It’s out with the old and in with the new for the King’s football team.
The changes afoot at King’s are something that head coach Jim Shapiro and his players are looking forward to.
Workhorse running back Spencer Clark, the Knights’ offensive mainstay the last three years, is now the man at Pomona College in southern California.
That means doors have opened for others and a new offense scheme.
“You obviously miss a kid like Spencer,” Shapiro said. “In the same light, it gives other kids opportunities.”
The new offense is a split-back system introduced by offensive coordinator Todd Green, who returns to King’s after a stint at Issaquah. The Knights are expected to mix more passing into their offense and run more sweeps.
“Everybody loves it. It’s easy to understand,” senior quarterback Kevin Tranter said. “It really gets the job done.”
A committee of running backs that Shapiro describes as skilled but untested will operate within the new offense. Junior Josh Fuller (5-foot, 10 inches, 165 pounds), who swept the sprints at the Class 1A state track meet last spring leads the way along with senior Garrett Totten (5-11, 175), senior Terrell Calloway (5-10, 195) and freshman Zack Berg (6-1, 190).
Blocking for the backs is an experienced offensive line that includes senior guards Victor Swanson (6-2, 225) and Baron Quan (5-9, 220), sophomore tackle Matt Chaney (6-0, 240), senior tackle Karl Frisk (6-1, 260) and senior center Lyon (6-0, 205).
Tranter is a first-year starter at quarterback, but he’s had success at the junior varsity level and says he’s ready to go.
Senior Alex Lehman (5-9, 165) and junior John Burley (6-2, 165) will be Tranter’s main targets at receiver slots. Sophomore Sean Brugger (6-0, 170) and freshman Joseph Jaeger (5-7, 150) will also play receiver. Sophomores Paul Lutgen (6-0, 195) and Jacob Wyrick (6-2, 230) will handle tight end duties. Erich Fuhlendorf, who started at tight end last year, was rehabilitating an injured knee and decided he would focus on basketball.
“We’re definitely going to run the ball, but we want to be more balanced,” Green said. “We’re going to take what people give us.”
Shapiro has served as offensive coordinator in the past but he decided to turn the reins over to Green this season so he would have more time to communicate with players and parents in his head coaching role. Green, who is an administrator and teacher at Eastside Christian School, has known Shapiro since they played together at Pacific Lutheran in the early 1990s.
On defense the Knights sport, a 3-4 look with Quan at noseguard and Frisk and Chaney on the ends.
Swanson and Lutgen will play outside linebacker while senior Elliott Bowman (5-10, 175) and Lyon plug the middle.
“The whole linebacker crew is lights out,” Lyon said.
The secondary consists of Fuller and Lehman at cornerback, Brugger at free safety and Calloway at strong safety.
The Knights said they added to their conditioning and weight training regimen in the offseason and they believe that will pay off.
“The practices this year have been the hardest we’ve been put through,” Lyon said.
The Knights will play their home opener Sept. 14 against Sultan at 5 p.m. at Shoreline Stadium. King’s home field, Woolsey Stadium, is having FieldTurf installed which is expected to be completed by Oct. 5 when it hosts Cedarcrest.