Written by Ryan Wright
Each high school football season brings its own set of challenges. For Class of 2023 quarterback Evan Pierce, the challenges are stacking up learning and operating a pro-style set adjusting from Santa Margarita’s scheme last season, and going head-on with Tesoro High School’s difficult 2021 schedule. During the 2020 season, the 6-1, 180-pound, QB was the starter for the Eagles’ JV going against rising Trinity League talent. This season, the full force of playing top-level California football will be met.
In an RNG first-look interview partnered with QB Hit List, Evan Pierce talks the new offense with the Titans and his offseason workouts.
Evan, when you take the field this fall, what style of offense will you be executing with Tesoro?
We have a pro-set. It is more of a high school offense. It is not flashy. We will run the ball and that will open up the passing. Misdirection and trick plays are built into the offense.
You were running a Spread during the winter playing 11-on-11 padded ball. How did that experience help push your skills forward?
It is a more modern offense. As you play, you play in a ton of different offenses. The Spread shows how you can let go of the ball quickly and your athleticism. I like the pro-set; the Spread is more modern.
What do you feel are the strengths to your skills that fit the Titans’ offense?
Arm strength. I can put it where I want to and make any throw on the field. In the pocket, with our drops, five- and some seven-step drops, I can make all those throws.
Going into the offseason, what did you work on with your mechanics?
I have not focused on mechanics as much as my footwork. Once I knew I was going to Tesoro, lengthening my drops, six yards from under center, or eight on a seven-step, was really important. It really has been about my footwork and lengthening the drops. I am still working on that. It takes a lot of work.
How have you mentally prepared for the challenge of the 2021 season this summer?
Definitely watching more film than in the past. Varsity is a different animal. I have found my drive and focus that I have not had before at Tesoro. I am in a QB battle right now. Having that focus, every rep counts when you are battling with that other guy. Being sharp and no off plays are part of the focus.
Working with your new teammates, what have you been doing above and beyond to build chemistry for the season?
We throw a lot when we don’t have practice. We have a dead period this week. I am still throwing and working with them a lot on running routes and getting into the playbook. I am making new friends with the guys, being a good teammate and leader, and hanging out with everyone.
What goals have you set for the 2021 season?
We have a tough schedule; I’d like to lead the team to nine wins or more.
Do you have any personal goals?
To prove to myself that I can be a leader when things do not go my way.
What are you ready to showcase of your skills this season?
My heart and my throwing ability.
A minute ago, you mentioned how tough the Tesoro schedule is this season. Are there any games coming up you are already hyped to play?
San Juan Hills, that is a huge one. I’ve grown up in this area, I want to get that win so I can talk smack to my buddies and hold it over their heads. In this community, they respect you more with that win. That one is huge.
Evan, thank you for your time today. Wishing you and the team success this season on the field.
Yes, sir. Thank you.
Photo credit: Pierce family; Evan Pierce