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Klahowya Secondary School football team enters 2010 with revamped offense
Don’t ask Lyle Prouse about winless seasons.
He remembers well enough his first campaign as the head football coach at Klahowya Secondary School in 2009.
“You’re spending countless hours racking your brain, trying to come up with new ideas,” Prouse said, reflecting on an inaugural season that saw his team go 0-10 and allow an average of nearly 50 points per game. “How can we change this? What can we do to be better?”
The second-year coach may have found an answer.
Klahowya will feature an entirely new look on offense this season, shifting to a spread attack. Prouse began experimenting with the spread late last season as the team struggled to score points and remain competitive.
“The more I looked at it, the more I felt like it really fit our personnel,” he said, adding the team has more athleticism than it did a year ago. “The players really just took to it.”
The spread attack gives the quarterback more opportunities to run and uses the entire width of the field, unlike the Wing-T that was a staple of Klahowya football until former coach Brad Hamblet resigned after the 2008 season.
Coming on the heels of the worst season in school history, it should be a welcome change.
The Eagles were outscored 161-0 over a three-game span midway through the year, going 12 quarters without a point. They were outscored by 407 points total, allowing 48.1 per game while scoring 7.4.
Although Prouse may never forget his first season at the helm, he insists he’s ready to move forward.
“We’ve put that behind us and we’re focused on this season,” he said. “I don’t want them even thinking about last season.”
When the 2009 season ended, there were about 25 players remaining on a roster that was thin from the beginning.
But this season about 40 players turned out and the school will have a junior varsity squad, due in part because Prouse recruited players over the offseason during two extended stints as a substitute teacher at Klahowya.
Being in the building allowed Prouse to get face time with would-be athletes, a chance to talk them into competing.
“I think in some cases kids just want to be asked,” Prouse said.
Prouse believes he has two capable quarterbacks in Kevin Schiffman and Jacob Sheets, though he had yet to name an official starting quarterback as of Monday.
Schiffman is fast and a good runner, a senior who last season played wide receiver and defensive back. Sheets is a sophomore who took most of the snaps last season, but struggled at times and was injured late in the year.
The duo should compete for snaps not only through the preseason, but during the regular season as well.
“It doesn’t hurt to have two good kids there,” Prouse said. “Whoever is going to start, the other guy is going to be right behind him. They’ll be pushing each other.”
In addition to the two quarterbacks, the backfield will feature returning running backs Nehemiah Salo, Jeremy Beierle and Sam Harris, as well as newcomer Latrell Simpson.
But there won’t be many position battles beyond quarterback, Prouse said, because so many of the players who turned out for the team are freshmen and sophomores.
“They aren’t ready to play,” Prouse said. “You can’t throw 14- and 15-year-old kids in there and expect them to compete with seniors.”
Sept. 3 *at Steilacoom 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 *at Chimacum 7 p.m.
Sept. 17 at Sequim 7 p.m.
Sept. 24 North Kitsap 7 p.m.
Oct. 1 Kingston 7 p.m.
Oct. 8 at Bremerton 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 **North Mason 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 at Port Angeles 7 p.m.
Oct. 29 Olympic 5 p.m.
All home games played at Silverdale Stadium