Now that the offense has been established, how about the other side of the ball?
Chace’s question: There’s no shortage of defensive talent throughout Contra Costa County and lower regions of the Tri-Valley Area. So who makes the cut? I have a feeling a few guys from Pittsburg might be considered.
Ben’s answer: Nothin I can do here, Pitt’s got the horses. Now, about those other positions.
DEFENSIVE LINE: Loni Fa (Ygnacio Valley), Morgan Breslin (Las Lomas), Dan Wilkerson (Monte Vista) — We’re running the 3-4 here at the Times this year. These are three ridiculously fast, ridiculously mean hombres. Put Breslin in the middle, let him cause some havoc and then you’ve got Fa and Wilkerson, both capable of playing linebacker, coming off the edge.
LINEBACKERS: Garrison Goodman (San Ramon Valley), Emeka Williams (Pittsburg), Dan Camporeale (Acalanes), Blair Wishom (De La Salle) — The strength of my defense. Williams is a tackling machine, Camporeale is the captain of the Dons’ defense, Goodman is the lone holdover from an outstanding group of starters at SRV, and Wishom was one of the heroes of the Spartans’ state title win. Plus, you can bring Williams off the edge or drop Wishom into coverage. There’s some flexibility with this group.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: Avery Patterson (Pittsburg), Ryan Walsworth (Foothill), Noah Perio (De La Salle), Kenny Shrader (College Park) — If the offensive line that Chace put together can block my edge rushers, it will be insanely tough to throw on this quartet. Patterson and Walsworth will man the corners while Perio and Shrader play safety.
RETURN SPECIALIST: Tyrell Smallwood (Pinole Valley) — If you think back a few years, Pinole Valley had the most dangerous returner in the East Bay in Rashad Smith. This year, the Spartans have another dangerous return man in Smallwood. And to get named here is saying something, since Monte Vista’s Taylor Brewster and De La Salle’s Kylan Butler are both outstanding returners.