Thursday's Blitz: Visits to La Habra, Mission Viejo
Thursday's OCVarsity Blitz takes a look at what is happening at the football practices and camps around the county.
COLACION STEPS IN AT RUNNING BACK: Last year, the Highlanders had an explosive offense led by quarterback Eric Barriere and running back Carlos Martin.
Barriere returns for his senior season, but Martin is now at Portland State.
Highlanders coach Frank Mazzotta said the team's running back position is an unknown going into the season.
Mazzotta said senior Cortlin Taylor has a chance to be the main back, but senior Jacob Colacion will also see a lot of carries. Colacion has made his name on defense and is committed to Arizona as a linebacker.
“He grew up playing running back his whole life,” Mazzotta said of Colacion. “He should be able to play. He’s got the speed. There’s no taking him to school on the position.”
DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS: Colacion will lead a defense that looks to improve after it allowed over 30 points seven times last season, and over 40 points five times.
“For the most part, it was a little out of character last year,” Mazzotta said of the struggles on defense. “It was a lack of tackling. We gave up too many big plays. More people are running spread offenses now and that makes everyone a little more vulnerable to big plays.
“That’s not an excuse. We need to tackle.”
Defense has been a point of emphasis for La Habra throughout the summer, and Mazzotta feels better about the unit going into the season.
“We’re a tad more aggressive,” Mazzotta said. “I want to be aggressive on defense. I think we’re tackling better, and that’s the name of the game.”
Joining Colacion as a leader on defense is returning senior defensive end Matthew Gonzalez. Mazzotta also sees junior inside linebacker Kamron Revas as “one of those leadership types” for the Highlanders.
SOCIAL MEDIA SILENCE: Senior quarterback Brock Johnson voluntarily shut down his Twitter account for the duration of the upcoming season.
On July 31, Johnson tweeted, “Looking forward to shutting down all my social media next Wednesday #FootballSeason.” Johnson followed up on Aug. 4 with “Bye twitter. Be back after football season.”
“That’s completely Brock’s decision and that’s refreshing,” said Diablos coach Bob Johnson, who is also Brock's grandfather. “It’s a waste of time posting all that stuff.”
Bob Johnson declared ignorance when it comes to social media and said he’s “an old-school coach.” Brock Johnson's move didn’t come as a declaration from the coach or to the rest of the team.
“I wouldn’t even know that stuff,” Bob Johnson said. “I just tell the team, ‘Don’t talk trash, don’t do any of that stuff.’ "