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prep football 2011
2 • Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011
The Teams to Beat
Table of Contents School Page Adna 3 Morton-White Pass 4 Mossyrock 5 Napavine 6 Pe Ell 7 W.F. West 8 Centralia 9 Winlock 10 Onalaska 11 Rochester 12 Tenino 13 Toledo 14 Oakville 15 On the Cover W.F. West’s 2010 football captains Brennan Casteel (30), Josh Krick (55), Logan Ferrier (56) and Nolan Lininger return to midfield following halftime at Bearcat Stadium against River Ridge. (Photo By Pete Caster / The Chronicle)
A Quick Look at the Teams Projected to Top Their Leagues By The Chronicle
Here’s a glance at how the local prep football leagues are projected to turn out, based on conversations with the local coaches in each league.
Central 2B League Adna is the favorite among the C2BL coaches to take the league title, after finishing third in the standings last year. Napavine, despite losing a handful of skill players to graduation, was picked to finish second, with Morton-White Pass in third and Wahkiakum — with a big line and a top-notch quarterback in Lars Blix — joining the Timberwolves in the middle of the pack. “I think it’s pretty much wide open,” Adna coach K.C. Johnson said. “I think Morton-White Pass is going to be a little young up front for a year, but they’ve got skill kids to play
with anybody. And Wahkiakum’s got about everybody up front. But, if everybody in this league played twice, you might not have the same three teams (making the playoffs).” Pe Ell and Mossyrock, with new coaches, were wild cards, along with improving Winlock and Toutle Lake teams.
Evergreen 2A Conference The seven-team Evergreen 2A Conference conversation starts, obviously, with defending State 2A champion Tumwater. “There’s Tumwater and everybody else,” W.F. West coach Bob Wollan said. “I think they’re hands-down the team to beat. I think everything in this league’s running through them.” The Bearcats, meanwhile, finished second last year and won the EvCo title in 2009, and should find
themselves in the top-tier again. North Thurston is also expected to be tough, while Centralia replaces several key positions and will be working in a new offensive system under first-year coach Steve Amrine. “It’s a super-tough conference. There isn’t a week you can take off,” Amrine said, adding that, along with North Thurston and W.F. West, Black Hills should be a solid squad.
SWW 1A Evergreen Perennial league champion Montesano will once again be the favorite in the SWW 1A Evergreen and look for a sixth-straight bid to the State 1A playoffs. Elma and Hoquiam, just two seasons removed from playing in the Evergreen 2A Conference, have plenty of bodies and should compete for the top spot. please see TEAMS, page 15
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Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011• 3
Pirates Enjoying New Digs, Big Target on Backs With Preseason Ranking COMING BACK: Adna Returns All But Two Starters From 2010 Team That Made the State 2B Playoffs By Aaron VanTuyl firstname.lastname@example.org
Adna, for the second time in the last 5 years, starts the season off ranked No. 1 in the state’s 2B classification. “It’s because we’ve got so many starters back, and we were playing well at the end of the year,” Adna coach K.C. Johnson said. “I told the kids, it’s not like we haven’t been there before, and it’s nice to have that kind of respect. It doesn’t mean anything, it just means the target on your back’s bigger.” The Pirates will also be breaking in a new football stadium, built behind the middle-high school. The field’s about 95 percent ready, Johnson said, with a few finishing touches still needed on the press box and bathrooms. “It’s going to be a nice place for people to watch a football game,” Johnson said. “The community should be really proud of it. It’s amazing.” The Pirates, who lost to Napavine in the first round of the State 2B Football Playoffs last year, return all but two starters. Linebackers Angus Brunoff, Matt Elliott and Bubba Lara were all starters on the 2009 state title team and are looking for another successful run this year as seniors. They’ll also take carries out of the backfield, with junior Cooper Zurfluh — who started part-time last year — returning as quarterback, Jordan Dorning back at tight end and
Jesse Smith / For The Chronicle
Adna’s new football field, located behind Adna Middle-High School, will host its first-ever game Friday night when Wahkiakum visits.
Tyler Collins and Lane Wasson in the receiver spots. “We’ve got a lot of guys who can do a lot of good things,” Johnson said. “It’s just a matter of character and chemistry, staying focused and staying injuryfree.” Offensively, the Pirates’ll be back in the wishbone offense they installed midway through last season. “We’re going to come out and attempt to run over you and around you, and everywhere you can,” Johnson said.
Date Sept. 2 Sept. 10 Sept. 17 Sept. 23 Sept. 30 Oct. 7 Oct. 14 Oct. 21 Oct. 27 Nov. 5
Opponent Wahkiakum at Napavine La Conner Knappa, Ore. Toutle Lake Morton-White Pass at Winlock Pe Ell at Mossyrock Pacific Crossover
Time 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 3 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. TBD
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“And throw it where you can. The playaction pass’ll be real big for us.” Aside from All-State selection Tyler Dotson, the entire Pirate line is back: Zach Bolte (5-10, 225 lbs.); Chance Curry and JR Sipperly (both about 6-1, 190); Kaden Johnson (5-9, 170) at center; and Robbie Loushin (6-0, 210). Adna starts the season off Friday night when it hosts Wahkiakum.
