Despite coming off their first losing season in eight years (and second overall under head coach Doug Dinan), the Carroll Chargers had a tried and true offensive gameplan in 2018 that will need adjusting this year. The Gaven Vogt to Camdyn Childers connection was money despite the 3-7 finish to the season. Vogt threw for 2,182 yards and Childers caught 62 balls for 985 yards.
The Charger offense now turns to how you replace perhaps the area’s most underrated quarterback and its most dynamic receivers. Sophomore Jeffrey Becker will get the nod at the starting quarterback position. He is the younger brother of school receiving record holder Justin. The younger Becker has the ability to lead the Charger offense with his arm or on the ground.
He will have some experienced help from senior receivers Layton Mitchell and Tyler Morrison. Mitchell (10 receptions, 266 yards, four touchdowns) is the top returning receiver and Morrison is back from a junior year injury. Junior Boden Hite will return to the receiving group and senior Ray Vollmer could also be used as a pass catcher.
Orion Chenery returns to the offensive line for the third year where he will be joined by fellow seasoned players Reeve Muncie and Kyler Bills. They will hope to help block up front while Becker gets his legs under him. Senior Evan Harris (26 rushes, 181 yards) didn’t have to do much in 2018 as the No. 2 back, but will shoulder the load this year on the ground.
As much as we have come to know the iterations of a Carroll offense, this could be a big year for the defensive side of the football. That is anchored in a lot of ways by Vollmer at defensive back as he continues to pick up quality college offers. A physical force, Vollmer totaled 17 tackles and a pair of interceptions last season. Lincoln Lantz (4 interceptions, 44 tackles) and Cade Dinan help fill in a very experienced secondary.
Linebacker Larry Sible is expected to be a serious stopper in a conference that will have plenty of offensive firepower. He tallied 25 tackles and five sacks a year ago. The defense is also pushed by leading tackler from 2018 Hunter Mertz (46 tackles) and on the line by Ethan Klingler and Maxton Green.
This is Doug Dinan and save for his first season and last season, he has led Carroll to consistently be in the conversation to win the conference. Knowing that the SAC is wide open, a few upset victories puts Carroll right back in the conversation again.
The Chargers are going to put in work on the defensive end and can adapt their offensive styling to fit their own personnel.
WHY NOT HIGHER?
Because predicting the SAC is a lot like pulling names out of a hat at certain tiers. Carroll is coming off a bad season and lost some guys who would be considered all-time greats in their program. Experience goes a long way in tight conference races and there are plenty of teams who have much more than Carroll will have to start the season.
Week 1 vs. Bishop Luers
Why wait? Day 1 is go time for teams considered to be in the middle of the pack in the conference. Carroll’s winning standard is something it will want to put back on the correct path and both of these teams will need a victory in Week 1 in order to keep pace with the SAC elite this season.
It is a rarity, but there are no real off weeks in the SAC this season.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Jeffrey Becker, sophomore, quarterback
This may seem like a no brainer but expectations for Becker are going to be sky high. But that comes with the territory. Older brothers Justin and Jonathan were key guys for their quickness in the program. And the quarterback spot at Carroll? Well let’s just say you need to be talented to follow Vogt, Jack Miguel and Aidan Smith. Pressure comes with all of the territory and all eyes will center on Becker immediately.