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SPSL 3A football: In league of good QBs, Lakes still elite team

Post by Todd Milles / The News Tribune on Aug. 24, 2012 at 9:07 am with No Comments »
August 26, 2012 8:45 am

Editor’s note: This is the seventh of eight installments of 2012 high school football previews. Today we look at the SPSL 3A:

Feature link of Lakes High’s Dre Milton and Kevin Thompson.

ON THE THRONE: Since returning in 2008, four-time champion Lakes has won all 26 games in annual pursuit of league crown.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: First, Reggie Williams … then Jermaine Kearse … and now Sammie Long. University of Washington commit is ready to break out at receiver.

CHANGE IS GOOD: Peninsula has scrapped its punishing ground attack in favor of the multi-spread offense – at least for the next few seasons.

BY THE NUMBERS: Bonney Lake’s Chris Brown, Auburn Mountainview’s Domenic Rockey and Lakes’ Rhys Gervais all return as 2,000-yard passers.

PROJECTED FINISH: Lakes (11-1 record in 2011), Bonney Lake (6-3), Peninsula (8-2), Auburn Mountainview (6-4), Decatur (4-5), Enumclaw (1-8).

MARK THE DATE: Oct. 19, Bonney Lake at Lakes, Harry E. Lang Stadium, 7 p.m.

Lakes has built such an expectation level in the SPSL 3A, and statewide, even fans know success equates to contending for a state title - or "nothing."

** Team capsules (listed in alphabetical order)

AUBURN MOUNTAINVIEW LIONS
Coach: Jared Gervais, second year
2011 record: 6-4, 3rd in league; lost in 3A districts
Offense: Coordinator (set) - Jared Gervais (spread). Returning starters - 6. Top players - OL Nicholas Aumua, 6-3, 245, Sr.; WR Devin Bryant, 5-9, 175, Sr.; WR Joey Cassano, 5-8, 180, Jr.; RB Ray Hardaway, 5-11, 190, Jr.; QB Domenic Rockey, 6-2, 185, Sr.; OL Dakota Weir, 6-2, 260, Jr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) - Kevin Nishimoto (3-3 flex). Returning starters - 5. Top players - LB Nicholas Aumua, 6-3, 245, Sr.; DB Brandon Bodine, 5-11, 180, Sr.; DB Ray Hardaway, 5-11, 190, Jr.; LB Tyler Hartson, 6-2, 195, Sr.; LB Maino Mose, 6-0, 205, Sr.; DB Elliot Pelfrey, 5-10, 175, Sr.
Outlook: For the first time, this group of seniors has had a coach for more than one year in Gervais, who expects the offense to take a leap forward in 2012. Rockey improved his arm strength and is quicker overall. And Bryant, a rising college recruit, vowed to fix dropped-pass issues at key moments. Both improved products are in line for big seasons.

BONNEY LAKE PANTHERS
Coach: Jason Silbaugh, first year
2011 record: 6-3, 4th in league.
Offense: Coordinator (set) - Jason Silbaugh (spread). Returning starters - 6. Top players - QB Chris Brown, 6-0, 180, Sr.; WR Robert Combs, 6-0, 185, Jr.; OL Cameron Donor, 6-3, 275, Jr.; RB E.J. Harris, 6-0, 215, Sr.; WR Kaleb Zahnow, 6-1, 190, Sr.; WR Zach Zaragoza, 6-0, 215, Sr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) - Matt Ledbetter (3-4/4-3 multiple). Returning starters - 4. Top players - LB Cormac Carroll, 6-1, 215, Sr.; DL Brandon Kilstrom, 6-1, 225, Jr.; DB Ethan McElderry, 5-9, 175, So.; DL Marcos Rodriguez, 5-10, 195, Sr.; DB Zach Zaragoza, 6-0, 215, Sr.
Outlook: With an eye on the next decade – and not just 2012 – Silbaugh will put the shackles on what has been a pass-happy offense. With an all-underclassman offensive line, and Harris and McElderry in the backfield, the Panthers will run the ball. The change should benefit Brown – the area’s passing leader (2,912 yards, 34 TDs) – in play-action stuff.

