By JORDAN IKEDA
In football, the safety lines up in the backfield and represents the last line of defense. If a running back hits the hole and outmaneuvers the linebackers it is up to the safety to bring him down.
If a wide receiver beats his man, it’s up to the safety to stop him from scoring.
Because of these duties, the safety must be a sound tackler. As a result, they often lay a beatdown on the opposition. The following pair of safeties have helped their respective schools to a combined 19-3 record with their defensive prowess.
TJ Matsumoto is a senior at Logan High School in Union City, Calif. On the season, TJ has 48 tackles
including 29 solos and a pair of pass deflections. He also moonlights as a wide receiver. Offensively, he hasn’t gotten many opportunities, but he’s made the most out of the one’s he’s gotten with four receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns including a 48-yard reception on Oct. 30.
“I got into football when I was at a science fair when I was in sixth grade,” TJ told the Rafu Shimpo via Facebook. “My dad signed me up. I hated my first year but I learned to love it.”
TJ’s favorite NFL player is Brian Dawkins (a safety of course!) but his favorite team is the 49ers. Logan finished up their season with an 8-3 record and will square off against Foothill tonight in a first round playoff match-up. Foothill beat Logan earlier this year, so TJ and the Colts will be looking for some retribution.
Evan Mori is a sophomore at Valor Christian in Highlands Ranch, CO. His main position is free safety but he also splits time at running back. Evan’s so good he was the only freshman to start on the varsity program last year on his way to receiving
2nd team all league honors.
On the season, the Eagles are undefeated, a perfect 11-0 and the defense has been a major factor. Four times this season, the Eagles have held opponents under ten points, including two shutouts. In five other contests, the team has limited the opposition to l4 points or less.
Evan has amassed 81 total tackles, 7.4 per game, including 33 solos. He’s also added in three forced fumbles and an interception.