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Nisqually League football: Cascade Christian a runaway train

Post by Todd Milles / The News Tribune on Aug. 23, 2012 at 5:40 pm with No Comments »
August 26, 2012 8:46 am

Editor’s note: This is the sixth of eight installments of 2012 high school football previews. Today we look at the Nisqually League:

Feature link on Cascade Christian quarterback Jaelin Goldsmith.

ON THE THRONE: Cascade Christian has been to the 1A title game the past four seasons. Easily the league favorite.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: A lot of good tailbacks hail in this league, but the best is Cedar Park Christian’s Daniel Watts, the reigning league offensive MVP (1,574 yards, 11 TDs in 2011).

CHANGE IS GOOD: Former SPSL 2A member Eatonville loves the 1A ranks – winning state championships at this level in 1985, 1990 and 1992.

BY THE NUMBERS: Chimacum doesn’t have much depth, but it does have star power. Defensive end Daryl Settlemire (68 tackles, four sacks) demands a double team.

PROJECTED FINISH: Cascade Christian (10-3 record last year), Eatonville (4-6), Charles Wright (7-2), Cedar Park Christian (8-3), Life Christian (5-4), Bellevue Christian (5-4), Vashon (1-9), Port Townsend (0-9), Chimacum (2-8).

MARK THE DATE: Oct. 20, Cascade Christian at Eatonville, B.W. Lyon Field, 7 p.m.

Cascade Christian is the favorite again, led by a deep secondary that includes Nate Brar, left.

** Team capsules (listed in alphabetical order)

BELLEVUE CHRISTIAN VIKINGS
Coach: Greg Schneider, second year
2011 record: 5-4 as independent.
Offense: Coordinator (set) – Greg Schneider (multiple). Returning starters – 5. Top players – OL Chad Foster, 6-1, 190, Sr.; RB Josh Hazen, 5-10, 165, Jr.; QB Kemper McQauid, 5-11, 160, Jr.; RB Scott Miller, 6-4, 190, Sr.; OL Jake Vandenbrink, 6-9, 280, Sr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) – Greg Schneider (multiple). Returning starters – 5. Top players – LB Chad Foster, 6-1, 190, Sr.; LB Josh Hazen, 5-10, 165, Jr.; DL Scott Miller, 6-4, 190, Sr.; DL Jake Vandenbrink, 6-9, 280, Sr.
Outlook: For the first time in its 60-year history, Bellevue Christian started up football last season – and won games over Northwest Christian, Evergreen of Seattle, Concrete, Chief Leschi and Darrington. All things considered, McQuaid (1,525 passing yards, 16 TDs in 2011) had a good debut, although he lost his top four receivers to graduation.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN COUGARS
Coach: Randy Davis, ninth year
2011 record: 10-3, 1st in league; lost in 1A title game
Offense: Coordinator (set) – Brian Flattum (multiple). Returning starters – 4. Top players – RB Hunter Austin 5-11, 195, Jr.; WR Nate Brar, 6-4, 180, Sr.; QB Jaelin Goldsmith 5-10, 180, So.; OL Chevy Johnson 6-1, 210, Sr.; WR Nathan Roosendaal 6-2, 190, Jr.; OL David Thompson 5-10, 160, Sr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) – Devin Snyder (3-3). Returning starters – 5. Top players – LB Hunter Austin 5-11, 195, Jr.; LB Alex Bostwick 5-9, 170, Sr.; DB Nate Brar 6-4, 180, Sr.; DB Nathan Roosendaal 6-2, 190, Jr.; DL Hunter Scott 5-10, 230, Jr.; DB Collin Tracy 5-9, 160, Sr.
Outlook: If a lull in the Cougars’ string of Tacoma Dome appearances was going to happen, it was supposed to be last season. And it didn’t – Cascade Christian advanced to the 1A title game, losing to Connell. Goldsmith (1,606 yards, 23 TDs in 2011) takes full control of the offense, and the secondary is an experienced group.