DECATUR GATORS
Coach: Leon Hatch, sixth year
2011 record: 4-5, 5th in league.
Offense: Coordinator (set) - Leon Hatch (spread). Returning starters - 4. Top players - TE Jared Cooper, 6-1, 215, Jr.; RB Isaiah Diggs, 5-6, 160, So.; OL Kyle Gleed, 6-2, 270, Sr.; QB Isaiah Hatch, 5-9, 170, So.; WR Spencer Smith, 6-1, 190, Sr.; WR Kevin Young, 5-11, 170, Sr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) - Aaron Aegerter (4-4). Returning starters - 4. Top players - DB Isaiah Diggs, 5-6, 160, So.; LB Josiah Eki Goulding, 6-1, 220, Jr.; DL Kyle Gleed, 6-2, 270, Sr.; LB Noel Maafala, 6-1, 215, Sr.; DB Kyle Young, 5-11, 170, Sr.
Outlook: Early last season, the Gators were high on a four-game winning streak. But they surrendered 187 points over their final four games, and lost them all. Will they take the next step? Hatch points to a newfound “team first” attitude shared by his blue-collar players. They will miss the leadership of tailback Nick Karis (knee), but Diggs is ready to shine.

ENUMCLAW HORNETS
Coach: Mark Gunderson, first year
2011 record: 1-9, 6th in league.
Offense: Coordinator (set) - Von Moroz (power I). Returning starters - 6. Top players - RB Bryson Grant, 6-2, 185, Sr.; WR Zack Mason, 6-0, 185, Sr.; QB Peter Nordby, 6-1, 165, Jr.; WR Perry Rockwood, 5-11, 165, Sr.; OL Chandler Streuli, 6-3, 290, Jr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) - Mark Gunderson (5-2). Returning starters - 6. Top players - LB Bryson Grant, 6-2, 185, Sr.; DL Richard Heer, 6-2, 245, Jr.; LB Tyler Osborn, 5-10, 160, Sr.; LB Mauricio Portillo, 5-11, 210, Jr.; DL Chandler Streuli, 6-3, 290, Jr.; DL RJ VanHoof, 5-10, 250, Jr.
Outlook: He used to be a ball boy for his father, Gordy, in some of those glory years in the 1980s. Now, Gunderson takes over at his alma mater – and has not shied away from talk of the playoffs even in his first season. Two big influences are former coach Frosty Westering at PLU (team-building) and Jim Sutrick, now at Foster (game management).

LAKES LANCERS
Coach: Dave Miller, 13th year
2011 record: 11-1, 1st in league; lost in 3A quarterfinals.
Offense: Coordinator (set) - Dave Miller (spread). Returning starters - 2. Top players - OL Ryan Ethington, 6-2, 245, Sr.; QB Rhys Gervais, 6-3, 190, Sr.; WR Sammie Long, 6-4, 195, Sr.; RB Dominic Milton, 5-10, 220, Sr.; WR Marquin Russell, 6-0, 185, Sr.; RB Kevin Thompson, 5-8, 190, Sr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) - Mickey Ahrens (3-4). Returning starters - 2. Top players - DL Gerald Goldwire, 6-2, 250, Sr.; DB Sammie Long, 6-4, 195, Sr.; LB Dominic Milton, 5-10, 220, Sr.; DL Benning Potoa’e, 6-4, 235, So.; DB Marquin Russell, 6-0, 185, Sr.; LB Kevin Thompson, 5-8, 190, Sr.
Outlook: This could be a rewind back to 2010: Lots of key seniors graduated. Statewide expectations are down. And slowly the edge of being that rare underdog is forming in Lakewood. Reasons for optimism? The passing game with Gervais, Long and Russell should be dynamic, and the defense should blitz more, creating more big plays.

PENINSULA SEAHAWKS
Coach: Ross Filkins, 18th year
2011 record: 8-2, 2nd in league; lost in 3A districts.
Offense: Coordinator (set) - Steve Levenseller (spread). Returning starters - 7. Top players - QB Austin Filkins, 6-3, 200, Sr.; OL Robert Gallucci, 6-3, 235, Sr.; OL Daniel Portillo, 6-0, 220, Sr.; WR Max Reyes, 5-9, 175, Sr.; OL/TE Kyle Self, 6-4, 210, Sr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) - Joel Epstein (3-4/4-3 multiple). Returning starters - 7. Top players - DB Blake Dukowicz, 6-2, 180, Sr.; DL Robert Gallucci, 6-3, 235, Sr.; DL Zack Howard, 6-4, 235, Jr.; DL Daniel Portillo, 6-0, 220, Sr.; LB Jimmy Price, 6-1, 225, Sr.; LB Kyle Self, 6-4, 210, Sr.
Outlook: So what follows a season in which multiple rushing records were set? The Seahawks overhauled their offensive system to more of a multiple shotgun spread attack – with an eye on the type of athletes coming up in the program. Levenseller spent weeks in the offseason at Washington State and Idaho (where brother, Mike, is) studying those wide-open concepts.

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