4 • Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011
T-Wolves Looking to Build on Last Season’s Success By Aaron VanTuyl
The Morton-White Pass football combination is entering its third year, and the expectations are soaring — especially after last year’s 9-2 finish and bid to the State 2B Football Playoffs. The Timberwolves, under new head coach Aaron Poquette, open the season by hosting East End rival Mossyrock in Randle Friday night. “We’re looking alright,” Poquette said. “We’ve got a lot of team speed, and we’re young up front — which is a concern — but we’re getting better every day.” Sophomore Rylon Kolb (5-10, 150 lbs.) takes over for All-Central 2B League first-teamer Cameron Sume at quarterback, and has adapted well to the position’s demands. “He didn’t get a lot of time last year, but he played quite a bit of defense for us,” Poquette said of Kolb. “This is really his first year of playing quarterback since junior high. He’s attended a couple of individual quarterback camps, and he’s doing all the little things right. Pete Caster / email@example.com He pays real good attention to detail.” Morton-White Pass’ Kody Crowder runs the ball Kody Crowder (6-1, 175) will move against Mossyrock last September in Mossyto fullback for his senior season, where rock. he’ll block for sophomore halfback Brian Reynolds (5-7, 175). morton-White Pass “He’s a physical specimen,” Poquette said of Reynolds. “We expect good Timberwolves things out of him.” Central 2B League The offense will operate out of a vaCoach: Aaron Poquette (first) riety of sets, though running will be the focus. 2010 Record: 9-2 “We do want to mix in some passing. I think it’s important to do that,” Date Opponent Time Poquette said, “but we’re going to be Sept. 2 Mossyrock 7 p.m. primarily a run team.” Sept. 9 at Wahkiakum 7 p.m. The passes, when they’re thrown, Sept. 16 Napavine 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at Ocosta 7 p.m. will often be directed at receiver — and Oct. 7 at Adna 7 p.m. three-year starter — Coy Hanger (6-1, Oct. 14 at Toutle Lake 7 p.m. 155), one of the team captains. Oct. 21 Winlock 7 p.m. “We got some success last year Oct. 28 at Pe Ell 7 p.m. through basically paying attention to Nov. 4 Pacific Crossover TBA detail and coming together as a team,” Poquette, who was an assistant coach last year, said. “Last year was a huge step more who also lines up at tight end and for us. I think we really need to contin- serves as a team captain. ue that, as far as coming together.” Despite graduating a handful of its Defensively, the team will be led by top defenders, Poquette was happy with outside linebacker Chris Bobrow (5-9, the team’s overall defensive mindset. 145), a senior and one of the leaders of “We’ve got pretty good team speed,” last year’s MWP defense, and defensive he said. “They do really understand the end Ben Powell (5-10, 185), a sopho- scheme we implemented last year.”
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Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011• 5
Young Mossyrock Hoping to Learn a Lot in 2011 FEW SENIORS: Vikings Have Just Three Seniors on Roster, But Plenty of Speed
mossyrock Vikings Central 2B League
By Aaron VanTuyl
Coach: Curt Spahn (first)
The Vikings have a new coach and a new quarterback in one of the toughest leagues in the state, with a grand total of three seniors on the roster. Needless to say, they’re optimistically treating the season as an educational experience. “We’re really prepared for the year to be a learning year,” said Mossyrock coach Curt Spahn, who takes over for Rusty Nelson. “Really, the entire team’s going to be back next year, so with what we’re trying to do, I think it’s just going to be a running year for us. We hope this team’s looking to try to work a spot into the playoffs.” Sophomore Shaun Stephens (6-2, 170 lbs.) will take the snaps, with Kyler Hazen at running back and Cody Shriver at slot receiver. Brandon Richardson, a senior, will play wide receiver and has speed to burn after finishing third in the 100 meters at the State 2B Track & Field Championships in May. Senior Colby Jensen (6-2, 190 lbs.) will take over at tight end. “We’re kind of sticking with a lot of the same stuff that Rusty (Nelson) ran,” Spahn said. “A lot of offset-I, and we’re introducing some read stuff out of the shotgun.” So far, according to Spahn, the learning is going well. “I think we’re ahead of schedule
2010 Record: 5-5 Date Sept. 2 Sept. 9 Sept. 16 Sept. 23 Sept. 30 Oct. 7 Oct. 14 Oct. 27 Nov. 5
Opponent at MWP (Randle) Winlock Pe Ell at Toutle Lake Wahkiakum at Napavine North Beach Adna Pacific Crossover
Time 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. TBD
with what we’re trying to do,” he said. The team’s defensive strength is its speed on the corners, with Shriver and Richardson at outside linebacker and Chase Nichols at middle linebacker. Riley Spahn heads up the line, though two of his fellow linemen will miss the first few games with injuries. “We’re just trying to get by for a couple weeks, until we get our starters back,” Spahn said. Mossyrock starts its season off tomorrow when it heads to Randle to take Pete Caster / firstname.lastname@example.org on East Lewis County rival Morton- Mossyrock’s Brandon Richardson runs onto the field before the Vikings’ home opener last season White Pass. against Morton-White Pass. Richardson is one of just three seniors on the Mossyrock roster.
