High School Sports

Kentlake football to see different offensive scheme under new coach Brett Thompson

The Kentlake Falcons are facing a fresh start under new coach Brett Thompson, and that means installing a new offense and uniting the team his way.

Thompson accepted the head coach position at Kentlake in March after spending seven years as an assistant coach at Tahoma High School.

Thompson said he’s installing a spread offense, which is much different than the flexbone offense former Kentlake coach Chris Paulson used last season.

Thompson hasn’t yet named a starting quarterback for the Falconss, but Thompson said there is a neck-and-neck competition between seniors Trey Helgeson and Cody Faulkner for the position.

Thompson also said senior running back and safety Andrew Dixon is a player to watch, as well as junior running back and linebacker Micah Vaifale.

“Both of them worked really hard in the weight room this offseason,” Thompson said.

Protecting the quarterback and paving a way for Dixon is an offensive line that Thompson said has a lot of experience. One lineman named by Thompson is senior Brandon Kelley, who will also play defensive line.

“They’re not the biggest,” he said. “But they have a lot of experience.”

But it’s not just the offense that Thompson is changing at Kentlake, he’s also hoping to change the culture.

After a practice full of conditioning, Dixon and Vaifale were carrying each other on their backs while running the sideline.

“That was our punishment for missing practice yesterday,” Dixon said, gathering his breath. “We couldn’t find a ride.”

It was an intense punishment for two players that are important pieces to the team, but both were happy to do it.

“It just teaches us not to do that again,” Dixon said.

“Last year was much less disciplined and you could see it having an effect on the field,” Vaifale said.

Both players also said it’s that very discipline which is also helping the team become more of a unit off the field.

“We want to be one big, disciplined family,” Dixon said. “I think that will lead us to success.”

The News Tribune will visit 17 high school football practices in the 14 days leading up to the first Football Friday of the season, breaking down some of the teams, players and storylines entering the 2015-16 season.

The tour will include three schools from the 4A Narrows League, four teams from the 4A SPSL, two from the 3A Narrows League, two from the 3A SPSL, one from the 2A Evergreen Conference, two from the 2A SPSL, one from the 1A Evergreen, one from the 1A Nisqually and one from the 2B Pacific.

Teams will be revealed each day, starting with the first day of official practices Wednesday, Aug. 19.

TNT PRESEASON PRACTICE TOUR

Practice preview: South Sound’s four most illustrious 4A schools enter new eras

Aug. 19: Timberline Blazers

Lincoln Abes | Video: Masaki Matsumoto on a mission

River Ridge Hawks

Chief Leschi Warriors

Aug. 20: Bonney Lake Panthers | Video: Panthers have pieces in place

Aug. 21: Federal Way Eagles | Video: D’Jimon Jones, Andrzej Hughes-Murray stepping up

Aug. 22: Kentlake Falcons

Aug. 24: Spanaway Lake Sentinels | Video: Big guys key for Sentinels’ season

Aug. 25: Emerald Ridge Jaguars | Video: Can new players bring ER similar success?

Aug. 26: Black Hills Wolves

Aug. 27: Stadium Tigers | Video: Don’t expect same 0-10 Tigers

Aug. 28: Yelm Tornados

Aug. 29: Clover Park Warriors

Aug. 31: Mount Tahoma Thunderbirds

Sept. 1: Eatonville Cruisers

Sept. 2: Charles Wright Tarriers

Sept. 3: Sumner Spartans

Sept. 4: First Football Friday of the 2015-16 school year

LEAGUE FOOTBALL PREVIEWS

In-depth look at some of the top storylines, team-by-team breakdown, games to watch and predictions from the 4A Narrows, 4A SPSL, 3A Narrows, 3A SPSL, 2A SPSL, and 1A Nisqually, as well as capsules from other area small-school teams.

State football overview: Dual-threat QBs have Auburn Mountainview, Gig Habor thinking state

Preseason TNT All-State football team: Graham-Kapowsin’s Foster Sarell on of nation’s top 2017 recruits

Preseason TNT rankings: Gig Harbor No. 2 in 4A, Auburn Mountainview third in 3A, Tumwater 2nd in 2A and Cascade Christian No. 3 in 1A

4A Narrows: Olympia will compete for playoff spot, like always

4A SPSL: UW commit Amandre Williams can do just about everything for Tahoma

3A Narrows: Is that Xavier Cooper? Or Wilson’s A.J. Ruffin?

3A SPSL: Lakes cousins Jaiave Magalei and Maika Magalei might as well be brothers

2A Evergreen: Team capsules

2A SPSL: Willie Patterson, Alex Bing can lift Franklin Pierce back to league title

1A Nisqually: Team capsules. Story Saturday.

Small schools: Team capsules

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