
Coach Meadow says his team has speed, but it’s not all just speed. “They may not be the fastest but they’re plenty fast and make good moves, always keep the ball going forward. Nick is the fastest guy we have. If he breaks he will probably score.”
Spring practice ended with Meadows and his staff thinking they have a solid bunch of defensive players ready to cause opponents problems.
“Some of our better players off of last year’s team return in the secondary. Safety, DeAndre Allen was one of our leading tacklers. Corner back, Darrien Young, had six interceptions last year.”
“We had a kid last year who in his first year to play after a long time of not playing, Tavion Jamison , will be a really good player at outside linebacker. Linebackers and defensive line are going to be solid.”
Morton Ranch opens their season away playing Nimitz. “I like our schedule this year; I think it’s set up for us to do very well. We lost a lot of full time players to graduation, but we always try to come out of the spring with a good two deep lineup on offense and defense. A lot of times that ends up being our starting lineup. You never know, but we feel good where we are.”