Building a team isn’t easy. Of the 4 quarterbacks starting this season for the Comets only 2 of those remain, Connor Curry and Shea Morales.
“They coexist really well, all of our quarterbacks get along together and that’s a good thing,”Palomar College Head Coach Joe Early said.
Palomar lost its #1 QB Rodney Thompson and #3 QB Adam Carr to injuries in the first 2 games. Since then Curry and Morales have been alternating at the quarterback position making for a more productive and lethal offense.
“The Bible says iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. That’s kind of the motto we go by, so we are going to support each other, push each other, and help each other out, no matter who is out there” quarterback Connor Curry said.
Both quarterbacks have proven themselves with Morales earning CCCAA Conference co-player of the week for his performance against Ventura College. Morales threw for 421 yards and 4 TD’s in that loss to Ventura College. In that same game Curry had 50 combined rushing yards as a quarterback showing the versatility of Palomar’s offensive attack.
“We knew it was going to be a different season and we were going to play multiple quarterbacks,” Early said. The team has had some growing pains after coming off a 5-6 season last year with only ten returning players from last year. “ I think we are talented and once that light bulb clicks, if we can stay healthy, there’s some opportunities,” Early added.
Both Morales and Connor seem to be making the best of their opportunities. Morales who was a star quarterback for Carlsbad High School joined the Comets this year. “I spent a little time at Saddleback (College) then ended up taking a year off so technically it’s my freshman year,”Morales said. He explained how the team is now focused on doing whatever is necessary for the team to succeed. “We are both good buddies so we have no problem with it (sharing the QB duties), whatever the coaches need from us, We’re all game for it.”
Curry who played high school in Louisiana spent one year at a division II junior college before joining friend and lineman Nick So’oto here at Palomar. “I just loved everything that was going on here, so I thought there wasn’t any better place to be than here.”
Curry also showed humility and confidence when asked what he hopes to get out of Palomar. ”Its more what can I do for this program? Palomar has a great tradition. You got to look at the bigger picture and you want to put everything out there for your coaches and your teammates” Curry said.
Coach Early also pointed out some of the challenges that the quarterbacks and many student athletes face. Along with changing schools, learning new offensive strategies and 6 days a week practices most players are required to carry up to 12 academic units. “They are on a tight leash, you have to be real disciplined and real determined or else you fall by the wayside,” Early said.
So far the quarterback duo has proven its determination by putting up a good effort against #1 ranked Fullerton in a 56-31 loss, then rebounding to beat Mt. San Jacinto 38-35. Morales throwing a TD against Fullerton and Curry rushed for 89 yards and 3 TD’s against Mt San Jacinto
“Whoever’s got the hot hand is going to be playing but they’re both going to be playing throughout the year,” Early added.
In the age of multimillion-dollar NFL contracts and inflated egos it’s refreshing to see the Comets camaraderie and willingness to work as a team. “In this sport there’s a lot of ego and they’ve left theirs at the door. They are all class individuals” Early said.
“The main goal is to win games, whoever it takes, offense, defense, special teams, whoever can step up and excel and get us a “W”, we’ll take it” said Morales. The respect seems to carry off the field as well.
After helping defeat Mt San Jacinto Curry said “ I love these guys. A lot of friendships, I just want us all to succeed. Even when things weren’t going great we had each other’s backs. That’s what makes teams great.”