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6 • Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011
Napavine Seniors Seeking Fourth State Bid By Aaron VanTuyl
Napavine’s 2011 football season starts Friday night with an opponent the Tigers have never seen before: Mission High School out of British Columbia. The Canadian school, with an enrollment of about 1,000 kids, is the No. 2 team in its preseason province rankings, and was a late addition to the schedule to replace Vancouver Christian. They’ll meet a Tiger team with a few new faces at the skill positions and an experienced line. Napavine lost five seniors to graduation, headlined by linebacker and tight end Reece Stanley and quarterback/defensive back David Lorton. Layne Hellem replaces Stanley on the defensive end, while sophomore David Grace takes over the tight end slot. “The big one for us is replacing our quarterback,” Tiger coach Josh Fay said. “David was pretty good, and that’s been Jesse Smith / For The Chronicle kind of an ongoing spot for us.” Napavine’s Tucker Stanley looks for room to run against South Bend in the State 2B Football Playoffs last November in Centralia. Lorton’s brother, Ty, will actually take the snaps this year, with Hellem and Tucker Stanley running the ball out Napavine tigers of the Tigers’ fly sweep offense. Central 2B League “Ty’s as cerebral as his brother, he definitely understands things, and he Coach: Josh Fay (fifth) does a real nice job of facilitating the ball,” Fay said. “He doesn’t quite have 2010 Record: 11-1 the arm strength, but he can deliver it Date Opponent Time and put it where it needs to go.” Sept. 2 Mission, B.C. 7 p.m. They’re hoping to have plenty of Sept. 10 Adna 7 p.m. protection with big Brad Garnas (juSept. 16 at MWP 7 p.m. nior), Mark Foster (sophomore), MorSept. 23 Winlock 7 p.m. gan Cozart (junior), Anthony Paladina Sept. 30 at Pe Ell 7 p.m. (sophomore), Garret Miller (senior) and Oct. 7 Mossyrock 7 p.m. Diego Jiminez (sophomore) all back Centralia Tigers W.F. West Bearcats Rochester Warriors Oct. 14 at Wahkiakum 7 p.m. with plenty of action under their belts Oct. 21 Toutle Lake 7 p.m. last year. Oct. 27 at Willapa Valley 7 p.m. “I feel pretty comfortable there,” Nov. 5 Pacific Crossover TBD Fay said. “I think we’ll be all right up front.” The biggest question mark, overall, win some games. To not find a way in will be how this year’s seniors step up to would be a disappointment for us.” lead the team. Considering this year’s seniors were “We’ve had really good leaders for freshmen on the Tigers’ 2008 state the last three years I’ve been here, and championship team and have made at some really good kids,” Fay said. “But least the state quarterfinals each year, none of them have really had to lead.” www.thorbeckes.com The goal, as always, is to make the keeping the streak alive is an expectation. playoffs. Centralia Chehalis Rochester “From there, we begin to reevaluate “I don’t think they want to be the (360) 736-1683 (360) 748-3744 (360) 273-0457 our goals,” Fay said. “I think these guys group to drop the ball,” Fay said, “Hopethink it’s reasonable to get there and fully not literally, either.”
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Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011• 7
New Coach Hoping to Move Pe Ell Up in the C2BL IMPROVING: Trojans Set Sights on Middle of the Pack in Central 2B League By Aaron VanTuyl email@example.com
Things are looking up in Pe Ell. The Trojans sport a new coach in Chris Fitzgerald, a bit of punch out of the backfield and plenty of size on the line heading into the 2011 Central 2B League gridiron campaign. The main objective is simple: improve on last year’s dismal 1-9 mark. “They just have to play every down and play all four quarters,” Fitzgerald said. “Last year, they were in a lot of games, but never in shape, and the second half they’d get killed.” The players, he added, have been proactive in their conditioning, and the seniors — all four of them — have been stepping into leadership roles. “So far, everything’s going better than what we expected,” the coach addJesse Smith / For The Chronicle ed. “Goals-wise, we’d like to finish in the middle (of the C2BL). I’d like to be Pe Ell’s Richie Toepelt (9) hands the ball off to playing my last two games, where if we Isaac Speers (19) during a preseason practice win we’re in. With only four seniors that Monday in Pe Ell. would be a good building block for the following year.” Jarrod Potter, a 6-3, 185-lb. junior who transferred in from Idaho over the summer, will look to split time at quarterback with senior Richie Toepelt (5-10, Central 2B League 160), with Devin Toepelt (5-10, 185, junior), Dakota Russell (5-10, 180, sophoCoach: Chris Fitzgerald (first) more) and burly junior Andy Pickens (5-11, 200) running the ball out of the 2010 Record: 1-9 backfield in the Wing-T formation. “Running’ll be our strength,” the coach said, “Along with the line.” Date Opponent Time The team averages about 216 pounds on the line, with seniors Andy WoodSept. 2 at Winlock 7 p.m. ward (5-10, 285), John Feuchter (5-10, Sept. 9 Toutle Lake 7 p.m. 240) and Derek Hoffman (5-9, 185) Sept. 16 at Mossyrock 7 p.m. leading the way in the trenches. Juniors Sept. 23 at Wahkiakum 7 p.m. Quincy Skeen (5-10, 185) and Jesse McSept. 30 Napavine 7 p.m. Coy (5-8, 185) have also looked solid, while Nate Feuchter (5-10, 305) adds Oct. 7 at Naselle 7 p.m. more size. Oct. 21 at Adna 7 p.m. Skeen, Pickens and Devin Toepelt Oct. 27 MWP 7 p.m. will fill the linebacker positions, as well. Nov. 5 Pacific Crossover TBD The Trojans open play Friday at Winlock.
