Despite a rough 2014, the Clover Park High School Warriors have optimism heading into this season.
Last season, the Warriors didn’t win a game and lost by an average of 42.6 points.
“We’re shaping up, but we’re real young and real thin,” head coach Jonathan Randall said. “But they are all working hard. We’re gaining confidence.”
Wins are as important to Randall as any other coach, but he sees success with his team beyond the win-loss column and box scores.
“All we can do is work our plan and work our goals,” he said. “We want to do the best we can and give 100 percent every day. That’s all we can ask.”
The Warriors have lost 14 consecutive games with their last win coming against Washington midway through the 2013 season.
Randall is hoping for his team to be undefeated this season, but not in the conventional way sports fans might perceive that word. No, Randall is hoping for his team to have undefeated character.
“What we mean by that is, no matter what happens on Friday night, we can look in the mirror, look at our brothers and know we gave it our all,” he said. “If we can do that, we’re successful.”
That doesn’t mean the Warriors are throwing in the towel when it comes to the scoreboard. Randall followed by stating if they can give their all, they will start winning on Friday nights.
To do so, they will be leaning on a couple of talented defensive ends to stuff the run and get after quarterbacks, who Randall said both have some “nasty” in them.
One is senior Curtis Garner, who is the leader of the team and checks in at 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds. He has been voted captain and Randall said he leads more by example than with rah-rah attitude. If other players are slacking in the weight room or doing something they aren’t supposed to, it’s Garner who will calmly correct their errors.
“He’s done everything I asked him to,” Randall said. “He’s put on weight, he’s put on speed, he’s put on strength. He’s got great grades. He loves football and plays it hard.”
The other end is David Hohn, who had never played football before his freshman season. He will finally get his crack at big numbers this season. Randall said he has also gotten bigger and stronger.
Speed will be the Warrior’s strength this season. They will need it in a tough opening game Sept. 4 against the Class 3A Lakes Lancers.
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
Aug. 22: Kentlake Falcons
Aug. 26: Black Hills Wolves
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
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
3A Narrows: Is that Xavier Cooper? Or Wilson’s A.J. Ruffin?
2A Evergreen: Team capsules
1A Nisqually: Team capsules. Story Saturday.
Small schools: Team capsules