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JC Football Preview

Carder Tempers Marauder Outlook

September 11, 1996|FERNANDO DOMINGUEZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

If Brent Carder has learned anything in his 26 seasons at the helm of the Antelope Valley College football program it is to speak guardedly about his teams.

No sense getting caught up in hyperbole and then trying to explain unrealistic predictions made through rose-colored glasses.

Perhaps that's the reason Carder offers a modest opinion of his team for 1996, one sprinkled freely with qualifiers that won't come back to haunt him.

For example:

"I think we are going to be a pretty decent football team, but we haven't gotten our feet wet," Carder said.

The Marauders are coming off one of their poorest seasons. They finished 4-6 and slipped to 3-5 in Foothill Conference play, seventh in the nine-team conference.

Carder, fifth in victories among active junior college coaches with a 148-114-5 record, is counting on quarterback Shawn Sharp and a group of talented running backs to spark an offense that ranked seventh in the conference, averaging 287.6 yards.

Sharp passed for 959 yards in only 159 attempts last season as the Marauders relied mostly on their running game, but Carder is planning to open up things this season.

"We'll try and achieve some level of balance but we'll still have our power running game," Carder said

Sophomore Jamel White (731 all-purpose yards) leads the ground attack.

The defense, which allowed 329 yards per game last year, needs to be tightened and Carder hopes sophomore defensive end Eric Nickols and sophomore outside linebacker Roderick Boose, among others, can lead the effort.

At this point, Carder is trying to figure out whether his team's strong suit is offense or defense. The answer, of course, is noncommittal.

"Some of both and none of either," he said.

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