CEDAR PARK CHRISTIAN EAGLES
Coach: Todd Parmenter, second year
2011 record: 8-3, 3rd in league; lost in 1A first round.
Offense: Coordinator (set) – Todd Parmenter (double wing). Returning starters – 6. Top players – OL Andy Hislop, 6-4, 260, Sr.; QB Joshua Ionesi, 6-2, 210, Sr.; WR Connor Johnson, 6-1, 180, Jr.; RB Andrew Rickman, 5-8, 150, Jr.; RB Daniel Watts 5-10, 190, Sr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) – Corey Owens (4-4). Returning starters – 6. Top players - DL Andy Hislop, 6-4, 260, Sr.; DL Joshua Ionesi, 6-2, 210, Sr.; DB Connor Johnson, 6-1, 180, Jr.; DB Andrew Rickman, 5-8, 150, Jr.; DB Daniel Watts 5-10, 190, Sr.
Outlook: Last season’s slow start quickly dissipated once the team grasped Parmenter’s coaching system. The Eagles won seven games in a row, including a 22-9 upset over Cascade Christian, during the regular season. The core of the skill-position standouts return – including Watts, the league’s offensive player of the year (1,574 rushing yards, 11 TDs).

CHARLES WRIGHT TARRIERS
Coach: Mike Finch, fifth year
2011 record: 7-2, 2nd in league; lost in 1A districts.
Offense: Coordinator (set) – Mike Finch (spread). Returning starters – 9. Top players – RB Raheem Hughey 5-9, 235, Sr.; QB Fritz Jacobson 6-1, 195, Sr.; OL Robert Luke, 6-4, 335, Jr.; RB Colin Reynolds 5-11, 195, Sr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) – Neil Biermann (4-4). Returning starters – 8. Top players – LB Nick Ho 5-9, 165, Sr.; DL Beau Iverson 6-8, 265, Sr.
Outlook: While the roster is relatively small (44 players), the talent is large – literally. Iverson is garnering Ivy League interest as a defensive end. And joining him is another giant – Luke, a Gig Harbor transfer who will start at center. That should benefit a backfield that has started the past three seasons – Reynolds at tailback, and Hughey at fullback.

CHIMACUM COWBOYS
Coach: Shawn Meacham, fourth year
2011 record: 2-8, 6th in league.
Offense: Coordinator (set) – Shawn Meacham (flex). Returning starters – 7. Top players – OL Seth Ham, 6-3, 230, Sr.; QB Alex Morris, 5-10, 150, Jr.; OL Daryl Settlemire, 6-2, 250, Sr.; RB Mel Thornton, 6-0, 185, Sr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) – Dan Ankert (3-5). Returning starters – 7. Top players – LB Daryl Ajax, 6-1, 180, Sr.; LB Trevor Hare, 6-0, 180, Sr.; DL Daryl Settlemire, 6-2, 250, Sr.
Outlook: The glory years of John Martin and the program in the 1980s and 1990s are long gone. Now, the Cowboys struggle to get students out for football. This season, Chimacum has 19 players – with many of the seniors being four-year starters. Morris has a strong arm, Thornton scored seven touchdowns in his final four games of 2011 – but is it enough?

EATONVILLE CRUISERS
Coach: George Fairhart, 20th year
2011 record: 4-6, 4th in SPSL 2A.
Offense: Coordinator (set) – Jeff Mlandenich (Wing-T). Returning starters – 6. Top players – RB Brandon Atkins 5-10, 200, Sr.; WR Brendan Davis 6-1, 190, Sr.; WR Joe Evans 5-10, 165, Jr.; QB Zach Fairhart 6-0, 200, Sr.; RB Ryley Gray 5-6, 157, Sr.; TE Chase Ketter 6-1, 200, Sr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) – Mike Moeller (4-4). Returning starters – 7. Top players – DL Tyco Brown 6-0, 210, Sr.; DB Brendan Davis 6-1, 190, Sr.; OL Joe Evans 5-10, 165, Jr.; DB Zach Fairhart 6-0, 200, Sr.; DL Lucas Hatton 6-0, 210, Sr.; LB Jonathan Warner 6-0, 180, So.
Outlook: The Cruisers move down from the SPSL 2A, and intend on throwing a monkey wrench in this league’s hierarchy. The 2010 SPSL 2A co-champions easily could have easily won it again last season – five of their six losses were by six points or less. Zach Fairhart is the dual threat (921 passing yards, 409 rushing yards) that makes it go.

