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Chemistry strengthens first-year varsity ‘D’ linemen

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Chemistry strengthens first-year varsity ‘D’ linemen

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin


POSTED August 23, 2012 1:44 a.m.

Devin Manaois and Mason Merilles have simple goals.

The Sierra High defensive linemen — both of whom will be starting their first games at the position this year — aren’t focused on the abstract or the outrageous when it comes to what they want out of their season.

They simply want to allow fewer points than the greenhorn offense can put on the board.

And if they learned anything through the summer workouts, the team camp they attended and the early season practices, it’s that by working together they can accomplish that goal.

“Communication is really key up there on defense,” Manaois said. “We want to be able to make any play, and we’ve been able to build that unity this summer — that sense of family. I think that we’re going to work well together.”

After playing linebacker for most of his high school career, Manaois will make the transition to the new position that he says he already loves because it provides “a rush” on every single snap.

Merilles, on the other hand, will be starting his first game since he got injured heading into his sophomore season two years ago.

It’s the tandem approach, he said, that has helped him develop a nose for the football and allows him to go hard every single snap.

“I know that if I’m pushing as hard as I can then he’s (Manaois) going to be pushing as hard as he can and we’re going to get things done,” he said. “I think that we mesh really well and that’s important when you’re working so closely with somebody else.

“We push each other and make each other better and that’ll show.”

Building that communication and that relationship is also something that’s important to the former linebacker on the opposition side of the line.

But if you sift through all of the teamwork and the transitions and the stunts and the adjustments, Manaois says he can find the defensive root that drives him at his new position.

“As a linebacker you have to think all of the time,” he said. “I only have one mindset now and that’s to kill the quarterback.

“I like that.”

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