Carlmont’s Marcus Farhad takes over the Scots’ program as a first-year varsity coach. Not that he doesn’t have any experience: he was the co-head coach of the Scots’ frosh-soph program last year and spent two seasons as Sacred Heart Prep’s frosh-soph head man.
Now, he is the face of the Scots.
“It’s really exciting,” Farhad said. “It’s something I’ve been waiting for. I’m really excited for the season. The kids are buying slowly but surely.”
Farhad has his work cut out for him. The Scots are coming off a 1-9 season and went winless in the Lake Division in 2012. Unlike a lot of first-year coaches, however, Farhad shouldn’t have as tough a time bringing the Scots back to respectability. Not only do they have a number of key pieces returning, the varsity will be infused with a number of players from last year’s frosh-soph team that went 9-1.
That doesn’t mean the transition will be easy.
“The game is a lot faster on varsity,” Farhad said. “I think the [varsity returners], with their experience, will help our team prepare. I think the seniors really want to win and they’re really pushing guys.”
Carlmont returns most of its offensive backfield from last season. Quarterback DJ James was having a good year in 2012 before going down midway through the season with a knee injury. Farhad said he is healthy heading into 2013, but the coaching staff is taking a cautious approach to his return.
“We’re easing his way into things. He’s been working on the sidelines with our athletic trainer,” Farhad said. “(But) we’ve had him throwing the ball around.”
Joining James in the backfield is running back Nick Simon — a big, bruising back who should spearhead the Scots’ rushing attack.
“He’s a really fast, strong kid,” Farhad said. “He worked out tremendously hard over the summer to get more muscle.”
Joining him will be junior Dominic Blanks. Blanks excelled during the summer last year for the frosh-soph team, but during one of the first practices of 2012, Blanks broke his femur, knocking him out for the entire season. Farhad said he’s completely recovered and cleared to play this year and he is expecting big things from him.
“When we had him in summer last year, he was destroying teams (in scrimmages and camps),” Farhad said.
The offensive and defensive lines will need some rebuilding, but Farhad is expecting a couple of newcomers to help solidify the lines. Anthony Armijo and Lev Gameley both excelled on the lines for the frosh-soph team last year. Farhad is especially anxious to see how Gameley adjusts to the varsity level.
“He’s ferocious (at defensive tackle). On defense, he was deadly (last year),” Farhad said. “He’s very strong and very athletic for that position.”
Despite the high school game going to more spread offensive attacks, Farhad said he is more traditional when it comes to football. He wants to run the ball, but realizes he also has to adapt and throw the ball.
“We’re pretty smash mouth, but I realize in this day and age with all these new offense, we do have to mix it up a little,” Farhad said. “We’re going to probably be 60-40 (rush to pass).”