NEDERLAND — NEDERLAND – Carson Raines is 12-0 in his three-year varsity career as a starter in 20-4A games. He has a chance to go undefeated for two straight seasons if his Nederland Bulldogs can beat Lumberton this week and Central next week.
There are a lot of ways to evaluate quarterbacks, but winning is never a bad place to start.
“No 1, it’s the leadership factor he’s developed and the comfort level in the offense,” Nederland offensive coordinator Monte Barrow said. “He knows when to turn that on and when to lay back. We saw it last week and a couple of times this year. Teams will try to do things right before the snap, and he’s faking snap counts and trying to see what teams are doing. That’s all experience right there.”
In talking about players moving from their junior years to their senior season, the biggest thing coaches touch on as improvement is in the mental or preparation areas of football. For Raines, the senior quarterback and leader of the Bulldog offense, it’s been both about how close the offense is and how relaxed that group can be.
“It’s definitely a lot more mellow (this year),” Raines said. “Out there in the huddle, during games and in practice, things have been very smooth. We’ve just clicked out there. This group, I’ve been around for a long time. We’re just so close. The whole team is very loose, cracking jokes. We know the time to be serious, but we’re very loose. Before games, we used to be tensed up, but now we’re listening to music and much more relaxed in the locker room.”
Looking at Raines’ numbers, not much has changed from last season. He’s passing for more yards, rushing the ball more often and scoring a whole lot more running TDs. He’s also winning games in bunches still, but that’s all a product of his work off the field to get better.