EVERYTHING EVERGREENS (FOX SPORTS WAUSAU-WSAU) I can't assess a football team unless I can assess the quarterback. That's the challenge when assessing the upcoming D.C. Everest football season. Quarterback is an unknown.
Pre-season practice starts in a month, and Darren Sanchez is the only returning quarterback on the roster who has game-experience at the varsity level. Unfortunately, he hasn't had any varsity success... yet. Sanchez saw very limited action last year. His number was called in a few wildcat formations. He was involved as the up-man in a fake punt. My recollection is that he took 5-or-fewer snaps, and all of those plays accounted for minimal yardage. It was telling that when Nick Sierakowski was injured last year, all of the additional snaps went to Michael Nicklaus. It was a sign that no one else was ready to step into the job. (And Nicklaus was a very competent replacement. Everest went 2-3 in games where he played.)
I didn't get to see Sanchez play at the JV level. I'm told that he was a solid junior varsity quarterback. The times that coach Luke Coenen mentioned him in pre-game interviews last year, he'd said Sanchez was a hard worker in practice. All of that is positive, yet ultimately meaningless until he can move the team at the varsity level. And that will remain an unanswered question until the season begins.
Bryce Hines and Brady Uekert may also be in the quarterback mix during pre-season practice. Hines is athletic and has a live arm. There may be some others who were further down on the depth chart last year who'll be asked to throw in practice. Since the Evergreens like to rotate in multiple quarterbacks, its possible that in-game snaps could be shared among two or three players.
If the Evergreens get the QB situation figured out, their offense should be okay. They have some experience among their returning receivers and running backs, and they have ample size returning on their offensive line. Bottom line: get the right quarterback, and this team's offense should be just fine.
Today I'm posting the first in a series of football previews. Practice begins in a month. The team is scheduled to scrimage against Shawano, Green Bay-Preble, and Stratford on August 15, and then open the season at home against SPASH on August 23rd.