Wolves plan to throw the ball

Coming off a 2-5 Cascade League record in 2006 and a 4-6 overall mark, Coupeville head football coach Ron Bagby said the Wolves have a number of skilled players returning to the lineup and he expects the team to have an impact in 2007.

Last season the Wolves advanced to the opening round of the class 1A playoffs, losing 12-7 to Friday Harbor.

Two key starting players returning to the roster for 2007 are senior quarterback James Smith who passed for 953 yards last season and was named a second-team Cascade League All-Star, and second-team defensive all-star Clay Hughes.

“James will be our quarterback again and it’s nice having a starter coming back that’s running the show,” Bagby said. “He knows what I expect and he’s good at the position.”

Hughes was the Wolves’ leading rusher last year with 822 yards.

“We also have all of our receivers coming back, Gary Manker, Kyle Wilcox and Steven McDonald,” Bagby said.

Manker, Wilcox and McDonald are also seniors.

“We’ve moved senior Alex Evans to tight end and he looks real good there,” Bagby said.

“I’m real pleased with what we’ve got at our skilled positions. We’ve got some line positions where some of the younger kids are going to have to step up and play.”

Other returning seniors are Ben Lawrence, Jared Murdy and Danny Brown.

“Ben will probably be our fullback this season and Danny is

another wide receiver who played a lot last year,” Bagby said.

Returning juniors Dillon Hall, Nate Saunders and Zach Pelant will also be playing key roles.

“We’ve moved Nate to the line and he and Zach will both be playing a lot on the offensive and defensive lines along with Murdy,” Bagby said.

Coupeville also has some talented new players on the varsity roster including senior Garrett Benedict and junior Curtis Habeck, who were both on the junior varsity last year.

“Garrett will probably be our starting center and Curtis will be starting at left tackle,” Bagby said.

The Wolves are somewhat thin at varsity-level players, but Bagby said the kids on the team are all good ones.

“What we need is to have some of our younger players who maybe haven’t played very much before to step up and give our starters a break,” Bagby said.

Offensively, Bagby said the Wolves plan to throw the ball more this season.

“Not because we have to but because we can. Last year we were primarily a running team and our opponents knew they had to stop the run. This year, we plan to mix it up more,” he said.

Bagby said Archbishop Murphy and Cedarcrest will once again be the teams to beat in the Cascade League.

Coupeville began the season impressively, pounding La Conner 49-14 in a non-league game Friday, Aug. 31.

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