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8 • Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011
New Coach Among Many New Faces on the Gridiron in Centralia SENIOR HEAVY: Tigers Changing Offense With Amrine in Charge By Pete Caster firstname.lastname@example.org
Change isn’t always a bad thing. Just because the Tiger faithful won’t be seeing Zack Baldwin tear through Evergreen 2A Conference’s defenses or John Schultz pace the sidelines any longer doesn’t mean all is lost in the Hub City. A new coach and a new offense will be the biggest changes in Centralia this season, but have no fear: the Tigers will still be proudly sporting the orange and black and vying for an EvCo title. “I think (the fans) will be excited to see some different changes,” said firstyear coach Steve Amrine. Amrine might be new to Centralia, but he is no stranger to football. The Castle Rock native has coached at Central Washington, Eastern Washington and, for the past four years, has been the defensive backs coach for Idaho State. And, if the transition to the high school ranks brings a few new wrinkles to Amrine’s coaching style, it’s not going to bother the senior-laden Tigers. “We have a lot of senior leadership,” said Amrine. “There are a lot of kids that have played a lot of football.” Gone will be the days of the Wing-T formation and grinding the ball on the ground. Amrine will install a new prostyle offense that will take advantage of the Tigers’ athleticism. “We are going to be more of a spread, pro-style offense as opposed to the Wing-T,” said Amrine. “It will allow a lot of different people getting the ball.” A strong offensive line anchored by seniors Ryker Gronseth, Kyle White, Dayna Squibb (TE) and Everett Cooper will allow playmakers like Mason Musselman (RB), Conner Knudsvig (RB) and Justice Tasby (RB) the ability to rack up the yards. “Dayna is a weapon not only blocking, but catching, too,” Amrine said of Squibb, an All-League first-team pick last year. The Tiger defense, which will return seven starters, will be as strong as ever with a beefy defensive line and a strong
Pete Caster / email@example.com
Centralia quarterback Levi Studeman prepares for contact during a defensive drill on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at Tiger Stadium.
Centralia tigers Evergreen 2A Conference Coach: Steve Amrine (first) 2010 Record: 7-3 Date Sept. 2 Sept. 9 Sept. 16 Sept. 23 Sept. 30 Oct. 7 Oct. 14 Oct. 21 Oct. 28
Opponent Franklin Pierce at North Kitsap Black Hills at R.A. Long North Thurston at Tumwater at Aberdeen at W.F. West River Ridge
Time 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.
linebacking corps featuring senior Tony Stulken and an athletic secondary highlighted by the likes of Cole Housden, Jordan Brager and Joey Hansen.
Pete Caster / firstname.lastname@example.org
First-year Centralia coach Steve Amrine whistles for his team to get on the goal line to start sprints please see Tigers, page 15 after Piang No (right) kicked a PAT at practice last week.
Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011• 9
Can Bearcats Return to State Playoffs? BUILDING BLOCK: W.F. West Looking to Surround QB Mitch Gueller With Solid RBs and WRs By Aaron VanTuyl email@example.com
The Bearcats are, as usual, sound defensively, but the success of their 2011 season — and a third-straight trip to the State 2A Football Playoffs — could come down to how well the offense develops. Or, more pointedly, how the offense develops around 2010 All-Evergreen 2A Conference first-team quarterback Mitch Gueller. “We’ve got a good person to build around at quarterback,” Bearcat coach Bob Wollan said of the 6-3, 200-lb. senior. “But, it’s a year where I think we’ve got a ton of question marks on what we’re going to evolve into being, offensively.” Gueller ran for 650 yards and five touchdowns and completed 88 of 150 passes last year for 1,242 yards, with 15 touchdowns last season. “We know we’re fortunate to have a quarterback with his ability,” Wollan said. “I really think the key for us is just all the people around him,” he added. “We know he can throw the football and get it to them. If these receivers can step up and make plays for us, that’s a bonus. We really feel we’ve got running backs around him that can take the pressure off of him. “I think the real challenge for us, as a staff, is not to lean on him too much.” The team expects to run the ball more often this season than in the recent past, operating out of more tightend sets and getting plenty of touches to a corps of running backs that includes Bryce Hanson, Colton Watson, Cody Sanchez and Seth Monge. “They all have their strengths,” Wollan said, “But they’re all tough, and they all run real physical.” The team doesn’t necessarily have the depth at wide receiver it has enjoyed the last two years, but seniors Joe Rothlin and Max Smith will be Gueller’s main targets. One encouraging aspect of the offense is the line. Levi Taylor and Tyler
Pete Caster / firstname.lastname@example.org
W.F. West quarterback Mitch Gueller lofts a pass in practice last week. Gueller, a senior, will once again lead the Bearcat offense.
