Warriors QB Lars Olofson working on his passing game. Photo by The Tehachapi News.

Warriors Start Summer Football Drills
With High Hopes

Posted by John Nelson, The Tehachapi News, on June 15, 2015

The pressure is definitely on.

Just days into the weight training and speed work portion of summer practice, senior Lars Olofson had a long way to go to prove himself as the starting the quarterback for Tehachapi this coming season. “Just a little pressure,” Olofson admitted during an early summer workout, “but it keeps me motivated.”

He has competition coming from some of his classmates who have been working their way up through the ranks, including junior Paul Stephens-Green, but right now Olofson is projected as the starting QB.

Last season, Olofson shared time with several other players, rushing 18 times for negative yardage in six games and completing just 4 of 21 passes for 85 yards. The offense for last year's 6-5 Warriors was center on running back Chris Rhodes, who rushed for 1,042 yards for an average of 5.7 yards per carry.

Rhodes was a senior, and he will be gone this year. “I definitely need to work on my passing,” Olofson said, “and I also need to create a better threat with my running so I can take some of the pressure off the running backs.”

The Warriors use a run-oriented wing-T offense. The traditional wing-T employs a fullback, a halfback and a wing back who lines up off one of the tackles. The wingback can be used as a blocker or receiver, and almost always goes into motion, creating a power running formation. The Warriors will take a break after the weight and speed training sessions and return to practice in August, in full pads a week after resuming.

Olofson, who also plays varsity baseball and basketball, spent part of the summer at a wing-T camp on the Warriors campus, learning more about the offense. “It really helped me learn all the plays,” he said. “It'll make me a better quarterback.”

Head coach Steve Denman is expecting more than just a knowledge of the playbook from Olofson. “He needs to show his leadership ability,” Denman said. “Other than that, he just needs to play his part. We're not going to place too much pressure on any one player in our offense.”

Denman said he expects the Warriors to follow the lead of the seniors, like Olofson. “We have a lot of other good players on this team,” the coach said. “Kids like Angel Garcia (linebacker), who will get the leadership role on defense.”

So, what exactly does Olofson expect from himself this season. “To improve, to reach my full potential,” Olofson said. “We expect to carry on our tradition here, and we expect to win a championship.”

The Warriors begin their season with two games on the road at South High School on Friday night, Aug. 21 and at Foothill on Friday night, Aug 28. Their home opener will be against Burroughs of Ridgecrest on Friday night, Sept. 4.

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