Cisneros, Rondinelli and Blanc will all be contributors defensively, which was a surprising strength for Carbon last year.
In coach Blanc’s first year as head coach in 2010, Carbon surrendered an average of 36.4 ppg. Incredibly, his team whittled roughly two touchdowns off that average as Carbon only surrendered 21.7 ppg in 2011.
Games against some weak opponents in the preseason skewed that average, but it wasn’t all smoke and mirrors. Carbon was a tougher team physically last year, a trend that should continue this year.
Carbon Dinos at a glance
Coach: Jeff Blanc is entering his third year as head coach at his alma mater, and he’s amassed a respectable 5-13 record in his first two years.
(5 returning starters; Spread offense)
Carbon should be much more efficient offensively in Year 2 of the spread offense. Dakota Cisneros is back for his third year at quarterback, and he’ll have some experience in front of him as Kenny Gill and Tyler Herrera are both returning starters in the trenches. Carbon must replace leading rusher Daulton Nelson from a year ago, but Dominic Rondinelli and Cameron Rutherford should combine for even more production this year. Jordan Blanc will be one of the fastest receivers in 3A, while Zac Hathaway and Kyle Barrett are also expected to make big contributions.
(5 returning starters)
The defense made great strides last year, but duplicating that success will be tough with numerous question marks on the defensive line. Outside of Gill, the line is fairly inexperienced, but there’s some talent coming up. Sophomore Marcus Santi has some good size and John Erickson saw limited time there last year. Rutherford will anchor the linebacking core, which has the potential to be a real strength with fellow seniors Rondinelli and Lane Neese starting there as well.
Coaches preseason Region 12 straw poll: Sixth
Deseret News Region 12 prediction: Sixth
Bottom line: This time of year most teams are optimistic, and Carbon is right there with them. With a similarly soft preseason schedule as a year ago, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Dinos begin the season with three, four or even five wins. This year though, their success will be measured by region wins. And like last year, they’ll be a significant underdog in every region game. It’s unlikely Carbon will win either of its first two region games against Spanish Fork and Delta, but if the players don’t get too discouraged perhaps they can steal a region win or two the rest of the way and sneak into the playoffs.
Aug. 17 — GRAND, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 — at American Leadership, 7 p.m.
Aug. 31 — at Ben Lomond, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 — UNION, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 — ALTAMONT, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 — at Spanish Fork, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 — at Delta, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 — NORTH SANPETE, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 — PAYSON, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 — at Juab, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Carbon High School
All-time record: 313-461-22 (93 years)
Region championships: 12 (1924, 1926, 1930, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1951, 1956, 1957, 1964)
Playoff appearances: 26
All-time playoff record: 18-23-2
State championships: 3 (1924, 1938, 1951)
State championship record: 3-3-1