SHORELINE — The Shorecrest Scots are tired of mediocrity.
After back-to-back 5-5 seasons, the Scots are “ready to take the next step towards greatness,” coach Brandon Christiansen said.
This year’s squad is the most experienced team Christiansen has had in his nine seasons as the Scots’ head coach, and he said it’s a group that’s ready to compete for a Wesco 3A South title.
“We’re returning eighty-five percent of our starters, and we’re looking to build on (that) experience,” said Christensen, whose team finished its 2018 season with a 34-7 loss to perennial state powerhouse Bellevue in a Week 10 playoff game. “We want to get that one or two seed this year, instead of being a four and having to play at Bellevue.”
While Christiansen has high expectations for this team, the expectations of the team’s leaders are even higher. Senior linebacker James Huffman and senior quarterback Eladio Fountain both expect their team to win big this year.
“We want to win a title this year, and I expect nothing less,” said Fountain, a second team All-Wesco pick last season who is entering his third full season as the Scots’ starting QB.
“I want us to win the state championship this season,” said Huffman, who made first team All-Wesco in 2018. “I feel obligated to step up and be a leader on this team. I feel like the seniors are viewed as the big brother. I know that’s how I feel about last year’s seniors, I still view them as my big brothers, and that’s what I want the rest of the team to view us.”
Huffman also has some personal goals
“I want to make the All-Area team, and record 120 tackles,’ “ He said. “It’s my last ride, and I want to go all out.”
Shorecrest does have some holes to fill, particularly at one of the wide receiver spots, where Antonio Stillwell caught 39 passes for 682 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
“It seems like we’re filling shoes like that once a year,” Christiansen said. “I’m really excited about (senior tight end) Derreck Williams. He worked real hard this summer, and got way faster. He had a good 7-on-7 circuit with us, and I’m really excited about how we’re going to use him on offense this year.”
Another player Christensen is excited about is junior wide receiver/defensive back Desmond Fox.
“He’s a real good route runner, a great deep threat, and we want to use him both ways,” Christiansen said of Fox, who made second team All-Wesco last season as a defensive back.
Offensively, the Scots have the advantage of having an experienced quarterback. Fountain threw for nearly 1,200 yards and 17 touchdowns during the 2018 regular season.
He will be joined at times in the backfield by 6-0, 220-pound senior Markus Selzler, who made All-Wesco first team last season as a defensive lineman and second team as a running back.
Selzler was used sparingly at running back in the first half of last season, but broke out in the second half, including a 278-yard, three-touchdown performance against Meadowdale. For the season, Selzler averaged nearly eight yards per carry.
“(Selzler) is a guy we want to use more on defense this year, but he’s such a high motor guy that we still want to get him involved on offense,” Christensen said. “Maybe that means we’ll have him take a series on and then a series off, but we still want to find a way to give him 15-18 touches per game.”
The Scots, who are looking for their first season over .500 since 2005, open the season Friday when they face off with Marysville-Getchell at Quil Ceda Stadium in Marysville. The kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.