By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
In 2013, Edmonds-Woodway’s football team proved to be the class of the Wesco 4A South. This season the Warriors have a new league to conquer.
Edmonds-Woodway has dropped from 4A to 3A and will compete in the revamped Wesco 3A South this season. Instead of fending off the challenges of perennial contenders such as Jackson and Kamiak, the Warriors will have to worry about the likes of Meadowdale and Glacier Peak.
“It’s not a drop off,” Edmonds-Woodway head coach John Gradwohl said. “Meadowdale and Glacier Peak, look what they’ve done. They’re awesome programs. I don’t think the difference in 3A and 4A football, at least in Wesco, there isn’t much of a difference, if any.”
The Warriors began preparation for their new league on Wednesday at the year’s first practice.
As it turns out, E-W gets to prepare for many of its new opponents with its old ones, opening the season against Jackson and Kamiak.
“It really isn’t that much different,” Gradwohl said. “Actually, I think my schedule this year is harder than (heck). We go Jackson, Kamiak, Meadowdale and Glacier Peak. Lynnwood’s going to be real good. Shorewood is going to be much improved. (Mountlake) Terrace is always competitive.
“I don’t really look at it as 3A and 4A, I just look at who I’m playing. It’s just a tough schedule. That’s all I see it as.”
One team the Warriors won’t see is Mariner, which has Gradwohl disappointed. It’s the first year in his 19 seasons at Edmonds-Woodway that he doesn’t get to face the Marauders, who are coached by his friend John Ondriezek.
Perhaps the Warriors will form a new rivalry with Glacier Peak, the defending Wesco 3A South regular-season champs.
“I’m excited to play Glacier Peak,” Gradwohl said. “(Glacier Peak head coach) Rory (Rosenbach) and I have tried to play each other in the past.”
Head Coach: John Gradwohl (19th season)
Key Returners: Chantz Justice, Sr., RB/FS; Tanner Caraco, Sr., OL/DL; Nick Morales, Sr., QB; Will Siegall, Sr., OL/DL; Nick Venema, Sr., RB/LB; Brandon Hohengarten, Sr., TE/DE.
Coach’s Quote: “The leaders last year really did an excellent of promoting the team attitude. I thought in a lot of ways, we overachieved. That’s really been prevalent in this year’s team. (Last year’s team) passed the torch, and these guys are awesome. I think that’s going to be our strength is our team attitude.”