Cascade Conference Preview

Archbishop Murphy Wildcats

2008 Record: 7-0, 12-1

No. of returning offensive starters: 4

No. of returning defensive starters: 6

Look ahead: Coach Dave Ward continued in the tradition of Terry Ennis by taking the Wildcats into the Class 2A state semifinals in his first season. Led by quarterback Austin VanderWel and a strong junior class, Archbishop Murphy should have continued success as the Wildcats get more used to Ward’s style.

Impact players: Alex Martinez, RB/DB, Sr., 6-0, 190; Tani Tupou, TE/DE, Jr., 6-3, 255; Julius Tevaga, OT/NG, Jr., 6-1, 270; Austin VanderWel, QB/FS, Jr., 6-2, 195.

Fresh faces: Ryan Sapparto, C, Sr., 6-4, 245; Jake Hines, OL/LB, Sr., 5-11, 199.

Coaches’ comment: “Beginning our second season together is a huge difference. The offense is beginning to become second nature for them. The learning curve is a lot less. We can pick up the pace and move a little more quickly.”

Dave Ward, second year

Cedarcrest Red Wolves

2008 Record: 5-2, 6-4

No. of returning offensive starters: 6

No. of returning defensive starters: 5

Look ahead: Head coach Jason Frederick says for the Red Wolves to reach that next step — knocking off perennial league champion Archbishop Murphy — his players must believe they can win week in and week out. With 11 returning starters, they have a legitimate shot.

Impact players: Jacob Kreigbaum, RB/LB, Sr., 5-11, 200; Jackson Pleis, RB/LB, Sr., 6-2, 175; Dakota Bunce, OL/LB, Sr., 5-9, 230; Tommy Edwards, QB/DB, Sr., 6-2, 175.

Fresh faces: Jared Klingenberg, RB/DL, Jr., 6-4, 225; Colin McHargue, RB/LB, Sr., 5-6, 170.

Coaches’ comment: “We’ve got better depth at a lot of positions this year than we had last year. Practice is going to be intense and competitive.”

Jason Frederick, sixth year

Coupeville Wolves

2008 Record: 0-7, 0-10

No. of returning offensive starters: 7

No. of returning defensive starters: 8

Look ahead: Expectations are high for the Wolves. Coupeville returns 15 starters — including a core group of seniors — and a ton of experience and leadership, something head coach Ron Bagby said will be crucial.

Impact players: Justin Adams, RB/LB, Sr., 5-10, 180; Jason Bagby, QB/DB, Sr., 6-3, 170; Tim Walstad, DE/OL, Sr., 6-3, 210; Chad Brookhouse, TE/LB, Sr., 6-0, 215.

Fresh faces: Dalton Engle, RB/LB, So., 5-11, 190.

Coaches’ comment: “It’s very difficult (being a Class 1A school, along with King’s, in a conference dominated by 2A schools), We really feel like we’ve been a top-notch program. The biggest difference is the size. The bigger schools are just bigger than we are.”

Ron Bagby, 27th year

Granite Falls Tigers

2008 Record: 4-3, 5-5

No. of returning offensive starters: 5

No. of returning defensive starters: 5

Look ahead: The Tigers will play with heavy hearts and extra purpose this season. They’ve dedicated their season to Joe Montooth, who died unexpectedly in late July at age 46. Montooth was with the Tigers for 12 years and was going to be the offensive coordinator. “The kids loved him,” Granite Falls head coach Tracey Bechtholdt said.

Impact players: Zach Jones, FB/LB, Sr., 6-1, 200; JJ Campbell, QB/DB, Sr., 5-10, 180; Coty Walker, RB/DB, Sr., 5-9, 175; Jacob Brown, OL/DL, Sr., 6-1, 230.

Fresh faces: Max Whitt, WR/DB, Sr., 5-10, 175; Henry Nelson, OL/DL, Sr., 6-5, 250.

Coaches’ comment: “We need to stay healthy and stay positive. We’re going to be very successful. This is definitely not a rebuilding year.”

