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Discipline, teamwork compliment individual success

While directing his team to a 3-2 record, quarterback Sam Fisher, ’03, leads the football team with five touchdown passes and three rushing ones. And while The Fresno Bee made Fisher their player to watch in the Central Sierra League on Oct. 17, Casey Belmont, ’02, surprisingly, has four touchdown passes from the wide receiver position in only five attempts with a 32-yard per pass average.

As the football team prepared for their Oct. 26 game against Laton, Fisher took most of the snaps while Evan Sanders, ’03, ran underneath the passes.

While Fisher has thrown for 477 yards going 34 for 65 with three interceptions, Belmont’s four TDs are without any interceptions.
In some games, a single play can help the offense win. The success of a certain play rests on the quarterback and the receiver.

“Our bread and butter play seems to work every time; it is always a success,” coach Christopher Schultz said. “Evan has had great hands all year long but when it comes to our bread and butter play, his hands are golden.”

Sanders leads the team with 22 receptions with 398 yards and six touchdowns. Belmont said that having positive influences and capable players around him makes it easier to be a good player.

“When the people around you are good, you can be good too,” Belmont said. “Sanders has made me look good. Without one another, we wouldn’t succeed. There is no ‘I’ in team.” After beating Parlier, 33-6, on Oct. 12, FC had a bye for Oct. 19.

Jon Hall, head football coach, agrees with Belmont and suggests teamwork and discipline will go a long way to strengthen the team.
“Each play depends on all eleven guys. If one person messes up the whole play is ruined,” coach Hall said. “It can turn a positive gain into a loss in yardage. As coaches we have been improving on discipline and not shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties.”

While individual statistics suggest talent, Belmont does not demand more time at quarterback.

“Our team has been very successful this season because our coaches emphasize team work,” Belmont, said

According to Schultz, his defensive players have stepped up in their abilities this year and have higher expectations for the season.
“Chris Love (’02) has really stepped up this season as our middle linebacker,” coach Schultz said. “He’s our number one tackler and has done a great job on pursuing from sideline to sideline.” Love leads the team with 41 tackles in five games.

Those on the defensive side of the ball seem to agree with coach Schultz.
“Chris is a very good linebacker,” Justin Cramer, ’03, said. He is a smart player and pays attention even when he is not in on the tackle. He is always going 100% whistle to whistle. He is always encouraging the defense when we are on the field. We are lucky to have him.”

While some football players are born leaders or have had formal training, other players have had to learn on their own.

“No one really taught me to play football, I just learned on my own and from coaches,” Fisher said. “I feel secure in my dependence on the other guys and I’m happy that I can depend on them. I want to see what happens in the future but I want to pursue baseball with Casey. We have been buddies since we were ten-years-old. We are a good team and I think we will win the rest of our games.”

Fisher grew up with older brothers who also played football but broke his leg last year during the first game of the season. Yet he appears to be ready for West Sierra League play.

“Sam is a good quarterback; he’s a stud,” Sanders said. “Sam throws me the ball and makes me look good. I know that Sam will do his best to give me the ball on time and if I’m not there, Casey will be there. One of us has to be open.”

Although fully healed from his injury, Fisher has had some setbacks.
“Sam has had trouble coming back after his injury last year,” Belmont said. However, the coaches are anticipating Fisher is ready to play.

“Sam is getting back into the grove of things,” coach Hall said. “He had a whole year off and this year he seems to be gaining speed and confidence. He is a solid leader and our key part.”

Most players learn to play football from their fathers or mentors that are involved in their life.

“My dad taught me most of the things I know about football,” Belmont said. “He played in high school. I have been playing football for four years but I would rather pursue a baseball career.

“Cramer from Fresno Christian is my hero because he always comes ready to play and do his best,” Belmont added. “My dad is my hero off the field because he is a good example of Christ and helps me when I need him the most.”

The constant dependence on one another is sometimes stressful and other times greatly appreciated.

“Casey’s just got a big head so Sam can see him,” Sanders said. “Casey taught me everything about offence last year. Casey Belmont is my hero off the field. I love that guy!”

Belmont was just as positive about his friend on the team.

“Evan has really impressed me this season,” Belmont said. “He has been faster and has more confidence.”

“I first learned to play football in the fifth grade,” Sanders said. “My football hero is John Lynch (Tampa Bay) because he is the best defensive back in the NFL.”

Sanders has impressed many people this season with his speed and integrity.

“Evan Sanders has done a great job of catching passes with guys on him. He has 16 yards per catch just based on trick plays and long yard catching,” coach Schultz said.

The next football games are Oct. 26 at Laton and Nov. 2 against Strathmore during Homecoming week. Both games start at 5 p.m.

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