There’s always plenty of anticipation surrounding season openers.
But there likely will be an added level of excitement Friday night when crosstown rivals Cascade and Everett kick off their seasons in the annual Battle of Broadway at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“Every time you play game one, it’s always exciting, because you’ve been waiting nine months to do this,” first-year Everett coach David Coldiron said after a practice earlier this month. “But the added aspect that it’s the guys down the street that (the players have) been doing battle with for years, that adds to it.”
First-year Cascade coach Jordan Sieh has experience in the Battle of Broadway both from his playing days with the Bruins and from spending the past seven seasons as an assistant coach in the program.
“I preach as a coach (that) every game is the same, and truly this game is no different from a record standpoint and our approach,” said Sieh, a 2006 Cascade graduate. “But there’s no question this rivalry, in my opinion, represents high school football in the state of Washington. … It’s a special event.
“There’s so much tradition of football in this city,” he added. “And to start the season off against a big rival where there’s so much tradition at (both schools), it’s really, really special.”
Adding to the intrigue is the fact both schools will be debuting new head coaches.
“It’s going to be a pretty unique situation,” Sieh said. “Two (new) head coaches, two rival high schools. … It’s going to be awesome.”
Cascade steamrolled to a 46-0 running-clock victory in last year’s Battle of Broadway, avenging a 28-0 loss to Everett the previous season. It marked the sixth consecutive year that the crosstown rivalry was decided by at least 15 points.
“It provides a lot of motivation,” Everett senior lineman Anthony Amundsen said of last year’s blowout defeat. “We’ve got to come back this year and play good. We got beat last year, but that’s in the past. We’ve got to look forward.”
CASCADE vs. EVERETT
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Everett Memorial Stadium
Radio: KRKO 1380 AM
Cascade (last season): 5-5 overall, 3-4 Wesco 4A
Everett (last season): 7-3 overall, 5-1 Wesco 3A South; lost in 3A Week 10 playoffs
Outlook: This year’s annual Battle of Broadway features the debuts of new head coaches on both sidelines, with Cascade graduate Jordan Sieh taking over for the Bruins and David Coldiron guiding the Seagulls. Cascade beat Everett 46-0 last season, avenging a 28-0 loss to Everett the previous year. The Bruins return several talented running backs in their Wing-T rushing attack, which piled up 281 yards on Everett’s defense last season while averaging 9.7 yards per carry. Everett graduated numerous key players from last year’s breakthrough 7-3 playoff team, but the Seagulls return senior running back Christian Balmer, who averaged 6.5 yards per carry while rushing for nearly 1,000 yards.
Herald pick: Cascade
EDMONDS-WOODWAY at GLACIER PEAK
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Veterans Memorial Stadium (Snohomish H.S.)
Edmonds-Woodway (last season): 9-2 overall, 6-0 Wesco 3A South; lost in first round of 3A state playoffs
Glacier Peak (last season): 6-4 overall, 5-2 Wesco 4A; lost in 4A Week 10 playoffs
Outlook: Edmonds-Woodway’s new-look defense gets tested right out of the gate by the Ayden Ziomas-led Grizzlies. The Warriors graduated all 11 starters from last year’s stalwart defense, which allowed just 13.7 points per game while helping lead Edmonds-Woodway to the Wesco 3A South crown and the program’s first state-playoff appearance since 2011. The dual-threat Ziomas enters his fourth season as starting quarterback for Glacier Peak after totaling more than 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns last year. On the other side of the ball, major-college recruits Evan Mannes and Ma’ake Fifita anchor a Glacier Peak defense looking to slow down Edmonds-Woodway senior standout Capassio Cherry, a dynamic running back who averaged 8.9 yards per carry last season while rushing for 1,221 yards and 16 touchdowns in just seven games.
Herald pick: Glacier Peak
LAKE STEVENS at FERNDALE
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Ferndale H.S.
Lake Stevens (last season): 9-2 overall, 7-0 Wesco 4A; lost in first round of 4A state playoffs
Ferndale (last season): 11-1 overall, 6-0 Wesco 3A North; lost in 3A state quarterfinals
Outlook: This is the first of a three-game gauntlet to start the season for Lake Stevens, which faces 3A state-title contender Lincoln in Week 2 and conference rival Monroe in Week 3. Ferndale is coming off a trip to the 3A state quarterfinals, but the Golden Eagles graduated numerous key players from last year’s 11-1 team. This matchup features likely two of the state’s top linemen: 6-foot-5, 285-pound Lake Stevens junior Devin Kylany, and 6-foot-5, 280-pound Ferndale junior Geirean Hatchett, who has college offers from Alabama and numerous other big-time programs. Contrasting styles will be on display between Lake Stevens’ vaunted spread offense and Ferndale’s high-powered Wing-T rushing attack. Replacing graduated Lake Stevens standout quarterback Conor Bardue is senior Tre Long, who excelled in the Vikings’ two playoff games last year after Bardue suffered a season-ending injury.
Herald pick: Lake Stevens
MONROE at EASTLAKE
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Eastlake H.S.
Monroe (last season): 10-2 overall, 6-1 Wesco 4A; lost in 4A state quarterfinals
Eastlake (last season): 6-3 overall, 5-3 KingCo 4A
Outlook: After reaching the state quarterfinals last year for the first time in program history, Monroe faces the challenge of replacing 10 graduated all-conference players from last season’s historic team. Returning is junior standout Efton Chism III, who led the Bearcats in receiving last year with 937 yards and 12 touchdowns. Eastlake should provide a good season-opening test for the new-look Bearcats, who have a pivotal conference opener against rival Lake Stevens in two weeks. Eastlake beat 4A state-qualifier Bothell last year, holding four-star quarterback Jacob Sirmon and the Cougars to a season-low 13 points. The Wolves’ three losses last year came to state runner-up Woodinville, state-quarterfinalist Skyline and Mount Si, which fell to Monroe in a thrilling Week 10 playoff contest.
Herald pick: Eastlake