Beesley both started games last year, and have done a nice job leading the Oline early on. Additionally, seniors Josh Jones, Travis Taylor and Dylan Anderson have been making strides and should get a chance to contribute. “If these guys can keep progressing, in an area that was real thin on depth, they might be able to shore that up for us,” Wollan said. “That was a real concern for us, but I think we’re slowly and surely getting a little depth there.” On the other side of the ball, the early prognosis was that the Bearcat
defense’s strength would be in the line, with Taylor, Sanchez and Curtil Giles all back. “That’s an area of stregth for us — not our size, but just our depth. They all kind of look alike and play alike,” Wollan said. “We’re going to have to utilize all those guys. We want to keep people fresh, so we’ve got a rotation of 5, 6 or 7 guys in there.” Hanson returns at middle linebacker, where he’s been tabbed the quarterback of the defense. Monge, Keylen please see Bearcats, page 15
W.F. West Bearcats Evergreen 2A Conference Coach: Bob Wollan (sixth) 2010 Record: 9-2 Date Opponent Time Sept. 3 vs. North Mason* 3 p.m. Sept. 9 Lindbergh 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at Tumwater 7 p.m. Sept. 23 Aberdeen 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at River Ridge 7 p.m. Oct. 7 Black Hills 7 p.m. Oct. 14 Mark Morris 7 p.m. Oct. 21 Centralia 7 p.m. Oct. 27 at North Thurston 7 p.m. *at CenturyLink Field, Seattle
10 • Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011
Plenty of Green in Cards’ Maroon and Gold This Year By Aaron VanTuyl email@example.com
Winlock Cardinals Central 2B League
Pete Caster / firstname.lastname@example.org
Winlock quarterback Phillip Smerek dodges a defender in practice last week at Winlock High School. Smerek, a senior, moves from wide receiver to taking the snaps this year for the Cardinals.
Coach: Tim Edmonds (fifth) 2010 Record: 4-6 Date Sept. 2 Sept. 9 Sept. 16 Sept. 23 Sept. 30 Oct. 14 Oct. 21 Oct. 27 Nov. 5
Opponent Time Pe Ell 7 p.m. at Mossyrock 7 p.m. Wahkiakum 7 p.m. at Napavine 7 p.m. South Bend 7 p.m. Adna 7 p.m. at Morton-White Pass 7 p.m. Toutle Lake 7 p.m. Pacific Crossover TBD
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Returning starters aren’t something Winlock has an abundance of this season. According to coach Tim Edmonds, the Cardinals have three starters back on defense and one on offense heading into the 2011 football campaign. “We’re real young,” Edmonds said. “That takes into account a few guys moving positions. We’re real green across the board.” That means, of course, a lot of new faces at the skill positions. Gus Randall will move off the line to fullback, Phillip Smerek moves from receiver to quarterback and Jet Lawrence takes over at halfback. “Those are the three seniors we’re looking to step up,” Edmonds said. “Those guys have been with me the last several years.” Smerek, Lawrence and Randall are also the three returning starters on defense. “They’re sound where they play. We’ve just got to find the guys to fill in around them and complement them,” Edmonds said. “The guys are working hard, we’ve just got a lot to improve on.” Sophomore lineman Chance Fisher (6-2, 170 lbs.) is the lone returning starter on offense. “We’ve got a lot of first-year guys filling in,” Edmonds said of the line. “They’re decent sized, and decent strength, they’re just real green.” The newcomers are primarily upperclassmen, like senior linemen Joel Munoz, Daniel VanDele and Tyler Whitehead. Kyle Pohll, a junior, has also joined the team as a running back and impressed Edmonds with his work ethic. The game plan, offensively, will be oriented around running the ball. “We’re a run-first team, it’s no secret,” Edmonds said, adding that Randall would likely see the most carries. “He’s a bull, he runs low, and he’s probably where we start and finish from. He’s a stocky, thick kid and he likes to run east to west.” “If you set your goals up as wins and losses, you can tear those goals up real fast if things go south,” Edmonds said. “But if we just get better every day, we’ll be in the mix and good things’ll happen.”
