Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 | 2:01 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer celebrate the return of football season with an hour-long podcast diving into anything and everything regarding local high schools. They also look back on the victories by Bishop Gorman and Moapa Valley in the Sollenberger Classic and finish with week one picks.
First-year Green Valley High football coach Brian Castro knows becoming a winning football program starts with getting his players to be more physical on Friday nights.
“The first thing we have to do is get tougher and play hard-nosed football,” Castro said.
Green Valley won just one Southeast Division game last year in missing the playoffs, but its record could have included one more victory. Against eventual league champion Liberty, Green Valley led by 11 points in the second half before losing, 37-26.
“It goes back to being tough,” Castro said of the Liberty game. “We couldn’t move the ball to run some time off the clock, and we couldn’t get key stops on defense. If we do those things, we can play with anybody. They have to have the mindset not to quit and keep playing football.”
Castro was Green Valley’s offensive coordinator last year and plans to continue running the up-tempo spread offense. Defensively, he will change to a 3-5 formation — three defensive lineman and five linebackers — with hopes of more aggressive play.
“The kids are going to be rallying to the football and playing hard,” the coach said.
Senior linebacker Daniel Duran (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) will be a leader on the defense along with safety Sean Ferraro (5-foot-11, 170 pounds). Ferraro will be the fastest player in the Southeast, being clocked this spring at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Offensively, senior running back Aaron Love (5-foot-7, 160 pounds) returns after rushing for 6.1 yards per carry and five touchdowns last year. At quarterback, senior Jacob Olim (6-foot, 190 pounds) will be the full-time starter. Last year, he passed for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the season finale against Basic.
“Aaron Love is going to have to step up,” Castro said. “He’s played a lot of football around here. He will be an every-down back for us and needs to improve of his running and definitely his blocking.”