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Published: Monday, September 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Wesco 4A South


Team-by-team capsules

CASCADE BRUINS
Last season: 1-4 in league (fourth); 5-5 overall
Head coach: Joe Cronin, second season
Herald's power ranking: fifth
All-Wesco honors: KJ Brady, WR, 1st team; Randin Crecelius, OL/DL, 1st; Kaleb Dobson, DB, 2nd; Nate Elliot, LB, 2nd; Myles Bellah, LB, 2nd.
Schedule
Outlook
The rebuilding process at Cascade hasn't taken very long.
One year after Joe Cronin took the reins, the Bruins, who were winless in 2010, are thinking league title -- and rest assured no team is looking past the Bruins this season. With the talent on this team and the addition of athletic quarterback Josh Smith -- a transfer from Florida -- matching last year's total of five wins seems certain.
Not only are the Bruins one of the favorites in the Wesco South this season, they could make some noise come playoff time.
"The biggest thing (the team) talked about was chemistry," Cronin said. "Making sure that there are no cliques and we all get along and support each other and we constructively criticize each other. With that being said, if that happens there is no reason we can't compete for a league championship."
-- Aaron Lommers, Herald Writer
EDMONDS-WOODWAY WARRIORS
Last season: 4-1 in league (second); 6-4 overall (lost to Bellarmine Prep in the quad districts)
Head coach: John Gradwohl, 16th season
Herald's power ranking: eighth
All-Wesco honors: Travis Bakken, DL, 1st; Mac McLachlan, LB, 1st; Haedyn McGrath, OL, 2nd; Davis Giles, QB, HM; Junior Opoku-Mensah, RB, HM; Theo Lebesis, TE/LB, HM.
Schedule
Outlook
Edmonds-Woodway's lone Wesco South 4A loss last season came at the hands of league champ Jackson in a wild Timberwolves' comeback that saw them score 22 points in the fourth quarter. The Warriors regrouped and won four straight games to close out the regular season.
The league looks like it could be as tough as ever this season. Edmonds-Woodway could have quite a few tough, close games on its hands but their seniors should help the Warriors through some tough games.
"We have a good team bond. Our practices have a lot of energy and they're a lot of fun to go to," said E-W coach Gradwohl. "I think we'll be in every game we play. I can't imagine us getting blown out by anybody.
"I think we have a chance to win every game we play this season."
-- David Krueger, Herald Writer
JACKSON TIMBERWOLVES
Last season: 5-0 in league (first); 9-2 overall (lost to Roosevelt in the first round of the state playoffs)
Head coach: Joel Vincent, 16th season
Herald's power ranking: second
All-Wesco honors: Trey Robinson, WR, 1st; Alek Baumgartner, WR, 1st; Jake Miles, LB, 1st; Nick White, LB, 1st; Michael Zeng, K, 1st; Keynan Foster, WR, 2nd; Jake Miles, OL, 2nd; Trey Robinson, DB, 2nd; John-Robert Wooley, LB, 2nd.
Schedule
Outlook
Jackson returns a good portion of a team that reached the first round of the 2012 state tournament. The Timberwolves have three receivers who were first- or second-team All-Wesco last season, which should help whoever Jackson goes with at quarterback.
"I like where we're at. We return a ton of guys," Vincent said. "... What it comes down to, with so many guys, is we're not reinventing the wheel. We're not teaching things for the first time. We're reviewing and we're refining. As a program, that's a nice place to be."
When a head coach says something like that, it's really hard to pick against the Timberwolves to win back-to-back league titles.
-- David Krueger, Herald Writer
KAMIAK KNIGHTS
Last season: 2-3 in league (fourth); 5-5 overall
Head coach: Dan Mack, 16th season
Herald's power ranking: seventh
All-Wesco honors: Austin Hall, RB, 1st; Riley Briggs-Thomas, DL, 1st; Tyler Kunard, LB, 1st; Oleg Avramenko, OL, 2nd; Jacob Meuse, OL, 2nd; Jordan Mochmar, DL, 2nd; Henderson Belk, TE, HM.
Schedule
Outlook
The Knights' motto this year is "We Are A Brotherhood."
The quarterback competition over the summer exemplifies that perfectly. Tyler Becker and Nick Taglialavore vied for the job vacated by Brett Ludeman and the two signal-callers pushed each other, cheered for each other and helped one another throughout the process.
"I'd say it wasn't even really a battle," Taglialavore said.
Becker won the job and will lead a team with a number of All-Wesco returners, giving Kamiak high hopes. All-Area running back Austin Hall, who led all Wesco 4A rushers with 1,673 yards last season, returns bigger, quicker and healthy and will run behind a line that returns four linemen from last season.
"I'm excited and have high hopes for the season," Hall said.
-- Aaron Swaney, Herald Writer
LYNNWOOD ROYALS
Last season: 0-5 in league (sixth); 1-9 overall
Head coach: Adam Fermstad, second season
Herald's power ranking: N/R
All-Wesco honors: Isaiah Holmes, DL, 1st; Andrew Katzenberger, LB, 2nd; Mikao Kirkman, RB/LB, HM; David Nguyen, WR/DB, HM; Hunter Lord, WR/DB, HM.
Schedule
Outlook
There's a different feel around Lynnwood football and it starts at the top with second-year coach Adam Fermstad. The former Royals assistant took over too late to make major changes in 2012, but has now had a full offseason to put his stamp on the program and implement his offensive and defensive schemes.
"There's a lot more cohesion, which really resonates with the players," Fermstad said. "They've bought in."
Helping matters is the fact Fermstad has a large number of returning starters, including captains David Nguyen, David Vo, Hunter Lord and Kyle Shankle. All are three-year lettermen and Fermstad has given them more responsibility and power.
The Royals return quarterback, Justin Cachopo, who has starting experience, all of their receivers, and junior Andrew Katzenberger, who has switched from wideout to tailback.
-- Aaron Swaney, Herald Writer
MARINER MARAUDERS
Last season: 3-2 in league (third); 6-4 overall
Head coach: John Ondriezek, 21st season
Herald's power ranking: N/R
All-Wesco honors: Josh Williamson, RB, 1st; Curtis Billen, OL, 2nd.
Schedule
Outlook
Mariner returns one of the best tailbacks in the area in Williamson as well as experience along the offensive line, including Octayvien Sapp, Adrian Releford, Conner Griffin and Curtis Billen -- a nationally recruited long snapper.
So you can bet the Marauders will do what they always do: pound the rock.
On defense Mariner will be young and inexperienced.
"Defensively we lost a lot," Ondriezek said. "We have to continually get better on defense. Our philosophy is get our best 11 out there on defense even if we have to move a few kids around."
If first-year starter Nick Smith can do a good job of running the offense behind center and a young defense can learn quickly, the Marauders should be in the thick of the 4A South playoff race.
-- Aaron Swaney, Herald Writer
* At Everett Memorial Stadium
# At Edmonds Stadium
+ At Goddard Stadium
^ At Shoreline Stadium

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