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Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011• 11
Loggers Keeping Up ‘Do Work’ Philosophy By Pete Caster
Replacing the likes of do-it-all quarterback Dalton Ritchey and coach John Hallead is not an enviable task, but the Loggers really don’t have a choice. Onalaska will have to find a way to compensate for losing 10 seniors from a 2010 team that made the State 1A Football Playoffs. But, new head coach Mazen Saade feels confident that his team will at least compete in one of the toughest 1A leagues in the state. “Losing 10 seniors is a tough thing to replace,” said Saade. “But, we’ve got some kids ready to step in and fill those rolls.” Saade will look to SWW 1A League Evergreen Division honorable mention receiver Dustin Ritchey to play quarterback and step into a leadership role, seeing that he is one of two seniors on the squad this season. Cody Birdwell will be the Loggers’ anchor on the offensive and defensive line, while sophomores Travis McMillion and Trevor Lawrence will look to make the plays for the Loggers’ offense. “For us to compete there are going to have to be underclassman that step up into roles,” said Saade, who has over 20 freshman and sophomores on his 2011 roster. There are four returning starters on the defensive side of the ball for the Loggers, highlighted by juniors Cody Bruton and Bryson Blair at linebacker, Birdwell on the D-line and Ritchey in the secondary. Over the summer Saade and his staff have brought a lot of energy back Pete Caster / email@example.com An Onalaska reciever battles a defensive back on a jump ball at practice last week in Onalaska. The to a program that could have easily fallen dormant, and they look to compete Loggers went 8-3 last year in the SWW 1A League Evergreen Division.
SWW 1A Evergreen Division Coach: Mazen Saade (first) 2010 Record: 8-3 Date Sept. 2 Sept. 9 Sept. 16 Sept. 23 Sept. 30 Oct. 7 Oct. 14 Oct. 21 Oct. 28 Nov. 4
Opponent Toledo at South Bend at Elma Rainier Forks at Tenino Hoquiam at Rochester at Montesano Trico Crossover
Time 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. TBD
on Friday nights. “We are going to go out there every day and do our best and compete,” said Saade, who coached two years under Hallead and three years under current W.F. West head coach Bob Wollan. “We are just trying to get better every day at what we do and take the game one step at a time.” But the Loggers won’t be afforded baby steps as they open up with backto-back State 1A qualifier Toledo, then turn around the next week to play defending State 2B champion South Bend. Saade noted that his team has grown leaps and bounds from the first day of practice and even if the talent level isn’t quite at its peak yet, one thing is for certain about the Loggers: they will still go out and do work. “These are still tough hard-nosed kids that aren’t afraid of anything and are resilient,” said Saade. “Our mascot fits these kids.”
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12 • Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011
Inexperienced Warriors Focused on Improvement By Pete Caster
There are many things you could say about new Rochester coach Tom Griggs’s first season, but one thing is for certain: it won’t be apathetic. Over the summer Griggs — a former River Ridge assistant coach, Washington State University lineman and Montesano standout — breathed life into a middling Warrior football program and looks to build on an intense summer this fall. “Right now we are loving practice, loving the pace of practice,” said Griggs. “But, nothing matters until it’s Friday night.” Griggs’ enthusiasm spread like wildfire through the Rochester hallways in the waning days of the school year. Thirty kids came out for the first week of summer weight lifting and 45 have turned out this fall for football — enough to field a JV squad and a freshman squad. But all the gusto in the world can’t bring back the 12 seniors from last year’s team. “All these (young) guys have to step up and fill spots,” said Griggs, who inherits a team with five returning starters. “Right now they don’t really have that Friday night experience, but at the same time they are so excited it will be run to watch. “And, if you told our guys that it was
Pete Caster / firstname.lastname@example.org
First-year Rochester coach Tom Griggs directs linemen drills at practice earlier this week. The Warriors look to improve on last season’s 1-9 record in their 2011 campaign.
a rebuilding year, they would get pretty fired up about it,” added Griggs. Griggs will rely on the likes of 2010 SWW 1A League Evergreen Division honorable mention Chase Grimmett at linebacker, Tim Rios (RB), Anthony Choke (OL/NG), Tyler Yarber (RB), Colton Smith (LB/TE) and Thomas Carey (LB). Youth will come in handy for the Warriors as a strong sophomore class develops throughout the season, highlighted by starting quarterback Tyler Gedney and freshman Lucas Eastman.
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Time 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. TBD
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Griggs’ lunch-pail mentality will be reflected by the Warriors’ offensive plan. “We are going to run the rock,” said Griggs. “We’ve taken that mentality into practice to put the ball on the round and roll over some people.” Yarber, a sophomore, and Rios, a senior, will be key facets in the Warrior ground game and if Rochester can stick to its game plan on Friday nights, Saturday mornings will be quite painful for their Evergreen Division opponents.
