If you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterback, or so the old saying goes in football.
Last season, the Templeton High football team had two quarterbacks — juniors Andy Garrettson and Alex Elterman — and quickly found out that stability at the position would be pivotal to their team’s success.
Garrettson was given the starting job at the start of the year, but he struggled early, completing just 37 percent of his passes as the Eagles started 2-3, including back-to-back home losses to Arroyo Grande and Righetti.
After the two split time at the position, to poor results, Garrettson was moved to wide receiver, Elterman was given the reins of the offense, and Templeton found its groove, advancing all the way to the CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division semifinals, where they lost 49-14 to Cabrillo.
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“He’s one of those young men that had to work their way into their spot,” Eagles coach Dan Loney said about Elterman. “We had a two-quarterback battle and he kind of took over that spot. His growth from last year to this year has just been exponential with the offense — being able to read the defenses better and understanding where we want him to go with the ball.”
And with Garrettson locked in at wide receiver for the season, Templeton has a receiving corps that could be better than any other in the Los Padres League.
“I tell you what, him, Tobey (Isbell) and our tight end (Tyler) Murphee, it’s a hard three to cover,” Loney said. “He’s a natural athlete. He made a huge jump this summer. With his size and his hands and his speed, a lot of colleges are going to start to recognize that he’s a good prospect.”
The Eagles also return their leading rusher, second-team all-LPL selection Matt Arace, who ran for more than 900 yards a year ago. Arace, however, is currently out with an injury.
With all that returning talent, Templeton has seniors at almost every position on the field.
“Every one of those seniors have bought in,” Loney said. “They are all leaders in their own way. Some guys are more vocal leaders. Ross Berry has stepped up as on those leaders. Alex Elterman has also stepped up as on of those leaders.”
Both Elterman and Berry believe that this playoff-tested team has what it takes to win the LPL and contend for the Northwest Division title.
“We don’t want to take it for granted and say ‘Oh we can just do it again without working hard,’ ” Elterman said. “We still have to put in the work, and now, knowing what we can do, we look forward to doing it again.”
So with the positions set and a team chemistry that many players believe is stronger than last year’s, Templeton has a very good chance at making some noise come playoff time.
“These guys have bought in to coming out and working hard every day,” Loney said. “They’re a blue-collar team and they’re gonna earn everything that they get.
“I hope they have the expectations of going undefeated and winning every game. To me, if you don’t have those expectations, then there is no way you can achieve them. Now getting there is totally different, they have to buy in to working to get there, and that’s what these guys are doing.”