LIFE CHRISTIAN EAGLES
Coach: Ross Hjelseth, 19th year
2011 record: 5-4, 5th in league.
Offense: Coordinator (set) – Doug Burton (spread). Returning starters – 3. Top players – OL Kevin Breen 5-10, 200, Jr.; WR Kyle Goodman 6-1, 170, Jr.; RB Lionel Hampton 5-8, 165, Jr.; OL Chase Knoblauch 5-8, 215, Sr.; RB Ben Madlena 5-10, 165, So.; QB Taylor Roelofs 5-11, 170, Jr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) – Morgan Cox (4-3). Returning starters – 3. Top players – DL Kevin Breen 5-10, 200, Jr.; DB Hunter Haley 5-6, 140, Jr.; LB Chase Knoblauch 5-8, 215, Sr.; DL Vlad Rudenko 6-2, 190, Jr.; LB Fesili Wynn 5-7, 180, So.
Outlook: The Eagles are really gearing up for 2013. They will have first-year starters at 20 positions, which means contending for the league crown might be unrealistic. That does not mean Life Christian can’t earn a playoff spot, because this is a group of talented sophomores and juniors – and Knoblauch is a two-way terror as a senior.

PORT TOWNSEND REDSKINS
Coach: Nick Snyder, third year
2011 record: 0-9, 8th in league.
Offense: Coordinator (set) – Rich Hill (double wing hybrid). Returning starters – 10. Top players – TE Skyler Coppenrath, 6-3, 190, Jr.; RB Matt Cain, 5-9, 160, Jr.; QB Jacob King, 6-1, 170, Jr.; RB Tim Russell, 5-10, 180, Jr.; OL Alex Reireson, 6-1, 240, Jr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) – Tom Webster (4-4). Returning starters – 10. Top players – DB Matt Cain, 5-9, 160, Jr.; DL Skyler Coppenrath, 6-3, 190, Jr.; DB Jacob King, 6-1, 170, Jr.; DL Alex Reireson, 6-1, 240, Jr.; LB Tim Russell, 5-10, 180, Jr.;
Outlook: This is Snyder’s second tour of duty – he was his alma mater’s head coach in 2000-02 (15-6 record) before taking an assistant position at Chelan. And the former linebacker intends to restore the Redskins’ reputation as a power-running and defensive-minded squad. King is the team’s best leader – and athlete.

VASHON PIRATES
Coach: Clay Eastly, sixth year
2011 record: 1-9, 7th in league.
Offense: Coordinator (set) – Clay Eastly (pistol). Returning starters – 8. Top players – QB Nick Amundsen 6-0, 155, Jr.; RB Nick Betz 5-9, 185, Sr.; WR Garrett Starr 6-3, 165, Jr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) – Scott Betz (odd front). Returning starters – 9. Top players – DB Evan Anderson 6-0, 150, Jr.; LB Nick Betz 5-9, 185, Sr.; LB Peter Evans 5-10, 190, Sr.; LB Garrett Starr 6-3, 165, Jr.
Outlook: Two years ago, this was a playoff team. Now, the Pirates are building for another run. It likely won’t take place this season, but the bulk of their skill-position talent is underclassmen. That is not to say Betz won’t try his best to accelerate the process as the key senior, and two-way standout at tailback (882 rushing yards) and linebacker (116 tackles).

** Other team capsules (listed by classification size):

FOSTER BULLDOGS
League: 2A/3A Seamount League (2A)
Coach: Jim Sutrick, fourth year
2011 record: 4-6, 5th in league
Offense: Coordinator (set) – Jim Sutrick (I-formation). Returning starters - 4. Top players – QB Cory Anderson, 6-0, 185, Sr.; RB Devin Brown, 5-9, 170, Jr.; OL Chris Merida, 5-9, 200, Sr.; WR Justice Muna, 5-7, 160, Jr.; OL Michael Pham, 5-7, 240, Sr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) – Jay Freeman (5-2). Returning starters - 5. Top players – LB Micah Breland, 6-2, 220, Sr.; DB JaLyn Combs, 5-10, 170, Sr.; DL Pensamini Kaea, 6-2, 230, Sr.; LB Cameron Myers, 6-0, 235, So.; DL Phillip Saau, 5-11, 230, Sr.
Outlook: The Bulldogs backed up their state playoff campaign of 2010 (second one in school history) by winning four games. Sutrick thinks this season’s offense will fare better, and Brown will get first crack at replacing two-year starting tailback Cedric Cooper (1,500 rushing yards total in past two seasons).

