Proper or incorrect, it’s a ceremony of passage, stated Cathedral Catholic Excessive soccer coach Sean Doyle.
Sophomores should earn their method on the sector.
“We did it with Justin Inexperienced,” Doyle stated. “We did it with Tyler Gaffney.”
Each have been nice operating backs at Cathedral. Each went on to play within the NFL.
“Neither was the lead again till halfway via his sophomore yr,” Doyle stated. “It’s what we do, and it has been profitable.
“The older youngsters deserve the primary alternative.”
That philosophy performed out once more this season.
Senior Adam Eastwood, who didn’t blossom till halfway via his sophomore season, was the Dons’ lead again.
Sophomore Shawn Poma had 30 carries by way of Cathedral’s first seven video games.
“I didn’t begin till the fourth recreation,” Poma stated.
With Eastwood nursing sore ribs suffered in final week’s Southern California Regional win over Harbor Metropolis Narbonne, Poma shall be Cathedral’s function again Friday when the Dons deal with Stockton St. Mary’s within the Division 1-AA CIF State Championship recreation at Sacramento State.
“Truly, Ryan James, a 3rd again, will get an opportunity Friday,” Doyle stated. “He’s quick and bodily.
“And had he not taken final yr off, he may be the man.”
Eastwood was injured late within the first quarter of the Narbonne recreation.
So Poma and James obtained the majority of the work in a 35-28 Cathedral win.
Poma responded with a profession-excessive 26 carries for 174 yards and three TDs. He had eight runs of 9 yards or extra.
James had 9 carries for 113 yards, together with considered one of 24 and one other of seventy seven.
“We like to combine it up with our operating backs to maintain defenses trustworthy,” Poma stated. “Adam and I can each pound it inside, however we will each get to the sting.
“We’ve shared the highlight all season, however I needed to step up final week for the group.
“I used to be excited for the chance to steer the workforce down the sector. I do know what I’m doing. We’re 14 video games into the season, so there have been no nerves.”
The 5-foot-6, one hundred seventy five-pound Poma is now the Dons’ main rusher with 138 carries for 1,268 yards and 17 TDs. He’s averaging 9.2 yards a carry.
Eastwood, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior, has 915 yards on 148 carries with thirteen TDs.
James, a 6-foot, one hundred eighty-pound senior, boosted his numbers to 33 carries for 385 yards.
“Truthfully, we anticipated this from Shawn,” Doyle stated. “As a freshman, we might inform he was actual good.”
That’s a little bit of an understatement.
Poma had 1,648 all-function yards on the freshman group with 28 TDs, returning 5 punts and a kickoff for scores. He averaged eleven.9 yards a rush.
A monitor star, he participated within the Junior Olympics and ran the one hundred meters in eleven.34 for the Dons, heaved the shot forty six ft, 6 inches and threw the discus 147 ft.
“I’ve been enjoying soccer since I used to be 5 and operating monitor since I used to be 10,” Poma stated. “I really like them each. I really like operating.
“I feel I’ve the method, velocity and work ethic to succeed.
“I’m one hundred seventy five kilos now. I by no means lifted a weight till I obtained to Cathedral.
“So I’m hoping to be about 195 kilos and 5-foot-9 by the point I’m a senior. And maintain my velocity.”
Regardless of his velocity and success as a freshman, Poma stated he understood not leaping proper into the rotation at the beginning of this season.
“At Cathedral, the coaches preach that the small issues could make an enormous distinction,” Poma stated. “So that you higher do what you’re imagined to do.
“Regardless of spring ball and summer time passing league, I wanted to get the offense down higher earlier than I received my probability.
“I wanted to work higher with my offensive line. These are the blokes who do the work, the blokes who ought to get the glory.”
Poma’s breakout recreation got here towards Level Loma when he had thirteen carries for 228 yards and 4 TDs. He adopted that with sixteen carries and 112 yards and a pair of scores towards archrival St. Augustine.
“I’m enthusiastic about going to Sacramento, enjoying for a state title,” Poma stated. “The final time Cathedral gained all of it was 2008 with Tyler Gaffney.
“We performed for a similar Pop Warner (Challenger in Mira Mesa), however I had by no means actually heard of him.
“Once I obtained right here, I watched movie of him.
“Wow! Is he good.”
Gaffney scored 5 occasions within the 2008 state title recreation when the Dons beat St. Mary’s.
“If the operating backs can come near what Gaffney did in 2008, we will get this achieved,” Poma stated. “A state championship can be the perfect payoff for all of the onerous work, all of the movie periods, the 6 a.m. weightlifting periods, the 2-a-day practices and summer time passing league.”