After last year's success, Dinos expect to be better in 2012
4-5 record in 2011 is helping expand confidence across the program, with players and in the community
Winning inspires confidence. For the Carbon High Football team, the feeling of having a few wins under their belt has changed not only the mindset of the program, but the outlook as well.
After a string of tough seasons with few wins and long losing streaks, the Dinos broke out to a 4-0 start to the 2011 season. It was the Dinos' best start in over 50 years.
It brought the players closer together and grabbed the attention of many in the community, including those who played for the Dinos during successful periods for the program.
While the Dinos lost five straight Region 12 games to finish the season, the 2012 season has them looking to take another step forward.
Just by winning, the program and the mindset of those involved has changed. Winning is nice, but now it's becoming an expectation, according to head coach Jeff Blanc.
With five non-region games to start the season against teams including Grand, American Leadership Academy, Ben Lomond, Union and Altamont, Blanc said the team is focused on getting out to a strong start to the season.
"It's five games we should be able to win," Blanc said noting the amount of work the players have put in over the course of the summer and during two-a-days leading into the season. "We know we're now capable of going out there and getting a win."
On offense the Dinos will be looking take the spread offense to the next level after implementing the new system last season. When they offense was clicking, the Dinos treated their fans to a number of long touchdown runs and passes thanks to the quick strike nature of the spread.
Blanc said the offense will be lead by returning senior quarterback Dakota Cisneros. With a new stable of running backs including Dominic Rondinelli and Cameron Rutherford, the Dinos will be looking to move the ball down the field quickly and effectively.
"The spread offense can be tough for new players to pick up," Blanc said. "But we've got a lot of talent returning on offense which should help us."
One addition to the offense at wide receiver will be senior Jordan Blanc. After sitting out much of his sophomore and his entire junior seasons due to knee injuries, Blanc will be expected to give the Dinos a fleet-footed receiver who can grab plenty of yards after a catch.
On defense, Blanc said the Dinos will be looking to run out of a 5-2 formation. With most of the experience on defense returning at linebacker and in the secondary, Blanc said the team is looking to try and bolster a young defensive line.
"We've got a lot of youth along the defensive line so we'll be looking for guys to step up this season," he said. With many of the Region 12 teams running a version of the spread offense, Blanc said he is hopeful the young defensive line will clog running lanes and keep opposing teams from controlling the game clock by running the ball.
The effects of winning have not only shown up by the amount of people in the stands and the talk of the program in the community, but also in the eyes of the young freshmen and sophomores looking to continue getting the program going in the right direction.
"We've got a lot of underclassmen on the team who are excited to work hard and continue with the upperclassmen in helping build the program back up again," Blanc explained. With the Blue and White game on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Carbon High Football Field, Blanc said the team will be focusing on getting the players prepared for their first game against Grand on Aug. 17.
"We know positive things can happen this season. We've been through some tough years but the guys know it takes hard work to accomplish team goals," Blanc said.