Published September 02, 2010
Tornados plan to deploy huge linemen, small quarterbacksGAIL WOOD; Staff writer
YELM - As three-year starters, Austin Brownell and Tyler Tingley have experience to go along with their earth-mover size. And to take advantage of his 600-pound blocking duo that earned honorable-mention all-league honors last year on a three-win team, Yelm coach Randy Swilley has Brownell and Tingley playing side-by-side on the offensive line this season, making for a formidable short-yardage sledgehammer. Swilley moved the 6-foot-2, 275-pound Brownell from center to guard. “Our biggest and best technique guys will be on the right side,” Swilley said. “I just felt Austin was a better run blocker when he’s not snapping the ball.” Tingley returns at tackle, where he has started since his sophomore year. But it’s a slimmer Tingley, dropping from 350 pounds to 325. “Tyler changed his body type,” Swilley said. “He really dedicated himself to the weight room. He lost a lot of fat.” The 6-4 Tingley improved his bench press from 225 pounds to 350. He dropped his 40-yard dash time from 7.3 seconds to 6.1. “Both those guys are great at getting off the ball,” Swilley said. While Yelm will average 265 pounds across the offensive line, the Tornados will be small at quarterback. Austin Avelar, at 5-9, is Yelm’s tallest quarterback. He’s battling for the starting spot with James Bradley. “We’re not real tall at quarterback,” Swilley said. “But they’re all athletic quarterbacks.” However, because of their size they’re not dropback, pocket quarterbacks. “We’re going to have to move the pocket,” Swilley said. “Our smallest lineman is 6 foot. So our quarterbacks can’t see over them.” Avelar was limited to four starts last year because of injuries, giving him varsity game experience. But with four starters back on offense, Yelm lacks game-tested talent. “As far as kids with considerable varsity experience, we have maybe six,” Swilley said. “On the other hand, they’re all very athletic and they work hard. Our junior class is a real good football class.” Swilley said he’ll start four sophomores. Jacob Swilley, the coach’s son, started a couple of games at running back last year as a freshman when Andrew Almeida injured his knee. Swilley might start at tailback and free safety. “We’ve switched to more of a Pro-I formation and he fits into that,” the Yelm coach said. “Jacob is a great zone-type runner. He’s really dedicated himself to the weight room.” Yelm’s tailback can now bench press 265 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.7 seconds. “We’ll have a running back by committee,” Randy Swilley said. “Jacob is also an important part of our defense. He needs rest.” Alex Almeida, younger brother of Andrew who rushed for 1,500 yards as a senior despite a knee injury, will share the running with Jacob Swilley. “Alex doesn’t have the speed of his brother, but not many do,” Randy Swilley said. “Alex ran enough last year for us to know if he can keep up. He’s a power runner and a great slasher.” Defensively, Yelm might have the best pass coverage prospects in the league. Jesse Harris, a 6-3 junior, switched from quarterback to cornerback. “We’ve never seen him do anything but throw a ball,” Swilley said. “All of a sudden we have a 6-3 corner. He’s very physical, very athletic.” Spencer Good, after missing last season with an injury, is another surprise at defensive back. Strong and fast, Good has big-play potential. “He’s one of the best power lifters in the state at his weight. He’s really strong,” Swilley said. “He’s also one of the fastest kids on the team.” Good runs 40 yards in 4.5 seconds. With Harris, Good and Jacob Swilley in the secondary, Yelm will be tough to pass against. “We’re going to be more aggressive than we have ever been,” the Yelm coach said. “What fits our players best is not to sit, but to be on the move. We want 11 active participants on the field.” Gail Wood: 360-754-5443 email@example.com HEAD COACH: Randy Swilley, third season COORDINATORS, SETS O: Swilley, pro D: Swilley, 3-5-3 TOP PLAYERS: OL Austin Brownell, sr., 6-2, 275; OL Tyler Tingley, sr., 6-4, 325; QB Anthony Avelar, so., 5-9, 150; TE/DL Chris Fazzino, jr., 6-1, 215; LB Sherman Carrillo, sr., 5-10, 200; RB/LB Alex Almeida, jr., 5-9, 200; RB/DB Jacob Swilley, so., 5-10, 175. OUTLOOK Behind a starting offensive line that averages 265 pounds, Yelm’s powerful running back duo of Alex Almeida and Jacob Swilley should find running room. Opponents could struggle throwing against a speedy defensive backfield that includes Jesse Harris, Spencer Good and Swilley. Yelm has impact players, but with only four starters returning on offense the Tornados lack experience. “We should be competitive in every game,” Yelm coach Randy Swilley said. “Hopefully, we don’t have the injury bug like last year.” Yelm had 23 players injured last season and was forced to play junior varsity players in a three-win season.