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Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011• 13
Beavers Looking to Build on Last Season’s Strong Second Half By Pete Caster email@example.com
Pete Caster / firstname.lastname@example.org
SWW 1A Evergreen Division Coach: Jeff Zenisek (second) 2010 Record: 4-6 Date Sept. 2 Sept. 9 Sept. 16 Sept. 23 Sept. 30 Oct. 7 Oct. 14 Oct. 21 Oct. 28 Nov. 4
Opponent Stevenson NW Christian Rainier at Elma at Montesano Onalaska Rochester at Forks Hoquiam Trico Crossover
Time 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. TBD
their best to dam up the opposing defenses. Zenisek is excited about a defense that will feature a solid corps of linebackers, like All-League honorable mentions Zack Chamberlain (sophomore), senior Chance Petrich and Cavin. Helping Tenino’s offense from the sideline this season will be new offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar, who coached in the college ranks at New Mexico State, Cal, Minnesota and Northwestern.
Tenino’s Devante Harris fires a pass on the run during practice earlier this week. Harris, a junior, will start at quarterback again for the Beavers.
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The Tenino boys are well aware of the lingering power of momentum. A slow start last fall that saw the Beavers drop to 1-5 was washed away after Tenino won three of its final four games of the season, highlighted by a 15-14 win over Rochester. Ending the season on a high note propelled the Beaver basketball team to a playoff berth and the Tenino baseball team to a second-place finish at the State 1A Baseball tournament last spring. “I think the momentum from last season carried us through basketball and through baseball and hopefully it will continue this fall,” said second-year Tenino head coach Jeff Zenisek. Even though Zenisek lost a few key pieces on the offensive and defensive lines, he feels confident that the returners will provide the spark needed to parlay last season’s late success into a possible state football playoff berth — which would be only its second since 1986. “You can really see the difference from last year to this year when they step into a drill or a tackling circuit,” said Zenisek. “You can see they are busting their rear ends in every drill.” Leading the charge will be dynamic junior quarterback Devante Harris. Harris took over the field general duties after Week 3 last season, but an injury kept him off the field until Week 6, where Tenino laid the seeds of a late season surge with an overtime loss to Onalaska. “He’s just a great athlete,” Zenisek said of Harris, an All-League secondteam quarterback last season. “You just have to give him the ball.” Harris will be joined on the offensive side of the ball by Evergreen Division honorable mention receiver Darrin Love, Tylor Cavin (slot receiver) and Jacob Coffman. The Tenino offensive line will need a little patchwork but juniors Aaron Burch (center) and All-League secondteamer Ben Peterson (tackle) will do
14 • Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011
Toledo Not Worried About Losing Large Number of Starters By Pete Caster
If you think losing 13 seniors — including nine starters on both sides of the ball — means Toledo head coach Terry Holmes is pessimistic about his team’s chances this season, then you’d be mistaken. Even with an inexperienced group sporting the black and red this fall, Holmes is high on his team. “I think we have some pretty good skill kids,” said Holmes, who is in his second year as the Toledo head coach. “If things go as we hope they go, we can be a contender by the end of the season.” The Indians may be young, but they won’t be overmatched on Friday nights in the SWW 1A League Trico Division. Led by first-year senior quarterback Jesse Wallace, Toledo will have a number of athletes on the turf of Ted Hippi Memorial Field to defend its 2010 Trico title. “It’s not a talent thing, it’s an experiPete Caster / email@example.com ence thing,” said Holmes, whose team Toledo quarterback Jesse Wallace fires a pass during practice in Toledo last week. Wallace, a senior, is playing quarterback for the first time this year. is in its second season of Trico competition. “We have quite a few good football players, but how good are they week in Toledo indians and week out at the varsity level?” Holmes noted that his young team SWW 1A Trico Division had gone undefeated last year in junior Coach: Terry Holmes (second) varsity play, but he is still unsure how that will translate to the glitz and glam 2010 Record: 7-4 of Friday night. Date Opponent Time Joining Wallace in the backfield will Sept. 2 at Onalaska 7 p.m. be Trico second-team selection Cody Sept. 9 at Rainier 7 p.m. Meier, Toledo’s second leading rusher last season, and Mack Gaul, a hardSept. 16 La Center 7 p.m. hitting physical junior who will surely Sept. 23 White Salmon 7 p.m. make his impression felt on Trico deSept. 30 at Kalama 7 p.m. fenses. Oct. 7 at Stevenson 7 p.m. But, Holmes feels there are still Oct. 14 Ilwaco 7 p.m. questions marks regarding the 2011 InOct. 21 at Ridgefield 7 p.m. dians. Oct. 28 Castle Rock 7 p.m. Toledo’s 2010 senior-laden secondNov. 4 Evergreen Crossover TBD ary has all but disappeared, leaving the Indians’ pass defense in question and Holmes is unsure whether his offensive line will gel in time for league competi- figured out this season will be fun.” tion. On the defensive side of the ball To Cohesiveness might be the last problem for the Indians’ O-line after win- ledo will be returning Wallace, who was ning the Camp Rilea Team Lineman a first-team All-Trico selection, as well 486 N. Market Blvd. Challenge for the first time in five years as an All-State 1A honorable mention. this summer. Brent McAleny, the coach added, will Chehalis WA “I think the (offensive) line’s progress will be a reflection on the team’s be a factor at middle linebacker, along progress,” said Holmes. “If they get it with Gaul and Meier.
