High School Sports

2014 SPSL South: QB Asbjornsen hopes to lead Graham-Kapowsin back to another title

Graham-Kapowsin High School’s Trevor Asbjornsen is one of those quarterbacks that can brush off pressure while keeping his eyes trained downfield on his target.

But that ability isn’t deadlocked to just the football field.

The Eagles may have lost 22 seniors from last season’s team that went undefeated during the regular season, but they know what they have at quarterback — a 6-foot-4, 210-pound senior with a strong arm, good leadership and unwavering poise.

“He’s so laid back of a kid that not a lot of things bother him,” Graham-Kapowsin coach Eric Kurle said. “In that situation as a quarterback, he just plays. I don’t think a big game or a certain situation affects him.”

With the graduation of South Puget Sound League South Division rushing leader Teague James, The News Tribune 2013 All-Area Player of the Year who is now at Eastern Oregon University, Asbjornsen — the division’s lone returning starting quarterback — will be a crucial component in the Eagles’ offense as a second-year starter.

He will have to adjust to a different cast around him, notably new starting tailback Shannon Edwards and a group of new receivers, but the offense should look much the same as last season.

What has continued to evolve is the freedom in decision-making Kurle is giving his quarterback. Asbjornsen will have more responsibility making sure to check in and out of called plays depending on what he sees the defense doing at the line of scrimmage.

“He’s got to be in control of what we’re doing,” Kurle said.

Asbjornsen quickly showed an ability to adapt to most situation by leading Graham-Kapowsin to nine regular-season wins by throwing for 1,475 yards and 11 touchdowns, completing 58.4 percent of his passes and only being intercepted a division-low three times.

“I think when things go sideways or slow, I can just calm down and keep everyone calm — and then just start up again and get some short passes in and then go over the top a couple times,” Asbjornsen said.

Asbjornsen better knows his role in 2014. He will be leaned on more to make plays, but he’s not single-handedly expected to carry the Eagles back to the state playoffs.

“I’d rather not put it all on me,” Asbjornsen said. “I’d rather just put a league championship on the table, and go deep in the playoffs.”