ELMA EAGLES
League: 1A Southwest Washington Evergreen Division (1A)
Coach: Jim Hill, 18th year
2011 record: 4-5, 4th in league.
Offense: Coordinator (set) – Jim Hill (spread). Returning starters – 9. Top players – WR Erick Atkins, 6-1, 190, Sr.; OL Austin Black, 5-11, 180, Sr.; RB Brian Magler, 5-8, 170, Sr.; QB Layne Sutten, 6-2, 175, Sr.; RB Todd Swinhart, 5-8, 150, Jr.; OL Joe Wilson, 6-4, 230, So.
Defense: Coordinator (set) – Ron Clark (4-3). Returning starters – 8. Top players – DL Austin Black, 5-11, 180, Sr.; LB Ricky Escalante, 5-8, 190, Jr.; DB Brian Magler, 5-8, 170, Sr.; DB Layne Sutten, 6-2, 175, Sr.; DB Todd Swinhart, 5-8, 150, Jr.; DL Joe Wilson, 6-4, 230, So.
Outlook: The state-playoff dry spell has reached six seasons. That is saying a lot about one of the premier small-school programs in the 1990s which advanced nine consecutive seasons (1997-2005). And maybe the biggest offseason development was Hill bringing back Clark – who resigned at Aberdeen – as an assistant.

TACOMA BAPTIST CRUSADERS
League: 1A/2B Northwest League (2B)
Coach: Mark Smith, 22nd year
2011 record: 9-3, 1st in league; lost in 2B quarterfinals.
Offense: Coordinators (set) – Ace Davis, Mark Smith (spread option). Returning starters – 5. Top players – OL Jon Halstensenm 5-11, 195, Jr.; RB Brandon Hughey, 5-10, 170, Sr.; TE Drew Jordan, 6-0, 180, Sr.; QB Taylor Martindale, 6-2, 200, Sr.; OL Caleb Wolf, 5-10, 180, Sr.
Defense: Coordinators (set) – Kevin Guenzi, Mark Smith (multiple). Returning starters – 5. Top players - LB Jon Halstensenm 5-11, 195, Jr.; LB Brandon Hughey, 5-10, 170, Sr.; DB Drew Jordan, 6-0, 180, Sr.; DB Taylor Martindale, 6-2, 200, Sr.; DL Caleb Wolf, 5-10, 180, Sr.
Outlook: After going to the spread option, the Crusaders have not looked back – and have a real dual threat in Martindale, a three-year starter. And without a blocker like Walker Williams (now at Wisconsin), Tacoma Baptist will be more perimeter-oriented with its attack. Martindale, the team’s leading rusher and passer (2010-11), has the speed to adapt.

CHIEF LESCHI WARRIORS
League: 1A/2B Northwest League (2B)
Coach: Sauni Savini, fifth year
2011 record: 0-8, 8th in league.
Offense: Coordinator (set) - Sauni Savini (west coast). Returning starters – 3. Top players – TE Joseph Ancheta, 6-0, 170, Fr.; OL Jacob Champagne-Grey, 6-0, 250, Fr.; RB Julian Dillon, 5-7, 155, So.; QB Gregorio Merida, 5-9, 160, Sr.; RB Gustavo Taraya, 5-8, 160, Jr.; OL Kyle Wheeler, 6-0, 250, Jr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) – Kirk Willis (5-2). Returning starters – 5. Top players – DB John Cultee, 5-8, 155, Sr.; LB John Galler, 5-9, 165, Sr.; DB Darion Lovejoy, 5-10, 155, So.; DL Larry Swift, 5-9, 250, Jr.; DL Brandon Wheeler, 6-2, 200, So.
Outlook: The annual rite at Chief Leschi, no matter the size of the student, is breaking in new football players. This year’s group is no exception, even though this is a ninth-grade class with good size on both lines. One standout who did come to the school with football experience was Dillon, who rushed for 620 yards last season as a freshman.

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