Tracey Bechtholdt, first year

King’s Knights

2008 Record: 2-5, 4-6

No. of returning offensive starters: 8

No. of returning defensive starters: 7

Look ahead: Two years removed from a winless season, the Class 1A Knights look to improve again as they return 15 starters, including the majority of their receivers and four linemen, led by Associated Press all-state first team linebacker Paul Lutgen.

Impact players: Paul Lutgen, MLB/OG, Sr., 6-2, 225; Thomas Vincent, SS/QB, Jr., 6-0, 180; Nick Swanson, DB/WR, Sr., 6-0, 180; Ryker Young, C/DT, Sr., 6-1, 240.

Fresh faces: Julian Smith, Jr., LB/RB, 6-0, 195.

Coaches’ comment: “On paper, it looks good. We have a lot of our skilled players coming back and our strength will be those skilled players.”

Jim Shapiro, 13th year

Lakewood Cougars

2008 Record: 3-4, 3-7

No. of returning offensive starters: 6

No. of returning defensive starters: 4

Look ahead: One of the more impressive offensive teams in the county, the Cougars need star quarterback Justin Lane to gel quickly with young but talented receivers. If that happens, the Cougars will score a ton of points and contend for their first postseason berth since 2004.

Impact players: Justin Lane, QB, Jr., 6-1, 190; Sam Johnston, WR/FS, Sr., 6-2, 170; Quincy Robinson, RB/LB, Sr., 5-10, 180; Christian Melton, RB/LB, So., 5-8, 135.

Fresh faces: Nathan Hesselman, DE/TE, Sr., 6-4, 180.

Coaches’ comment: “I feel confident in this season. We’re looking to turn the corner. We’re a playoff team.”

Dan Teeter, fourth year

South Whidbey Falcons

2008 Record: 5-2, 7-3

No. of returning offensive starters: 5

No. of returning defensive starters: 7

Look ahead: For the second straight year, the Falcons lost a big chunk of their starters. It didn’t seem to affect them last year when they finished second in the conference. Expect more of the same for a South Whidbey team that returns its quarterback and all-conference second-team back Henry Mead.

Impact players: Henry Mead, RB, Sr., 5-9, 160; Hunter Rawls, QB/S, Sr., 6-1, 185; John Poolman, WR/S, Sr., 6-2, 180; Danny Zuver, RB/LB, Sr., 5-11, 185.

Fresh faces: Sam Lee, RB/S, So., 5-11, 160; TJ Russel, QB/WR/C, Jr., 5-11, 160.

Coaches’ comment: “We’ll have a lot of new faces but we’ll be competitive. I don’t think we’ll be returning to the non-competitive days of the past.”

Mark Hodson, ninth year

Sultan Turks

2008 Record: 2-5, 2-8

No. of returning offensive starters: 4

No. of returning defensive starters: 4

Look ahead: The Turks should be entertaining on offense with QB Zach Beebe starting his third year behind center. If the offensive line can protect Beebe and the Turks can establish a running game, opposing teams will be in trouble.

Impact players: Zach Beebe, QB/LB, Sr., 6-2, 210; Clayton Knoles, WR/DB, Sr., 6-2, 190; Bobby Alwood, OL/DL, Sr., 6-1, 215; Tanner Rutz, OL/DL, Sr., 6-0, 200.

Fresh faces: Kely Grove, FB/LB, Jr., 5-9, 190; Nathaniel Pinson, FB/LB, Jr., 5-10, 190; Jake Beebe, RB/LB, Jr., 6-0, 190.

Coaches’ comment: “We’ve got a new field turf and six home games (compared to four in 2008) so that will probably help us out a bit.”

Michael McMahon, third year

Cascade Conference coaches’ poll:

(Using the 1 Point for First Place, 2 Points for Second Place, etc. method):

1. Archbishop Murphy (7 points)

2. Cedarcrest (13)

3. South Whidbey (25)

4. Lakewood (28)

5. Granite Falls (32)

6. Sultan (35)

7. King’s (37)

8. Coupeville (47)

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