Fall preview: Coupeville High School football

A new era starts for Coupeville football this fall as Jay Silver takes over the program headed by Ron Bagby the past 26 seasons.

As Silver begins his first year, his goal for the Wolves is to constantly compete.

He said, “The big thing we have been talking to the kids about is competing.  Competing at all times to be the best that they can in all aspects of their lives.  We are driving home the fact that we want them to compete in the classroom, at work and, of course, at football practice.  As you know competition makes your team better, but we want them to be better young men all together, not just on the football field.”

The competition on the football field gets real when Coupeville opens the 2010 season at home Friday against Port Townsend at 6 p.m. in a nonconference game.  The Redskins finished last year 7-4 and were knocked out of the playoffs by Meridian 25-0. The same Meridian team ended the Wolves’ season by stopping Coupeville 32-7 in the subdistrict play-in game. The Wolves finished the year 4-6; one of the wins came over Port Townsend 22-16 in last season’s opener.

Ten returning players will form the core of this year’s squad: Ian Smith, Mitch Pelroy, Jesse Tucker, Dalton Engle, Reese Jameson, Cody Grassman, Dylan Warren, Erik Langvold, Chris Bitting and Brandt Bodamer. Wide receiver Mike Churchill also returns after missing last year with an illness.

Smith, who was second-team all-Cascade Conference as a wide receiver and defensive back last fall, will move to quarterback. Engle returns at running back and Pelroy at wide receiver.

Silver sees Smith, the “good skill positions around him,” and the offensive line as strengths. He said the linebackers and backs are strength of the defense.

Silver said lack of depth at all positions could be a problem, and the youth of the defensive line and the unity of the offensive line are concerns.

The entire group of offensive linemen are still in the mix to get playing time, according to Silver, with center Daniel Saunders, guards Bitting and Warren, and tackles Marcus Freeman and Grassman leading the way.

Bodamer, Zac Forland and Jameson at battling for the Z receiver spot.

Some of the young athletes who might see some playing time, Silver said, are Kole Kellison (WR/LB), Luke Pelant (WR/LB), Riley Boyd (WR/S), Jake Tumblin (QB/S), Josiah Cambell (WR/S) and Danny Savalza (RB/S).

Silver sees traditional powers Kings and Archbishop Thomas Murphy as the teams to beat in conference play this year. He added that Cedarcrest will be tough and Lakewood “could be that sleeper team that surprises a lot of teams.”

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