Head Coach Archie Malloy, right, gives directions in a huddle during a football practice Thursday at Mountlake Terrace High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Head Coach Archie Malloy, right, gives directions in a huddle during a football practice Thursday at Mountlake Terrace High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

‘Exciting time’ for Mountlake Terrace football team

After a breakthrough 5-win season in 2022, the Hawks look to keep soaring this fall.

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — There’s an excitement surrounding the Mountlake Terrace High School football team that wasn’t present in recent years.

After winning only one game in each of the prior two seasons, the Hawks won five games and finished with a winning record last fall. It was their first winning campaign since 2018 and second since 2015. Their 3-3 mark in league play was also their first .500 or better season in Wesco play since 2015.

With nearly everyone back from a junior-heavy group in 2022, Terrace aims to keep rising this fall.

“We’re building something here and it takes time to do that,” third-year head coach Archie Malloy said. “The tangible evidence was there last year as we improved and showed a lot more discipline and had kids just perform up to their abilities. It’s an exciting time to be a Hawk football player.”

The Hawks have their senior class to thanks for this exciting time.

When Malloy inherited the program after a 1-4 showing during the COVID-shortened spring season in 2021, the roster was young and turnout numbers were low in the upper classes. The following fall he put out a lineup filled with sophomores. The result was a 1-7 season and multiple lopsided losses.

“It was definitely a learning experience because we were all undersized, we were all way young,” senior two-way lineman Logan Hansen said. “I feel if we played for different schools, we probably would’ve been playing JV, but that’s not the hand we were dealt. So, we adapted. … It was tough. It was really tough.”

Logan Hansen (85), right, runs a play during a football practice Thursday at Mountlake Terrace High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Logan Hansen (85), right, runs a play during a football practice Thursday at Mountlake Terrace High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Indeed, the season was tough. Terrace scored more than one touchdown just twice and six losses came by at least three scores, but those tough times paid off last season. The Hawks quickly saw improvement with their older and more experienced group and won three of their first four games by 21 points or more, surpassing their win total from the prior two seasons combined in just 22 days. The lone loss during that stretch, 23-7 to Snohomish, was a 25-point improvement from their 41-0 loss a season prior. The final result was a berth in the Wesco 3A crossover round and a 5-4 record.

“It’s just crazy to think that we came from that to a winning season,” senior receiver and defensive back Logan Tews said, “and we can do more this year too. It’s really exciting.”

Players said the way the team has come together over the past few seasons has been key to the turnaround. The tough times, and then the good times, created a strong bond.

Senior Adam Wallis, a two-way lineman, said the team has had a group chat that in the past was only used for updates on practice times. This summer it was much more active with non-football conversations.

“It’s just like we’re our own clique,” Wallis said. “We’re all there for each other, and that’s great. … There’s nothing like football and how close you can get to the person next to you.”

“Now I don’t really see it as much of a team. I see it as my own family,” Hansen said.

There’s also been an improved commitment to offseason training and work in the weight room. Turnout numbers are jumping as well. Both of those aspects have caught the attention of senior Zaveon Jones.

“I’ve been feeling really confident about this season because of the numbers,” said Jones, a standout running back and linebacker. “There wasn’t a lot of people playing my freshman year, but since then I’ve been seeing big growth.”

The Hawks finished fourth in the seven-team Wesco 3A South last season. The hope is to improve on that this fall.

Leading the way is Jones. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound bruiser ran for 1,448 yards and 20 TDs last season. He also recorded a team-high 65 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles on defense.

Zaveon Jones (24) runs a play during a football practice Thursday at Mountlake Terrace High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Zaveon Jones (24) runs a play during a football practice Thursday at Mountlake Terrace High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

“Zaveon is a special talent,” Malloy said. “He has the size, the strength and the speed to go along with that. … He’s got great vision, he’s a great teammate, great leader out there, just a great young man to work with. He’s the prime example of a kid that bought in when we got here.”

Jones has the luxury of his entire offensive line, which includes an array of three-year varsity players, returning.

“They’re one of the reasons why this team has been so successful,” Jones said. “They’ve been making people go to the weight room, making sure people are getting bigger, faster and stronger. … I’ve seen a lot of growth from them and that’s the only reason I’m so good right now, because they push me.”

Jones is complemented by go-to receiver Tews, who accounted for 83.9% (432 of 515) of the team’s receiving yards and all three TDs last season. Tews also had a team-high four interceptions while playing defensive back.

Hansen and Wallis lead an experienced group in the trenches.

“Being able to change a program is probably one of the best feelings in the world,” Jones said, “because you’re going from little and no respect from other teams to other teams finally putting us on their radar and respecting us. I’m just proud of everybody that they can grow together.”

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