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Fall preview: Oak Harbor High School football
It will be a season of unknowns for the Oak Harbor High School football team when it begins league play this year.
The Wildcats move from the Western Conference North to the Wesco 3A division this fall, and with that change comes new, unfamiliar opponents.
Head coach Jay Turner said, “It’s interesting as we will be playing some teams that we have not played in a long time. There are also three new coaches in the league. There are a lot of unknowns in regard to the other teams as we begin the season. It should be a lot of fun playing some of these teams that we have not played before (or at least not played in a lot of years).”
The other seven schools in the division are Everett, Shorewood, Shorecrest, Meadowdale, Lynnwood, Glacier Peak and Mountlake Terrace.
Turner expects Meadowdale and Glacier Peak to be the teams to beat in the race to the conference crown.
Friday Oak Harbor starts its new journey with a game against Terrace at 8 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium.
Another unknown for Turner is his own team. With its youth and inexperience it’s tough to predict how the season will unfold.
Turner will build his team around 11 lettermen: backs Sam Wolfe, Ian Sinchak, Zack Ayer, Josiah Miller and Brent Ryan; receivers Peter Franssen and Mike Washington; and linemen Judd Ford, Robert Beadles, Aaron Boesch and Tucker Lundstrom.
Wide receiver Washington and linebacker Ford were second-team all-Wesco players last fall.
Key newcomers, according to Turner, include quarterback Matt Burgoyne; backs Denzel Massey, Justin Counts and Ed Denmon; and linemen Cody Hernkind, Jeremy Foster, Kevann Brooks and Dayne Herron.
Turner sees his team’s speed and athleticism as the Wildcats’ strengths, but he is concerned about its youth and lack of size in the line.
Turner said, “I expect that we will play hard every week and we will continue to improve over the course of the season.”
Last year Oak Harbor was 3-7 and placed fifth in the Wesco North.