By David Pan Weekly Herald sports editor
Last week’s Puget Sound Football Camp at Lynnwood High School was just what Meadowdale needed.
The Mavericks finally had the opportunity to do some hitting against people other than their teammates. Meadowdale along with district rivals Edmonds-Woodway and Lynnwood scrimmaged against a number of teams from the area, including Renton, Mount Vernon and Cascade.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said senior lineman Nathan Cloud-Rouzan. “It’s fun to go up against these other teams.”
The camp also was a chance for Meadowdale head coach Mark Stewart and his staff to get a better look at the team. Getting everyone together on the same field at the same time hasn’t been easy for the Mavericks.
“It’s always a bit of a battle. You’ve got guys who are finishing up school,” Stewart said. “You’ve got basketball and baseball players you’re trying to work with while they’re doing those things. … Camp was good for us. It’s a good opportunity to come together and compete a little bit.”
Later this month, Meadowdale heads to Wenatchee for another team camp.
Cloud-Rouzan likes what he’s seen from his teammates.
“We’ve got a lot of talent finally in camp,” he said. “We want to get more crisp on our plays.”
The Mavericks, like most teams, took somewhat of a hit with the graduation of some top-notch players, including linebacker/running back Kyle Newsom, safety/running back Kyler Larsen and linebacker/tight end Corwin Perkins. Newsom and Perkins both played in the annual East-West All-Star Football Game June 30 at Everett Memorial Stadium. Larsen was selected for the game but did not play.
Meadowdale’s offense looks to be in somewhat better shape in terms of returning personnel with about six back, while the defense has four.
Returning at quarterback with a full-year of varsity play is senior Brian Marty. He’ll be joined by one of league’s top running backs in senior Giavani Shepard. Along with senior wide receiver Ryan White, the Mavericks should again have an explosive offense.
“He’ll do a good job running the offense and keeping things moving,” Stewart said of Marty. “It’s what we expect.”
Shepard and Newsom formed what they liked to call the “smash and dash” backfield with Shepard providing the dash.
“He’s obviously a special kind of talent,” Stewart said.
Senior Chace Diemond also brings speed to the backfield, and Stewart is looking to senior Michael Cummings to perhaps bring some of the smash that Newsom provided last year.
“We’ve got some pretty good depth,” Stewart said. “We have guys who have been in the program for a while.”
Added Cloud-Rouzan: “We’ve got five guys (in the backfield) I’m all comfortable with.”
An addition to the offense at running back and in the secondary defensively is Morgan Masanda, a transfer from Archbishop Murphy. Masanda went to Meadowdale Middle School.
Meadowdale also is fortunate to have three linemen back in Cloud-Rouzan and seniors Billy Causer and Dustin Spicknall.
“It’ll be good,” White said. “I think we’ll be pretty strong at the line.”
“That’ll be big for us,” Stewart added.
Stewart and his staff have a little more work to do on the defensive end, especially with the loss of three out of four linebackers and some departures in the secondary.
“We’ll have a lot of new faces on defense,” Stewart said. “I think we’ll have some good guys stepping up. They’ll be a little green and have to learn some stuff. We’ll get there.”