High School Sports

2A Evergreen: Team-by-team capsules

2A EVERGREEN PRIMER

BLACK HILLS WOLVES

Coach: Kirk Stevens, second year

2014 record: 5-5, third in league

Offense: Coordinator (set) — Don Means (spread). Returning starters — 8. Top players — WR Gabe Adamson, 5-10, 165, sr.; RB Cameron Berndson, 6-0, 210, sr.; OL Austen Daisa, 6-2, 260, jr.; OL Tanner Ivie, 6-1, 270, sr.; WR Mark Melendres, 5-6, 145, sr.

Defense: Coordinator (set) — Ross Rollman (3-4). Returning starters — 5. Top players — LB Milo Ames, 6-0, 215, sr.; LB TJ Borden, 6-1, 225, sr.; LB Michael Kramer, 6-2, 205, jr.; DB Jordan March, 6-0, 185, jr.; DL Cole Tobin, 5-10, 235, sr.

Outlook: The Wolves return three of last year’s four starting linebackers in Ames, Kramer and Borden. Ames and Kramer were 2A Evergreen first-teamers. That core will be key to a young defense. Offensively, the Wolves’ offensive line will be crucial. Stevens said the offense will be as effective as it plays in the trenches.

CENTRALIA TIGERS

Coach: Matt Whitmire, third year

2014 record: 5-4, fourth in league

Offense: Coordinator (set) — Whitmire (spread option). Returning starters — 4. Top players — QB Joey Aliff, 5-11, 190, jr.; OL Brayden Andrews, 5-11, 220, jr.; QB Joe Finch, 6-0, 205, sr.

Defense: Coordinator (set) — Dan Hill (3-4). Returning starters — 5. Top players — DL Brayden Andrews, 5-11, 220, jr.; Joe Finch, 6-0, 205, sr.; Nolan Wasson, 6-2, 185, sr.

Outlook: It was a rough 0-3 finish for the Tigers in league play last season. But Aliff — who passed for 432 yards and rushed for 402 more last season — Finch and company enter their third season running the triple option offense and have showed improvement, Whitmire said. Centralia’s fast and athletic secondary also features three returning starters.

TUMWATER THUNDERBIRDS

Coach: Sid Otton, 42nd year

2014 record: 13-1, first in league, lost in state semifinals

Offense: Coordinator (set) — Jamie Weeks (wing-T). Returning starters — 8. Top players — OL Tommy Brassfield, 5-11, 243, sr.; QB Spencer Dowers, 6-2, 190, sr.; OL Brin Hanson, 6-0, 225, sr.; TE Cade Otton, 6-5, 210, jr.; WR Easton Trakel, 5-10, 180, sr.; WR Griffin Shea, 6-0, 185, sr.

Defense: Coordinator (set) — Pat Alexander (base 3-4). Returning starters — 4. Top players — DB Noah Andrews, 6-0, 180, jr.; DB Jacob Crawford, 5-9, 175, sr.; LB Hunter Haggerty, 6-3, 235, sr.; DL Cy Hicks, 6-3, 260, so.; LB Cade Otton, 6-5, 210, jr.

Outlook: Washington state’s winningest coach — Otton is 371-128 in 47 seasons — and stellar returning offense are out to chase another 2A title. The Thunderbirds averaged 44.4 points per game in 2014, while the defense only gave up an average of 14.5 — and scored 42 of its own. Tumwater has threats on both sides of the ball, including Cade Otton, who was a first-team all-Evergreen player in 2014 and led the Thunderbirds in receiving with 23 catches, 385 yards and nine touchdowns.

W.F. WEST BEARCATS

Coach: Bob Wollan, 10th year

2014 record: 5-4, second in league

Offense: Coordinator (set) — Bob Wollan (multiple). Returning starters — 7. Top players — RB Nathen Anglin, 5-11, 180, sr.; QB Elijah Johnson, 5-11, 180, sr.; OL Colton Moorhead, 6-2, 260, sr.; OL Tyler Pallas, 6-1, 225, sr.

Defense: Coordinator (set) — Jamie Rakevich (4-3). Returning starters — 7. Top players — DB Brody Holcomb, 5-10, 165, sr.; LB Cody Miller, 5-10, 190, sr.; LB Colby Steen, 5-8, 180, jr.

Outlook: Wollan and his staff were voted the 2A Evergreen coaching staff of the year last season, suffering their only loss to league champion Tumwater in the season finale. The Bearcats return three offensive first-teamers in Anglin, Johnson and Pallas. The defense also returns talent in first-teamers Holcomb and Steen.

lauren.smith@gateline.com

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