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November 22, 2014

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high school football:

Eldorado players starting to develop confidence, competitive attitude

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Sam Morris

Eldorado High School football players Darion Ashley, Ty Nihipali, Fraser Tauaivale and Mike Williams.

Eldorado coach Vernon Brown

Eldorado High coach Vernon Brown talks about the 2011 high school football season.

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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.

Replacing a three-year starter at quarterback is a challenge any high school football program struggles with.

But, at Eldorado High, coach Vernon Brown is taking a pro-active approach.

Yes, JaQuorrey Williams was their best player last year. However, he wasn’t their entire team — a message Brown has been stressing to his players during the off-season.

“People are kind of sleeping on Eldorado,” Brown said. “We were one game away from the playoffs and people think it was all because of JaQuorrey. He threw for 1,000 yards but he didn’t throw it to himself. I tell the kids that if they want respect, they have to get that on Friday nights at 7.”

Nick Blackmon, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior transfer from Silverado, will take the reigns at quarterback. Blackmon doesn’t have the running ability of Williams, but will bring stability to position.

Blackmon will be passing to Darion Ashley (5-foot-10, 165-pounds), Marcus Fletcher (5-foot-9, 155), Javen Nihipali (5-foot-8, 155-pounds) and Brown’s son, Justin Brown (5-foot-8, 150-pound). Justin Brown will also play running back, sharing carries with Ty Nihipali.

On the line, Mike Brown (6-foot-2, 240-pounds) is the top returner and will anchor the defense from his defensive end position. He will be joined by Fraser Tauaivale, the Sundevils’ top linebacker. Also, Ty Nihipali doubles at linebacker, while Ashley, Fletch and Brown will play in the secondary.

“Things are looking up and getting better one day at a time,” coach Brown said. “They kids are confident and certainly competitive. We are starting to a have a little swagger in our game.”

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