Football: South East senior could surprise everyone in the City
Senen Carson was one of the first South East players in uniform and out on the field Monday for the Jaguars' first official practice. And his eagerness to get things started is understandable, given that the 5-foot-8, 215-pound senior running back has a realistic shot of leading the City Section in rushing this season.
For those thinking he has no chance, let's look at the facts. Birmingham's Milton Knox led everyone with 2,210 yards on the ground last year, but he has moved on to UCLA. Reseda's Giovannie Dixon was second with 1,828 yards, Dorsey's Johnathan Franklin was third with 1,732, and like Knox, both were seniors.
I'll give you guys one guess to name the kid who finished fourth. That's right, it was Carson. In 12 games, he gained 1,537 yards on 217 carries and scored 15 touchdowns. His most impressive effort was against Los Angeles in the Invitational playoffs when he carried the ball 23 times for 292 yards and scored three touchdowns.
"Senen means a lot to us, there's no doubt about it,'' South East Coach Roger Satti said. "This will be his fourth season as a starter for us and we're expecting big things again. He's stronger, faster, more mature. He's our go-to guy.''
Now, I'm sure the skeptics will sit back and wait for Carson to come up short in his bid to lead the City in rushing. And I know people will say the Jaguars don't have any tough teams on their schedule and they compete in the Eastern League, which is not nearly as competitive as, say, the Coliseum, Marine or West Valley.
It's also worth noting that there are plenty of other talented backs all over the greater Los Angeles area. Franky Diaz from Garfield is back after finishing with 1,372 yards and 18 touchdowns a season ago. Knox's replacement at Birmingham, Trajuan Briggs, is one to watch out for and D.J. Morgan of Taft is another.
"I think Senen is underrated,'' Satti said. "We're talking about a kid who almost ran for 1,600 yards last year against teams putting extra guys in the box all the time. That didn't stop us or him from running right at teams. He has some goals this season, some high goals. We think he can run for 2,500 yards, maybe 3,000.''
-- Sean Ceglinsky