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Eagles hope summer sweat pays dividends on fall football fields
The roller-coaster ride of prep sports means plenty of ups and downs, success and failure.
In 2000, Klahowyas football team was soaring high and played in the state 2A tournament. A year later the pendulum swung back as the Eagles posted a disappointing 1-8 record as their young defense gave up a league-high 301 points.
This season a veteran squad has high hopes for gridiron success after spending their summer in the weight room and impromptu practices on the field in preparation for Fridays game at Foster and the rest of the season to come.
We were a junior team last year, coach Brad Hamblet said. This year were senior dominated and theres a good junior class that will push to be on the field. We expect to have another good year.
We know what it takes to win and lose, said senior quarterback Jared Ottmar, returning to helm the offense for his second year. Weve done all we can to get ready for the season and now its just backing it up.
But the road to the top of the Nisqually League isnt easy. Vashon, Orting, Steilacoom and Eatonville also look to bring strong teams back.
Its going to be a fight for the top two (playoff) berths and I plan on being in that fight, Hamblet said.
Hamblet has changed things around on defense. Hes dropped the 3-4 defense for the front-line stronger 4-4 that should cut down on opposing teams scoring.
The players like this better because it gives them more opportunities to get into the game flow, Hamblet said. It gives more opportunities for linebackers to make more plays so they really like it.
Dont look for many changes in the offense.
Our running game is still our bread and butter, Ottmar said.
Handling keeping the ball on the ground is senior running back Roy Lee who led the league in all-purpose yardage last season.
But Lee will get help from a stronger, wiser Ottmar and a strong receiving corps.
Weve got a good group of receivers and he (Ottmar) has the confidence to throw to any one of them, Lee said.
Despite last years record, interest in the team is at an all-time high with 44 players turning out.
Its our best numbers in my four years here, Hamblet said.