Strong play in the trenches on both sides of the ball figures to be a regular staple for the Mountain View Wildcats this season, according to coach Lou Sorrentino, which he says is important given how talented the Commonwealth District is overall.
“We have a chance to be pretty good in all phases of the game, but we need that because the teams we play are good, too,” Sorrentino said. “We’re excited to see how it will play out on the field, but you can have a good football team in our [district] and still not have it show up as far as your [overall] record.”
The reason for Sorrentino’s optimism is the fact he has seven returning starters on offense and five on defense.
“Our players in the trenches are a pretty veteran group and they’ve worked hard over the summer, so it will be fun to see what happens when they blend in with our younger group,” Sorrentino said.
At the forefront of the defense will be senior defensive back Adin Huntington (6-1, 250) and senior outside linebacker James Snead, both of whom are three-year starters. Sorrentino calls the duo “disruptive” and “extremely hard working.”
On offense, the line should be bolstered by returning tackle Alex Kemp (6-4, 247). But the effectiveness of the offense will begin with the play of quarterback Edward Ware, a two-year starter at defensive back, who moves to quarterback this year.
“Every offense needs a quarterback that can run and throw, and Ware can do that,” Sorrentino said. “He did some really good things at defensive back, so it will be exciting to see how he comes in and leads the offense this year.”
Because of the leadership and athleticism Ware showed on defense, Sorrentino said he is confident he will mesh well with the young playmakers the Wildcats have on offense, as well as veteran running back Mark Shelton, who gained more than 500 yards in each of the past two seasons, but also suffered season-shortening injuries in both.
“We really hope for a full-season of production from him this year,” Sorrentino said.
Speaking of injuries, Mountain View’s offense took a significant blow earlier this year when senior tight end Brendan Heatherman, a three-year starter who has verbally committed to the University of Connecticut, suffered a knee injury and will be out indefinitely. Sorrentino said a big question is how the Wildcats’ offense will do without a significant weapon.
“His rehab is going great and we are hopeful to get him back after a few games, but he’s out indefinitely right now,” Sorrentino said. “At the beginning of the season, we will have to make some adjustments to the offense.”
Early on, Mountain View figures to use more four receiver sets than Sorrentino initially envisioned, but the potential of the offense to be good is there.
“We have a lot of potential to be good in all three phases, and you have to be in this [district], but we won’t really know until we get in full pads and get after it. It should be fun,” Sorrentino said.