Historically under coach Ernie Howren, the Reed football program has been a quarterback factory, spitting out quality signal callers who put up big numbers.
Senior Brent Showalter is the latest to try and can carry on that tradition.
“Brent Showalter is the guy right now leading that position and doing an outstanding job. I feel like he understands the role of being a senior and being a captain,” Howren said. “Those are two positions where leadership is expected on the team.”
Reed lost almost all of its entire offensive production from a year ago when it outscored opponents 410-268 en route to an 11-3 record.
“I’m sure we did (lose a lot of seniors), but I’ve said this many times. We all know we’re going to lose players. They’re only here for four years. It’s not like it shocks us they’re not here. We knew they weren’t going to be here,” Howren said. “We’re ready to find new guys to work those positions. So far in camp we’ve seen some guys really step up and show us they’re going to be capable of doing some neat things.”
Howren likes what he has coming back.
Reed has a running back by committee. Howren said he has four guys who are interchangeable and running their tails off. They all understand the offense and know how to read blocks.
Currently, junior John Covello is starting, but he’s trying to fight off fellow junior Kyle VonSchimmelmann. Junior Broc Westlake and senior Justin Worthley are also battling for the right to earn some carries this season.
At receiver, juniors Alex Young and Beau Tittensor fell under the radar last fall, but now have a year of varsity reps under their belt and Howren believes they are coming into their own. Senior Cody Puryear will be another threat for Showalter on the outside.
Although Reed lost a pair of Division-I caliber linemen, Howren believes the offensive line will still be as strong as ever with senior center Collin Tuttle anchoring the line. Howren said he really quarterbacks that front. Jeremy Macauley started all 14 games last year as a sophomore and was an all-league guard. Colton Strawn was an all-region nose tackle.
“The kids have totally bought into it and responded. We really feel that’s going to be one of our stronger points on offense is our offensive line,” Howren said. “That says a lot considering we lost two guys of Garrett (Corbett) and Kyle’s (Roberts) caliber.”
Outside of the 62 points Reed allowed in the state semifinal to eventual state champion Bishop Gorman, the defense gave up just under 16 points per game.
Howren believes the defense will be a huge key again this year.
“We really feel like when you start talking about guys like Jeremy Macauley and Colton Strawn and our inside linebackers like Broc Westlake and Donovan Inskip, those guys are taking care of the inside for us and allowing our safeties to make plays,” Howren said. “We feel like we have two of the best safeties in the league with Tyler Puryear and Justin Worthley. These two guys just want to play football. They want to rip somebody’s head off.”
At outside linebacker, Reed has Cody Puryear and VonSchimmelmann, two fast guys who can really fly around on the outside.
While it might not make Raider fans happy, the Blue and Gold will only be home for four regular-season games this fall. Howren isn’t concerned since his team went 7-0 on the road a year ago and in order to win championships, you have to win games away from home.
With the Sierra and High Desert Leagues combining this year, league action will be a lot more heated week in and week out. Howren is certainly looking forward to the new challenges.
“I’m always looking forward to league just because of the competitive nature of all us whether it’s the coaches or the players,” he said. “We just want to start getting into league games. There’s just an edge to those games. There’s something on the line every week. I think that’s going to be the difference this year.”