Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 | 2 a.m.
Blessings come at the most random times.
That’s the feeling of the Spring Valley football team heading into this season after making an unexpected addition in the form of a quarterback this summer. Senior Brant Berglund, who transferred from Highlands Ranch in Colorado, enrolled at Spring Valley two months ago and promptly won the starting job.
“I was lucky to have him walk through our doors “because I know he could have helped somebody else in town," Spring Valley coach Marcus Teal said. "He’s a very dynamic player.”
With Berglund in a leading role, the Grizzlies are overhauling their offense. They are ditching the run-first Pistol offense used for the past couple years and replacing it with a multiple-formation approach.
Teal brought in former Western head coach John Isola as offensive coordinator to complete the transformation. He’s built around Berglund’s strengths as the season has drawn closer.
“He’s a great runner and can throw from the pocket or on the run,” Teal said of Berglund. “We haven’t timed him, but we believe he’s a 4.5 (second) 40 guy. He’s been very elusive in the scrimmages we’ve played in.”
Berglund won’t be without help, albeit young help. The Grizzlies will hardly resemble last year’s squad, which became the school’s first in seven years to miss the playoffs.
First-time starters, mostly split between sophomores and juniors, will make up the majority on both sides of the ball.
“I'd love to throw every name out there, but the truth is we need to see what these guys can do,” Teal said. “Hopefully, we’ll be talking about them next year getting us back to where we used to be.”
A few notable exceptions to the youth movement exist. Linebackers Tyree Berry and Andre Bartley are both seniors who have spent years in the program.
Bartley will also start at running back.
“I’m excited for him,” Teal said. “We’ve been waiting two years for this guy to have a chance to shine.”
Devin Dishari, an offensive and defensive lineman, had a breakout season a year ago. After making a run in the state wrestling tournament last winter, Dishari immediately shifted his focus back to football.
“He’s really embraced the role of being a leader, and it wasn’t something I had to do,” Teal said. “As a coach, sometimes you have to push them to it. But he just came in this summer and said he wanted to have a great senior year, not just for himself, but the team.”
Offense ranked at the front of Spring Valley's issues last year. During one particularly devastating stretch, the Grizzlies were shut out in four of five games.
But they're confident they found a way to correct it this year. That's because they found someone they never expected in Berglund.
“He’s a playmaker,” Teal said. “I wouldn’t be out of bounds saying our offense will go as he goes.”