Teams in order of predicted finish as voted on by league coaches
1. Glacier Peak Grizzlies
Last Season: 3-1 in conference play, 9-3 overall
Outlook: Dealing with a new starting quarterback shouldn’t create too many issues for a Glacier Peak team that returns many skill players from a squad that finished 9-3 overall last season and lost to Bellevue in the 3A state quarterfinals. Senior quarterback Kevin Campbell saw a few snaps under center last season backing up Zach Ricter, but having top-flight receivers Jack Bonner and Tanner Southard along with bruising running back Alex Stepanchenko should help ease the transition.
Coach’s comment: “We have many returning defensive starters and offensive skill, great chemistry, and we’re optimistic that, if we stay healthy, we can continue to get better.” Glacier Peak head coach Rory Rosenbach in his 3rd season.
Returning starters: Offense: 4; Defense: 6
Impact Players: Alex Stepanchenko, Sr., RB/DB, 5-11, 200; Tanner Southard, Sr., WR/DB, 6-3, 200; Jack Bonner, Sr., WR/DB, 6-4, 200
Fresh Face: Kevin Campbell, Sr., QB, 5-10, 165
Schedule: Sept. 3 LYNNWOOD; Sept. 10 at Oak Harbor; Sept. 17 at Shorecrest; Sept. 25 LAKE CITY (Coeur d’Alene, Ida.); Oct. 1 MEADOWDALE; Oct. 8 at Mountlake Terrace; Oct. 15 MOUNT VERNON; Oct. 22 SHOREWOOD; Oct. 28 at Everett
2. Meadowdale Mavericks
Last Season: 4-0 in conference play, 11-1 overall
Outlook: Many coaches in the league are picking Meadowdale to finish near the top of the conference for another year, but the Mavericks won’t really know how serious of a contender they are until a number of new players get experience under the Friday night lights. Meadowdale must break-in a new quarterback while also replacing talented running back Naji Moore-Taylor and receivers Connor Hamlett and Sam Werner from a team that lost in the 3A state quarterfinals last season.
Coach’s comment: “I think we’ll have some guys that will step up.” Meadowdale head coach Mark Stewart in his 11th season.
Returning starters: Offense: 3; Defense: 5
Impact Players: Kyle Gage, Sr., RB/DB, 5-11, 190; Kyler Larson, Jr., RB/LB; Sam Thomas,
Sr., HB/DB, 6-0
Fresh Face: Nathan Ball, Sr., QB, 5-10, 180
Schedule: Sept. 3 SHORECREST; Sept. 9 at Lindbergh (Renton); Sept. 17 at Edmonds-Woodway; Sept. 24 MOUNTLAKE TERRACE; Oct. 1 at Glacier Peak; Oct. 8 SHOREWOOD; Oct. 15 EVERETT; Oct. 22 LYNNWOOD; Oct. 28 at Oak Harbor
3. Everett Seagulls
Last Season: 2-2 in conference play, 5-6 overall
Outlook: The Seagulls, who finished third in the Wesco 3A conference last season, captured the final 3A quad-district playoff berth before bowing out to a powerful Lakes High School team in 2009. With two important skill position players returning in sure-handed tight end Luke Frauenholtz and running back Garrick Koehler, Everett must have more players step up if it wants to replicate the success it had in 2009. A new conference alignment with Oak Harbor, Mountlake Terrace and Shorewood makes the goal more difficult to repeat in 2010.
Coach’s comment: “Staying healthy is going to be a big key to us getting where we want to go.” Everett head coach Will Soren in his 6th season.
Returning starters: Offense: 4; Defense: 5
Impact Players: Luke Frauenholtz, Sr., TE/DE, 6-3, 230; Garrick Koehler, Sr., RB/DB, 6-0, 180; Justin Nejbauer, Sr., FB/LB, 5-11, 195
Fresh Face: Ty Sissell, Sr., SE/DB, 6-0, 170
Schedule: Sept. 3 at Shorewood; Sept 10 at Cascade; Sept. 17 LYNNWOOD; Sept. 24 at Oak Harbor; Oct. 1 SHORECREST; Oct. 15 MEADOWDALE; Oct. 22 at Mountlake Terrace; Oct. 28 GLACIER PEAK
4-t. Oak Harbor Wildcats
Last Season: 2-4 in conference play, 3-7 overall (Former member of the 4A Wesco North)
Outlook: Oak Harbor will test its mettle in a new conference against another newcomer, Mountlake Terrace, in the season’s first game. Glacier Peak, one of the conference’s strongest teams, makes the trip to Oak Harbor in the second week. It promises to be a season of discovery for the Wildcats, but the squad could be involved in some surprise upsets as it faces a number of new opponents. Watch for junior receiver/defensive back, and all-around phenomenal athlete, Mike Washington, to play a major part in the Oak Harbor playbook.
Coach’s comment: “It should be a very interesting year as many of the teams in our conference are brand new to us.” Oak Harbor head coach Jay Turner in his 3rd season.
