Carrick aims to improve with group of returning starters
Even if they don’t see the results on the football field this season, Carrick coach Ed White wants to make sure valuable life lessons are learned.
On the heels of a 1-8 season and a winless record in the City League, the Raiders return six starters, including a pair of well-seasoned seniors -- quarterback L.J. Orbovich and lineman Jonas Chan.
“We tell them that football is a big part of their life right now, but for most of them high school football will be their last time playing football. But you can learn about teamwork, dedication, working hard, even though things don’t go right. You need to keep plugging away because life isn’t perfect,” White said.
“Hopefully, they can draw back to their football career with how we didn’t have great seasons, but we kept fighting every week and we got better individually. We are trying to grow them into young men.”
Carrick’s lone win came in the second to last week of the season when the Raiders defeated Bridgeport, Ohio, 27-20.
Last season, the Raiders were outscored on average 36.3 to 8.8, including being shut out in four games. In 2016, Carrick went winless and was outscored by an average of 50.8 to 5.0.
Even through the trial and tribulations, White believes there is enough playing experience with Orbovich, Chan and other returning starters to see more positive results this season.
“Those two have been around all summer long working hard. They aren’t real vocal leaders, but they lead by example,” White said.
“They know what it takes to win. Even though we only won one game last year, they saw what needs to be done to win, work hard and be competitive in games to have a chance to win.”
Other returning starters include senior wide receiver and defensive back Kiele Moore, as well as a trio of juniors -- running back and outside linebacker Tayvon Greene, wide receiver and defensive back Frank Hawkins and lineman Cody Rump.
White is excited about the athletic abilities seniors A.J. Perella and Vernon Washington could provide in their first year on the team.
At the beginning of camp, White was still sorting through the roles Perella, a baseball and basketball player, and Washington, a basketball player, would have.
Orbovich, who will also play linebacker, will look to jell with a new cast this season as he loses key contributors from last year’s team.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve had new faces. We’ve pretty much overhauled every year. I don’t think the experience will be any different this year,” Orbovich said.
The Raiders lost wide receiver and defensive back Emanuel Bowden, lineman Trevor Hazen and running back and defensive back D’mon Brown to graduation.
“It’s going to be tough losing some our guys. There is going to be a steep learning curve. A lot of our guys who might be starting this year will be first- or second-year starters,” Orbovich said.
“I think we will get into a groove as the season goes along. We’ll pick up experience along the way, and we’ll keep working to get better every week.”
Coach: Ed White
2017 record: 1-8, 0-5
All-time record: 330-442-47
Date, Opponent, Time
8.24, at Brentwood, 7 p.m.
8.31, at University Prep*, 7 p.m.
9.6, Brashear*, 7 p.m.
9.14, Linsly School, W.Va., 7 p.m.
9.20, at Westinghouse*, 7 p.m.
9.27, Perry*, 7 p.m.
10.5, at Allderdice*, 7 p.m.
10.12, at Bridgeport, W.Va., 7 p.m.
*City League game