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Wolf Pack football team led by 15 seniors
In the blink of an eye, coach Ron Bagby’s Coupeville High School football team went from being a young and inexperienced group to a veteran team.
Last year, the Wolf roster had just four seniors, a new quarterback and most of the skill-position players had been lost to graduation.
This year, Bagby has eight players returning to the offensive team and seven on defense, with 15 seniors on the roster.
“We have 40 to 45 players out for the team like we normally have every year, but the positive thing for us is we have all of our skill-position players returning,” he said.
Among the returning seniors are quarterback Jason Bagby, who begins his second season as the Wolf Pack signal caller, and senior running back Justin Adams, who led the team in rushing last season.
Up front are seniors Davion Watkins, who was an honorable mention all-league defensive lineman last year, along with seniors Chad Brookhouse and Brandon Noteboom.
Senior Tim Walstad returns at center, as do senior linemen Zach Piercy amd Erik Wheat.
Senior lineman/defensive end David Donley, who coach Bagby said is a hard worker and looked real good at the summer camp, is another returnee, as is senior lineman/linebacker Greg Wendell.
“Greg is small, but he is one of those players who are as tough as nails,” coach Bagby said.
Senior running back Chase Griffin is another small, tough player who saw a lot of action last year, and is the starting catcher on the Coupeville baseball team.
Underclassmen who should have an impact this year include junior Mike Churchill, who Bagby said worked during the off season and got big and strong, and junior Ian Smith, who was voted a first-team all-league defensive back last year.
“The leadership with our 15 seniors has been great and as a team, we have a lot more confidence this year,” Bagby said.
As always, the Cascade Conference will have several strong teams that Coupeville will have to contend with.
“Archbishop Murphy will once again be one of the top teams and Cedarcrest should be good as well,” Bagby said.
King’s High School should be one of the more improved teams in 2009.
“Last year they were young just like us and when we play them it will be a key game,” Bagby said.
A victory over King’s guarantees the Wolves the number-one seed from the Class 2A/1A Cascade Conference into the post-season playoffs.
Lakewood and Sultan both have their starting quarterbacks returning and Bagby said he expects to see the ball put in the air a lot this season.
“This is going to be the year of the quarterback in the Cascade Conference,” he said.
Coupeville opens the season Friday, Sept. 4, hosting Port Townsend in a 6:30 p.m. non-league game at Mickey Clark Field.