Last season: 7-3, 4-2 in conference play (lost in Week 10 playoffs)
Coach: Greg Dailer (12th season)
Key players: Chase Petersen, sr., WR; Will Shoemaker, sr., OL; Kaleb Barnett, sr., OL; Josh Harbeck, sr., OL; Addison Edwards, sr., OL; Quinten Yon-Wagner, soph., LB; MIchael Tsoukalas, jr., LB; Jordan Coffelt, sr., DL; Wille Shoemaker, sr., DL; Luke Green, sr., DL/LB
Outlook: Coming of a season highlighted by a number of wild, down-to-the-wire finishes and a Week 10 playoff berth, the Eagles enter 2019 with an experienced offensive line but have plenty of skill-position players with something to prove after graduating a slew of talented playmakers, including two-time first-team All-Wesco 3A North quarterback Anthony Whtits. To get back to a Week 10 playoff game, Arlington likely needs to see a marked improvement from its defense — which ranked in the bottom half of the league allowing 27.6 points per game. The Eagles were young on defense last year and expect to be strong this season after many players gained valuable experience in 2018. Sophomore linebacker Yon-Wagner, a second-team all-league selection, already holds a scholarship offer from the University of Tennessee.
Last season: 4-6, 3-3 in conference play (lost in week 10 playoffs)
Coach: Jamie Plenkovich (16th season)
Key players: Geirean Hatchet, sr., OL/DL; Malachi Ledbetter, sr., OL/DL; Jacob Broselle, sr., RB/DB
Outlook: After an undefeated run through conference play and a Class 3A state quarterfinal appearance in 2017, the Golden Eagles took a step back in 2018 but still managed to salvage a Week 10 playoff berth with three straight wins to close the regular season. Ferndale looks to rebound in 2019 with standout University of Washington-bound lineman Hatchet set to anchor its offensive line. The Golden Eagles will be tested right out of the gates when they travel to Lake Stevens to take on the Class 4A runner-up Vikings. It doesn’t get much easier in Week 2 when 2A runner-up Lynden comes to town.
Last season: 5-5, 2-4 in conference play
Coach: Davis Lura (ninth season)
Key players: Josiah Koellmer, jr., QB; Landyn Olson, jr., WR/DB; Cheron Smith, jr., RB/LB; Garret Devereaux, sr., WR/DB; Reid Kugler, jr., OL/DL; Max White, sr., LB/TE
Outlook: The Chargers are entering their ninth season as a program and are still in search of their first winning record. Marysville Getchell earned its third .500 season in program history by stringing together three straight wins to close out the 2018 season. It was a solid step forward after combining to win just three games over the prior two seasons. The Chargers have many key seniors to replace, but the team is “reloading” rather than “rebuilding” according to Lura.
“We won our last three games and we were really starting to click,” Lura said. “A lot of those guys who are juniors right now got a lot of time. So we just need to move forward and continue to off of what we built at the end of last season.”
Home matchups Week 3 with Ferndale and Week 4 with defending league champion Squalicum give Marysville Getchell a chance to make some noise early, and a win over rival Marysville Pilchuck in Week 6 for the Chargers’ first-ever Berry Bowl victory would be a monumental moment for the program.
Last season: 7-3, 3-3 in conference play
Coach: Brandon Carson (13th season)
Key players: Jordan Justice, sr., RB/DB; Dillon Kuk, sr., WR/DB; Justin Albee, sr., OL; Lukas Ramos, sr., OL/DL; Zion Bethelo, sr., LB
Outlook: In 2018, the Tomahawks posted their first winning season since an 11-win 2014 campaign but came away empty handed when it came to claiming a playoff berth. Marysville Pilchuck was arguably the most talented local team to fall short of the postseason but suffered from inconsistent play. The Tomahawks had blowout wins over Wesco 3A South champion Snohomish and state-qualifier Lake Washington, and handed Wesco 3A North champion Squalicum its only league loss. Blowout losses against Oak Harbor and Ferndale seemingly came out of nowhere and a crushing 17-10 loss to Arlington in Week 8 eliminated the Tomahawks from the playoffs. Marysville Pilchuck has big shoes to fill at running back after graduating the tandem of Trenton Hurst and Bryan Sanders, but many key pieces return from a team that just missed out on the postseason.
Last season: 7-4, 4-2 in conference play (lost in Week 10 playoffs)
Coach: Marcus Hughes (first season)
Key players: Caden Leckelt, jr., RB/LB; Jake Mitten, jr., RB/LB; Nate Nunez, sr., OL/DL; Matt Kelly, jr., WR; Calvin Whelpley, sr., WR/OLB; Brendan Anderson, jr., RB/DB; Justin Campbell, sr., OL/DL; Landon Cantrell, jr., WR/DB; Camer Asinsin, jr., QB
Outlook: The Wildcats’ program has been a model of consistency. Oak Harbor hasn’t posted a losing season since 2009 and has been a regular in the conference title race over that span. Once constant over that time is gone, though, after Jay Turner stepped down from his head coaching duties after 11 years at the helm. Marcus Hughes takes over for Turner, and Oak Harbor will have a new look as it switches from the Wing-T offense it’s so well-known for to spread offense. The Wildcats will surely miss playmakers like Dorian Hardin and Aaron Martinez, who were standouts on both sides of the ball, but the return of junior running back Leckelt — who ran for over 1,000 yards as a sophomore — gives the squad a legit workhorse back carry the load on offense. With the change in scheme and history of success this program has had, the Wildcats will certainly be an intriguing team to watch in 2019.
Last season: 2-8, 0-6 in conference play
Coach: Eric Keizer (fifth season)
Key players: Bryan Henderson, jr., OL/DL; Caden Carrigan, jr., RB/LB; Isaac Ortega, jr., WR/DB; Jake Evans, sr., OL/DL; Tre Frankhauser, sr., OL/DL
Outlook: The Spartans are coming off their worst finish since a 1-8 campaign in 2014 and are tasked with replacing starting quarterback Paul Holm and playmaking running back Lukas Sepulveda. Stanwood looks to be tough and experienced in the trenches, but whoever emerges to be a playmaker with the ball in their hands may be the biggest factor in taking a step forward in 2019. A Week 1 matchup with Jackson should be solid test of where the Spartans are heading this year, and getting the Stilly Cup back from Arlington for the first time in 10 seasons during Week 3 could be a tone-setter early in the Spartans’ conference slate.
Last season: 8-3, 5-1 in conference play (lost in first round of state playoffs)
Coach: Nick Lucey (sixth season)
Key players: Colin McEachran, sr., RB/LB; Brandon Gimse, sr., OL/DL; Devante Powell, sr., WR/DB
Outlook: The defending conference champion Storm come into the 2019 season in search of their third league title in four seasons since joining Wesco for football only in 2016. Squalicum graduated a number of key players from last season’s team, including second-team all-league quarterback Spencer Lloyd. The Storm due return some key players from last year’s state-playoff team, though, and it’s hard to imagine a program that’s posted five straight winning seasons won’t be in contention for league supremacy once again. Matchups Week 2 at Arlington and Week 3 versus Marysville Pilchuck give the Storm a chance to make a statement that they’re the team to beat in Wesco 3A North, and a Week 5 battle with Meadowdale is very intriguing non-conference matchup at the season’s midpoint.