The seniors of the King’s football team are hoping the fourth time’s the charm.
After back-to-back-to-back trips to the 1A state quarterfinals, the Knights hope this is the year they finally break through and get over that quarterfinals hump. That thought was on players and coaches’ minds as King’s got its first practice of the season underway Thursday morning.
“A state championship is definitely the goal, and I think this team can reach that goal,” said starting quarterback Billy Green, who recently committed to Brigham Young University.
Today’s Tacoma News-Tribune poll placed King’s at the top of its 1A preseason rankings.
Vote here for who you think will win the Cascade Conference this year
Lineman Mason Friedline called this year’s team the “deepest team King’s has ever had,” noting the Knights have had stars in the past, like current University of Washington quarterback Thomas Vincent.
However, it’s not all about wins and losses for King’s coach Jim Shapiro. Entering his 19th year with the Knights, he changed his philosophy after an 0-10 season just five years ago.
“I want kids that are here that are going to work hard,” Shapiro said. “…I don’t see winning and losing as the objective. Watching these punk freshman become men as seniors is what I enjoy. Winning takes care of itself.
“Having said that, it’s a natural tendency to want to go beyond (where you went last season).”
Another natural tendency is wanting to beat up on conference rival Archbishop Murphy. Friedline slipped a little warning to the Wildcats when asked about his goals for the season.
“Expectations are pretty high,” Friedline said. “We’ve been groomed for success. It’s our year to put Murphy away.”