Graham Kapowsin’s Nate Thomas takes over at QB for Dylan Morris
The high school football season kicks off this weekend in Washington. Here are some games to watch this week in the South Sound.
Kennedy Catholic vs. Bethel
7 p.m. Friday, CenturyLink Field, Seattle
About the Lancers: Kennedy Catholic’s vaunted offense will have the big stage on Friday night, playing in the home of the Seattle Seahawks, with the game being broadcast on ESPNU. For junior five-star quarterback Sam Huard, a University of Washington commit, this won’t be the last time he plays in a big stadium, and he’ll look to get the Lancers off to a good start in 2019. Kennedy Catholic averaged 49.7 points per game last season, leading all teams in Class 4A. Everyone knows the Lancers’ offense can score points at will, but the bigger question will be how the revamped defense looks in week one. Kennedy Catholic gets a boost with the addition of defensive end Sav’ell Smalls, a five-star recruit who transferred back to Kennedy — where he spent his freshman season — after two years at Garfield.
About the Braves: Bethel has had plenty of talent in the recent past, but the Braves have yet to put it all together in the Class 3A PCL. But while the headlines will go to Kennedy Catholic’s offense, Bethel is no slouch on the offensive side of the ball, either. The Braves have three Division I-caliber starting receivers in Cameron Parkers, Pula Sokimi and Peter Latu, who recently verbally committed to Oregon. Junior Will Latu, Peter’s younger brother, leads the way at the running back spot, having rushed for 438 yards on 64 carries, scoring nine touchdowns in 2018. After a first-round loss to Peninsula in the Class 3A state tournament a season ago, the Braves will be eager to come out with a win in week one.
TNT pick: Kennedy Catholic, 49-31
Lincoln vs. Camas
7:30 p.m. Friday, Doc Harris Stadium, Camas
About the Abes: Lincoln will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s season opener, in which the Abes topped Camas, 31-29 at Lincoln Bowl. Four-star recruit Julien Simon picked off Camas’ two-point conversion try late in the fourth quarter in last year’s game to seal the win for Lincoln. This year’s Lincoln team is just as loaded, returning Simon, as well as quarterback Caden Filer and Sumner transfer Donovan Clark, who will line up opposite corner Jaylen Clark (no relation) to form what should be one of the state’s best pass defenses.
About the Papermakers: Camas missed the Class 4A state tournament last season, two years removed from winning the 4A state title in 2016. It was the first time in eight seasons the Papermakers missed the state tournament. But while the record wasn’t up to Camas’ usual standards, the Papermakers’ five losses came by a combined 20 points. The Camas offensive line will be a position group of strength, with four or five returning linemen.
TNT pick: Lincoln, 24-20
Sheldon (Oregon) vs. Graham-Kapowsin
7 p.m. Friday, Art Crate Field, Spanaway
About the Eagles: Graham-Kapowsin escaped with a narrow win on the road last year against Sheldon, the eventual OSAA Class 6A state runner-up. The Eagles rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to force overtime, winning a wild, back-and-forth shootout, 51-50, when quarterback Dylan Morris connected with Jonas Waugh for a walk-off two-point conversion. It could be a challenge to put up quite that many points this year, as Graham-Kapowsin will be tasked with replacing Morris, a four-year starter for the Eagles who went on to a spot with the University of Washington. Senior Nate Thomas steps into the QB spot for the Eagles, who also return first-team SPSL 4A receiver Malaki Roberson, and a young, but promising group of linemen, led by sophomore Vega Ioane, who has already secured an offer from UW.
About the Irish: Sheldon, the high school current Oregon Ducks QB Justin Herbert attended, was the Class 6A state runner-up in Oregon last season, losing to Lake Oswego in the final, 34-27. The Irish are led by dual-threat quarterback Griffin Line and transfer tight end Seth Figgins, a three-star prospect and Oregon commit.
TNT pick: Sheldon, 34-31
O’Dea vs. Peninsula
7 p.m. Friday, Roy Anderson Field, Purdy
About the Seahawks: Peninsula faced O’Dea twice last season — once in the season opener in West Seattle and again in the Class 3A state tournament. Both games were losses for the Seahawks, although Peninsula closed the gap between the first and second meeting. Peninsula loses three-year starting quarterback Burke Griffin and running back Braeden Potter, but longtime coach Ross Filkins keeps Peninsula competitive year in and year out.
About the Fighting Irish: O’Dea finished as the state runner-up in Class 3A, ultimately losing to a loaded Eastside Catholic squad in the championship game, 31-13. The Irish’s identity should remain the same under coach Monte Kohler, with O’Dea looking to run the ball and control the line of scrimmage, behind junior guard Owen Prentice.
TNT pick: O’Dea, 35-21
Want to follow along with all the high school football action over the weekend? All scores will be posted here.