Berkeley High offensive coordinator Clarence Johnson will get a different perspective on tonight’s game against Richmond High, as he will move up into the press box for the first time in two years.
Johnson, who has called the offensive plays for the Yellowjackets since last season, was previously stationed on the sideline, where he would personally deliver the play to his quarterback. But with the Berkeley sideline packed much of the time with both players and coaches yelling and moving around, things were often chaotic.
“I think [moving into the press box] will enable me to see the field better, and there will be less distractions,” Johnson said.
Johnson will relay the play-call to assistant coach Jordan Seiden via headset, with Seiden conferring with the quarterback. Although Johnson often used the time to give his signal-caller tips, he doesn’t think the offense will suffer with the move.
“I really feel this will be the best way to do things,” Johnson said. “Jordan is good at working with the guys. He’ll be able to give them extra tidbits of information just like I do.”
Starting quarterback Dessalines Gant said he’s not worried about the switch despite it being just his third game as the starter.
“I have confidence in whatever [Johnson] tells me to do,” Gant said. “That won’t change no matter where he is.”
Gant will be the starter this week despite throwing five interceptions against Hercules High last week, with the Jackets pulling out the game in overtime after blowing a 16-point fourth-quarter lead. Head coach Matt Bissell said while Gant did indeed play poorly, not all the interceptions were the quarterback’s fault.
“Dez got the poor stats, but a lot of other things went into some of those picks,” Bissell said.
Gant said he hasn’t lost any confidence in his ability to run the team. A game against winless Richmond should be just the thing to right the offensive ship in time for a showdown with rival Pinole Valley the following week.
“I just have to keep my head up and get out there,” Gant said. “Hey, I can’t play any worse, right?”