Football: Injury-plagued team finds silver lining

September 22, 2011 — by Rohan Rajeev
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Senior running back Troy Doles returned from a shoulder sprain to rush for 75 yards in a 28-14 loss to Hollister on Sept. 16.

After having played three games in the season so far, the Falcon football team has registered one well-deserved victory as well as two disappointing losses to relatively strong opponents.

After having played three games in the season so far, the Falcon football team has registered one well-deserved victory as well as two disappointing losses to relatively strong opponents.

The Falcon offense was shut down by Hollister on Sept. 16, as they only managed two touchdowns for a 28-14 loss. The week before, the offense shined against the Gilroy Mustangs, running circles around their defense to a 31-21 victory on away turf. The recent decline in performance may be attributed to the increasing number of injured players on the squad.

The Falcons have had to contend with injuries to senior lineman Mitchell Faylor, who is out for the season with a broken leg; senior running back Troy Doles, who suffered a shoulder sprain; and junior linebacker Henry Wei, who sustained a knee sprain.

“Injuries are a reality in football, but we have had more than our fair share of them,” head coach Tim Lugo said.

Even though these recent injuries have slightly handicapped the team, Lugo feels that even the most inconvenient of injuries has a brighter side.

“We’ve played really well on defense so far this year and that is without Wei and Doles. When they return, we become that much better,” Lugo said.

Lugo also said that injuries have forced him to move and switch partners in order to find the combination of players with the most stability, especially on offense.

“Offense is our weakness, but by switching players around because of injuries, we have created depth,” Lugo said. “That experience will pay off for us as the year goes on. So that weakness could become a strength.”

He hopes that the return of these injured players will jolt the team to even more success.

“We’ve played really well without them,” he said. “When they come back, we become that much better.”

Senior wide receiver Dominic Guercio believes that incoming sophomores and juniors have filled these holes with resounding capability.

“The juniors are really pulling their weight,” Guercio said. “Also, [sophomores] Davis Berryhill and Clark Rothenberg both have key roles on the team and are doing an outstanding job even as sophomores.

Guercio, too, looks upon injuries as a chance to try new players out in different positions.

“Players getting hurt has allowed the opportunity for others to step up, and many have done a great job,” he said.

Lugo thinks that as the team improves, it can make it to CCS playoffs. He also plans to mix up strategy a little more. In light of the recent injuries to some members of the squad, he attempted to play more of a running game rather than the usual shotgun passing game.

The new strategy was a success, as the Falcons ran over 375 yards against Gilroy’s Mustangs, eventually beating them.

“We’ll probably stay in that [strategy] for a while as we work through our injuries,” he said.
The Falcons will host Los Altos on Sept. 30 for the their Homecoming game.

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