Returning starters: Offense: 3; Defense: 3
Impact Players: Mike Washington, Jr., WR/DB, 6-3, 190; Judd Ford, Sr., OT/LB, 6-0, 200; Josiah Miller, Jr., RB/DB, 5-9, 170
Fresh Face: Aaron Boesch, Sr., WR/DL, 6-4, 205
Schedule: Sept. 3 at Mountlake Terrace; Sept. 10 GLACIER PEAK; Sept. 17 at Shorewood; Sept. 24 EVERETT; Oct. 1 at Lynnwood; Oct. 8 at Mount Vernon; Oct. 15 SHORECREST; Oct. 22 LETHBRIDGE; Oct. 28 MEADOWDALE
4-t. Mountlake Terrace Hawks
Last Season: 4-2 in conference play, 6-4 overall (Former member of the 4A Wesco South)
Outlook: The Hawks make the transition from the 4A Wesco South to the Wesco 3A conference fresh off their first postseason berth in the school’s 50-year history. If Mountlake Terrace can find an adequate starting running back to replace Casey Ellersick, the team might just surprise a few new opponents. Terrace returns experience along the offensive and defensive lines; if the team finds a new ball carrier and stays healthy, playoff football could find its way back to Mountlake Terrace.
Coach’s comment: “We are looking at this season as an opportunity to really legitimize the program in the area football landscape.” Mountlake Terrace head coach Tony Umayam in his 7th season.
Returning starters: Offense: 7; Defense: 4
Impact Players: Owen Fritz, Sr., OL/DL, 6-2, 260; Mitch Haldane, Sr., LB/TE, 6-1, 205; Zack Karels, Sr., DB/RB, 6-2, 205
Fresh Face: Griffin Rash, Sr., LB/RB, 5-8, 185
Schedule: Sept. 3 OAK HARBOR; Sept. 10 at Shorecrest; Sept. 17 BISHOP BLANCHET; Sept. 24 at Meadowdale; Oct. 1 at Sedro-Woolley; Oct. 8 GLACIER PEAK; Oct. 15 at Shorewood; Oct. 22 EVERETT; Oct. 28 at Lynnwood
6. Shorecrest Scots
Last Season: 1-3 in conference play, 3-7 overall
Outlook: Shorecrest will count on its experienced line to help make up for inexperience at other positions this season. The Scots, who have good depth at quarterback, lost two-year starting running back Jordan Brown and have no real proven running back coming into this season. With a lot of first-timers filling out the roster, the Scots success this season depends on a tremendous amount of variables.
Coach’s comment: “(Defense) is where the youth will be most noticeable, as it appears we could have as many as five sophomores on the field.” Shorecrest head coach Brandon Christensen in his 1st season.
Returning starters: Offense: 4; Defense: 3
Impact Players: Mingure Dorjee, Sr., OL/DL, 6-5, 280; Dillon Baker, Sr., WR/DB, 6-4, 180; Dom Danghy, Sr., RB/LB, 6-0, 220
Fresh Face: Conor Wingo, Sr., RB/LB, 5-11, 195
Schedule: Sept. 3 at Meadowdale; Sept. 10 MOUNTLAKE TERRACE; Sept. 17 GLACIER PEAK; Sept. 24 at Shorewood; Oct. 1 at Everett; Oct 8. LYNNWOOD; Oct. 15 at Oak Harbor; Oct. 22 FERNDALE
7. Lynnwood Royals
Last Season: 0-4 in conference play, 2-8 overall
Outlook: New head coach Mike Don brings a new system and renewed excitement to a Lynnwood football program that is in need of revitalization. Time with returning players in spring football and preseason practice has allowed the new coaching staff to implement its schemes in time for the season opener. Don, most recently an assistant at Woodinville High School, listed a season-opening game at Glacier Peak as a great test for the program’s quest to create a new, winning atmosphere.
Coach’s comment: “I expect our team to be really competitive this year. I expect it to be a different Lynnwood team than people have seen.” Lynnwood head coach Mike Don in his 1st season.
Impact Players: Blake Lord, Jr., QB/DB, 6-0, 175; Coleman Bryant, Sr., WR/RB/DB, 5-9, 175; Cody Kelsey, Sr., WR/DB, 5-10, 175
Fresh Face: Andrew Bashem, Soph., OL/DL, 6-3, 270
Schedule: Sept. 3 at Glacier Peak; Sept. 10 SHOREWOOD; Sept. 17 at Everett; Sept. 24 MARYSVILLE-PILCHUCK; Oct. 1 OAK HARBOR; Oct. 8 at Shorecrest; Oct. 15 LAKESIDE; Oct. 22 at Meadowdale; Oct. 28 MOUNTLAKE TERRACE
8. Shorewood Thunderbirds
Last Season: 0-6 in conference play, 0-10 overall (Former member of the 4A Wesco South)
Outlook: The Thunderbirds haven’t won more than three games in a season since the 2004 campaign when Shorewood finished 3-7 overall. Shorewood is 4-36 since 2005, including 0-10 last season in the 4A Wesco South. Gone are running back Alex Hosn and quarterback Dempsey Brown, and first-year head coach Rob Petschl, a former Seattle Bishop Blanchet defensive coordinator, steps in with an experienced coaching staff to try and bring Shorewood out of the prep football doldrums.
Coach’s comment: “We have a very good group of strong senior leadership.” Shorewood head coach Rob Petschl in his 1st season.
Returning starters: Offense: 4; Defense: 3
Impact Players: Spencer Schobert, Sr., OL/LB, 6-1, 200; Taylor Windsor, Sr., OL/DL, 6-2, 245; Cory Sonnega, Sr., TE/LB, 6-2, 215
Fresh Face: Duncan Hendrickson, Jr., WR/DB, 6-3, 195
Schedule: Sept. 3 EVERETT; Sept. 10 at Lynnwood; Sept. 17 OAK HARBOR; Sept. 24 SHORECREST; Oct. 1 LAKESIDE; Oct. 8 at Meadowdale; Oct. 15 MOUNTLAKE TERRACE; Oct. 22 at Glacier Peak; Oct. 29 at Sedro-Woolley