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Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011• 15
Acorns Hoping to Avoid Teams: Indians Should Be Tough Rebuilding Campaign Continued from Page 1
NEW LOOK: Plenty of Skill Players Has Oakville Looking at New Offensive Schemes By Pete Caster
Oakville Acorns Pacific Coast 1B League Coach: Ron Hawley (first)
With a first-year coach and only four seniors on the roster it would seem that 2011 would be written off as a rebuilding year for Oakville. But, a down year in the Pacific Coast 1B League makes sneaking into a 1B, eight-man football playoff spot completely within the realm of possibilities for the Acorns. “A lot of teams lost a lot of big-time players,” first-year Oakville coach Ron Hawley said. “(The league) is more even that it’s previously been, so that second or third spot could be wide open for anybody. “If you can stay healthy this year anyone has a shot at second or third place,” he added. Since the Acorns are stocked-full with talented skill-position players, Hawley has chosen to spread the field to maximize his team’s athleticism. In years past Oakville has been a standard I-formation team on offense, but this season Hawley inserted a number of plays in the Wildcat formation — a type of offense that utilizes direct snaps to running backs — that will hopefully keep opposing Pacific 1B League defenses guessing. “We haven’t ever run (this new offense) at Oakville,” admitted Hawley. “But, I think we’ll be good at it.”
2010 Record: 3-6 Date Sept. 2 Sept. 10 Sept. 16 Sept. 24 Sept. 30 Oct. 8 Oct. 14 Oct. 22 Oct. 29 Nov. 4
Opponent Time Wishkah Jamboree 7 p.m. at Mary M. Knight 1 p.m. Lake Quinault 7 p.m. at State Deaf 3:30 p.m. Taholah 7 p.m. at King’s Way 1 p.m. Lyle 7 p.m. at Lake Quinault 1 p.m. at Wishkah 1 p.m. Mary M. Knight 7 p.m.
Defending Trico Division champion Toledo is expected to finish near the top again, though Indians coach Terry Holmes expects Ridgefield and La Center — both traditionally strong teams — should also battle for the top spot.
Tigers: New Staff in the Hub City Continued from Page 1
White, who last coached the defensive backs at NAIA Nebraska Wesleyan, will be in charge of the defense. “We are going to be very, very competitive, but there are no gimmies in the league,” said Amrine. “If we don’t come to play every night it won’t end up good. “But, we want to fight every night,” he added. “We’ll have a shot at getting a playoff spot at the end of this thing.” And if a playoff run is in the making, then a little change will be fine at Tiger Stadium.
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of White, a 5-8, 165-lb. senior who will also play tight end. “He’s just having a great camp.” W.F. West opens the season Saturday, playing against North Mason at 3 p.m. at CenturyLink Field in Seattle as part of the Evergreen Kickoff Classic. “We’re all excited about it,” Wollan said. “Hopefully, we don’t go up there with big glassy eyes, and don’t forget that it’s just a football game.”
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Steen, Brennen Graham will fill the remaining linebacker slots, with Sanchez splitting time on and behind the line. Gueller, Rothlin and Watson return in the secondary, joined by a relatively new face in Andrew White at strong safety. “I think that’s a name we’re going to hear a lot of this year,” Wollan said
Outside of the Bulldogs, Tenino returns the majority of its lineup and showed improvement late in the 2010 season, while Onalaska, Rainier and Rochester are young and will look to surprise a few teams.
“This is a group that will do whatever it takes,” gushed Amrine of his senior-heavy squad. “We just want to play hard and find a way to get things done. “This is a tight group that knows how to win and doesn’t accept losing,” he added. The Centralia staff under Amrine has been bolstered as well. Former Onalaska coach and Central Washington University Hall of Hawley will look to senior leaders Famer John Hallead will join the staff like Tucker Johnson to lead the offense as the offensive coordinator, while Brad in the backfield, while junior Michael Bushnell, wide receiver Geo Jack and freshman Jordan Byrd will get a significant amount of chances to tote the ball this year as well. “We are a real quick team, but we’re not very big so we are trying to use 12 Local Branches some misdirection stuff,” said Hawley. Centralia, Chehalis, Grayland, Morton, Pe Ell, “We are going to make our athletes Raymond, Rochester, South Bend, Winlock make plays.” Seniors Andrew Knotts and Junior Saturday Banking Hours Jack will be the only returning starters Chehalis Airport Branch on the quick offensive line. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. “We have some athletes,” said HawRochester Branch in Bailey’s IGA ley. “We are young, but we are real athWinlock Branch in Cedar Village IGA letic.” 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Bearcats: Big Stage Set for Saturday Continued from Page 9
SWW 1A Trico
16 • Prep Football • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011
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