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  By MITCH STEPHENS | Contributor   Serra High School tailback Eric Redwood’s best trait on the football field is balance. His hips and...


By MITCH STEPHENS | Contributor


Serra High School tailback Eric Redwood’s best trait on the football field is balance.

His hips and shoulders are always square. He continuously aims his body down hill.  

Beyond that, his coach Patrick Walsh says, the undersized 5-foot-7, 175-pound senior runs with fury and passion.  

“He just doesn’t like to be tackled,” Walsh said. “And that’s something you can’t teach.”

Serra’s other 1,000-yard tailback Erich Wilson, graduated in June, leaving the Eric and Erich show to Redwood. Wilson was physically the antithesis of Redwood, a big, fleet powerful back at 6-1, 190 pounds.

Before punching in his ticket to the University of Washington, Wilson broke virtually every West Catholic Athletic League rushing record in the book. He rushed for 2,106 yards and 33 touchdowns, leading the Padres to their first 11-win season and second Central Coast Section title.  

Redwood, who had 1,344 yards and 12 touchdowns himself, will now be Serra’s premier back. 

But that’s where he can’t think too much.

“It would be ridiculous to think he can just replace (Wilson),” Walsh said. “We’re not going to put that kind of pressure on him. We’re not remotely expecting that from him.”

To make sure that doesn’t happen, the Padres are opening things up. Exit running quarterback and ball-handler Joey Erdie, and insert Zack Kazakoff and Greg Newbeck, who have a load of receiving weapons to pass to.

Walsh counted five superb receiving threats, led by large target Zach Mitchell (6-4, 190), to go along with at least five running threats.

The key will be how a green offensive line responds after it paved the way for a WCAL record 4,556 rushing yards and 62 touchdowns last season.

“We have multiple shoes to fill that void,” Walsh said. “We’ll be sharing the ball so he doesn’t need to feel any pressure.”

Walsh anticipates Redwood will touch the ball 12 to 20 times a game. He says beyond his running skills, Redwood has nice hands and is good out of the backfield.

“He’s not big, but he’s powerful,” said Walsh, who used a similar makeup to star at De La Salle High School and earn a scholarship to San Jose State.

A quiet kid and hard worker in the weight room, Redwood says he won’t try to play beyond his means. He won’t have to. Besides all the offensive firepower the Padres apparently have, the defense is even better.

“We have good athletes everywhere so it’s not all on me,” Redwood said. “And we’re not going to be giving up many points, so it’s not like we have to score every time.

“We got a taste of a title last year. Now we want to taste it again.”


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