Like father, like son
Drew Casebier has been running the pro style/split-back veer offense since fifth grade.
Todd Casebier has been coaching Drew in that offense the whole time.
Of all the strengths Montrose High School has, bet on head coach-quarterback communication as being one of them.
Unless Todd follows his son to college, this will be the final season father and son will have together.
“I mean, we definitely have good chemistry, and it’s good that we can talk about our stuff on the field and off the field as well,” Drew said. “It works out well for us.”
But there’s more to Montrose than that. The defense is smart, says Drew Casebier. Running back Angelo Youngren, a slasher who can cut a defense to death with five- to 10-yard runs, is a senior.
And there we come to more chemistry.
Youngren and Drew Casebier have lived in the same subdivision and have played together since sixth grade. Ten starters are back for the Indians.
“We’ve got most of our guys coming back this year,” Youngren said, “and already we look better than ever.”
And according to some in the know with Montrose football, so does Youngren.
Blame a University of Alabama workout.
Youngren’s uncle, Joe Pannunzio, the head of football operations with the Crimson Tide, sent Angelo some of the workout exercises that an incoming freshman with the Tide might use, Youngren said.
“I’ve gotten faster and quicker and have more speed out in the open,” said Youngren, a 5-foot-10, 180-pounder who rushed for 1,361 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. “I’ve just been doing agility stuff. All the workouts train your body while you’re running, real fundamental ones everyone does.”
Then again, maybe the workouts aren’t so special.
But they seemed to work last season for Youngren.
“He’ll get his touches,” said Montrose coach Todd Casebier, who doesn’t need to reveal just how much a part of the offense Youngren will be. “We’ve always run the ball here.”
And Montrose will continue to run play action and flip the ball to all-conference tight end Blake Alexander or 5-foot-8, 160-pound Brennan Woodruff.
“Both are darn good,” Todd Casebier said.
Montrose will need to stay healthy. The Indians, Todd Casebier admits, lack depth.
“We deal with that with conditioning and getting off the ball,” he said. “We want to control the offensive line and the line of scrimmage like everybody. I think we’re in better shape than anybody, so if games are close late, we always win it.”
Montrose’s defense is led by safeties Youngren and Alexander.
“We go against them in practice, and they’re tough,” Drew Casebier said. “They’re both smart. Our whole defense is (smart); Coach (Eric) Handke does a good job with it. Everyone is on the same page, so our coverages are good, our blitzes, stunts, all that.”
Youngren said this senior class, which also includes all-conference tackle Travis Hauger (6-foot-2, 254 pounds), and outside linebackers Marcus Velasquez and Anthony Estrada, is the best the Indians have had in a “long time.”
Montrose opens at Vista Ridge in Colorado Springs on Saturday.
“My personal goals are just going with the team goals,” Youngren said. “Win conference, go to the state championship game.”