What's new: Saying goodbye
This fall is the first time members of the Chargers football team looked around practice and had a number of players missing.
Having started as a program just two years ago, Getchell graduated its first class of seniors who started a number of games and contributed significant playing time last year. It's a void that is noticeable.
"We kind of prepared two years for one," said Getchell head coach Davis Lura on the seniors. "They took pride in setting that example."
Going 5-5 in the program's second season, those seniors, like Dylan Diedrich and Zander Seymer, left a strong legacy. That is now being seen in excitement around the program, which has more than 40 freshman out this year.
Not bad for a team and school that is still confusing to some.
"People still see our colors and logo and ask, 'Are you from Kentwood?'" Lura said.
Returning All-Wesco players
First team--Jacob Bisenius, DL; Second team--Kaleb Seymer, WR; John Clark, DL; Honorable mention--Wil Owens; Austin Miller; Ryan Gamble; Francisco Juarez; Devon Green
Player to watch: John Clark, DE/TE
Over the summer a former coach sat the Getchell defensive end down and told him he had the potential to play Pac-12 football.
That coach should know: It was Dennis Erickson.
"It was a really neat experience," Clark said. "He just said stay healthy and keep working."
There's a good reason schools like Utah and Nebraska are interested in Clark. Standing 6-foot-4 and up to 230 pounds, Clark runs a 4.7 40-yard dash and is still growing.
"With that size and speed he just has what colleges are looking for," Lura said.
Getchell will bring Clark off the edge to create havoc in the backfield, but the Chargers will also get him more involved in the offense. Clark has been working at tight end and will split him out a little bit in the spread.
"I'm excited to see what I can do at receiver," Clark said.
Fresh face: Collin Montez, athlete
When Lura talks about this incoming freshman, he chooses his words carefully.
There's a lot of unknowns.
"He played junior high football last year and never got tackled," Lura said. "He got pushed out of bounds."
Montez has a ton talent and strong bloodlines: His uncle played in the NFL and his dad played Division-I football. Lura said he's about 98-percent sure Montez will start out the season on the varsity team and will use him as a runner, lineman or wherever.
"He's going to be special. You'll be talking about him over the next few years," Lura said.
Montez isn't the only big, athletic freshman. "Some of the freshman kids are bigger than the seniors," Lura said. "I'm really looking forward to the future."
After going winless in the program's first year, Getchell had a hugely successful second season, winning five games and three of its final five.
"I was kind of shocked at how well we did," Lura said. "Once we got the monkey off our back we kind of relaxed."
To take that next step the Chargers will have to replace four out of five linemen, a quarterback and a tailback.
"I'm not sure if we're rebuilding or reloading our offense," Lura said.
At quarterback Getchell will go week-to-week with two quarterbacks, senior Michael Cameron and sophomore Taylor Koellmer, fitting into this year's theme: competition.
At tailback, Wil Owens will take over for Zander Seymer. "He's really fast and he's hard-nosed," Lura said of Owens. "He plays so hard that he gets hurt."
The biggest thing for the Chargers is the continuity in the system allows Lura to open an already open playbook even wider.
"The positive is we have kids who have been in the program for three years now so we can kind of expand what we do," Lura said.
If the young players pick up to speed quickly, Getchell could make it a Marysville clean sweep at the top of the 3A North.
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