Sports

Oak Harbor football | Fall prep preview

Joshiah Miller, right, takes off for a touchdown on a punt return last year at Shorewood. Miller is one of many talented seniors on this year
Joshiah Miller, right, takes off for a touchdown on a punt return last year at Shorewood. Miller is one of many talented seniors on this year's OHHS team.
— image credit: John Fisken

2011 could be Miller Time for the Oak Harbor High School football team.

Coach Jay Turner cites a strong senior class as one of his team’s strengths, and senior back Josiah Miller is at the head of the class.

Miller earned first-team, all-league honors last year as a running back, defensive back and kick returner.

The talented class also includes three players who earned second-team, all-league honors in 2010: linemen/linebackers Tucker Lundstrom and Cody Hernkind and running back/defensive lineman Brent Ryan.

Senior wide receiver/defense back Mike Washington was a second team choice in 2009 but was slowed by injuries last fall. Though his played primarily offense the past two years, he has been named to one preseason all-state list as a first-team defensive back.

Turner named seniors wide receiver/defensive back Peter Franssen and lineman/linebacker Nick Ferrell as two other key returnees.

Among the juniors, all-league second-team lineman Jerry Foster also returns along with quarterback Ian Kolste and running back/defensive back Isaiah Trower.

Key newcomers, according to Turner, are junior tight end/defensive lineman Austyn Walker, sophomore back Sheyenne Sams and sophomore quarterback/linebacker Troy Strudevant.

In 2010, Miller led the Wildcats in rushing attempts (97), rushing yards (787, an 8.1 average per carry), rushing touchdowns (11), total touchdowns (16), scoring (96), receptions (22), receiving yardage (246), punt returns (15), punt return yardage (357), kickoff returns (14), kickoff return yardage (229), interceptions (6) and forced fumbles (2). He also returned five punts for touchdowns.

Trower averaged 9.9 yards per carry on 13 rushes last year.

Washington tied Miller for the receptions lead with 22 for 239 yards and four touchdowns. Franssen caught 11 passes for 130 yards.

Kolste took over the QB duties midway through 2010 but an injury cut short his season. He completed 14 of 38 passes for 132 yards.

Defensively, Ryan had four sacks and a blocked punt last season; Hernkind recovered two fumbles.

In addition to a strong senior class, Turner said team speed, experience and depth (over 90 players turned out) as strengths of this year’s team.

Lack of size, particularly on the offensive line, is the biggest concern, Turner said.

Turners sees Meadowdale and Glacier Peak as the top competition in the Wesco 3A race.

The Mavericks, who finished second last fall, return their entire defense and most of their offense. GP, the defending championships, took some hits from graduation but will reload from talented JV and freshman squads, according to Turner.

Turner said, “Our No. 1 goal and the No. 1 expectation is that we are back in the playoffs.”

Oak Harbor finished 2010 3-4 in Wesco and 6-4 overall, missing the playoffs by one game.

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