SPORTS: Chimacum-Forks football game canceled; 1A football camp reports
Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News Chimacum head coach Shawn Meacham, center, watches as his team executes a “West Point” drill during a recent practice at Chimacum High School.
By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
Print This | Email This
One man in hospital, roommate in jail after reported stabbing -- 12/11/13 -07:02 PM
Quick-thinking neighbor puts out house fire that dogs apparently started -- 12/11/13 -06:42 PM
Ex-donor sues embattled Forks dog sanctuary over her $50,000 donation -- 12/11/13 -06:42 PM
Lawmen in Forks confronted by dog shelter protester after Chamber of Commerce luncheon -- 12/11/13 -06:42 PM
Sequim woman, 98, injured in wreck receives $1.4 million settlement -- 12/11/13 -06:30 PM
Forks High School athletic director and head football coach Mark Feasel told the Peninsula Daily News late Tuesday that the Spartans’ matchup with Chimacum at Memorial Field in Port Townsend, scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 5, has been canceled due to the Cowboys’ lack of available players.
Feasel is working on scheduling a game with Charles Wright Academy for Friday, Sept. 6.
Meacham told the PDN late last week that the Cowboys were practicing with 15-18 players, but they were hoping for as many as nine more players to turn out. Many were delayed in joining the team for various reasons, including work obligations.
Low numbers have been a concern for Chimacum’s football program in recent years.
Football practices began last Wednesday. Here are football camp updates for the Peninsula’s three 1A teams, Chimacum, Forks and Port Townsend:
Despite the early low numbers, the Cowboys’ roster contains 24 players, which Meacham said is more than the Cowboys had at their high point last year.
No matter how many players eventually turn out, Chimacum will be a young team.
Last year, it graduated eight seniors, including standouts Daryl Settlemire, the 2012 All-Peninsula Defensive MVP, Mel Thornton and Seth Ham.
“The biggest thing will be leadership,” Meacham said.
“We only have three seniors on the roster, so we’re going to be sophomore and junior dominated.”
One player Meacham said he and the team will be looking to for that leadership is senior Alex Morris, a three-year starter at quarterback.
“Alex is going to have a lot on his shoulders,” Meacham said.
Meacham also plans to use junior Drew Yackulic as an offensive weapon in a variety of ways, from wide receiver, to running back and occasionally at quarterback.
The Cowboys also have a pair of new assistant coaches: Mike Dowling, who is also an assistant for the basketball team, and the school’s former athletic director, Dave Porter.
Numbers are an issue for the Spartans.
Feasel said his team is consistently practicing with 54 players since practices opened last week.
Forks needs to replace a senior class of impact players that included three who are playing at the college level this fall — Braden Decker, Mark Jacobson and Shane White-Eagle (who missed all of 2012 with a knee injury).
With the departures of Decker and Jacobson, the Spartans will have a brand new quarterback this season.
Feasel said there is a tight race between junior Javier Contreras and sophomore Reese Moody, and that both will likely receive equal playing time at the position.
The backfield will be manned by senior Brett Pederson and juniors Dmitri Sampson and Miguel Morales.
“The biggest strength [of the team] is going to be in the backfield,” Feasel said.
Another player to watch is senior tight end and defensive end Leo Gonzales, who Feasel said was all-camp at both positions earlier this summer.
Feasel’s biggest concern coming into camp was the depth along the offensive line.
The large number of players who turned out has alleviated this concern. Feasel said the focus now is preparing the younger lineman to fill the backup positions.
The Redskins, meanwhile have more players and more muscle.
“The players have been working out in the offseason, so that’s a plus,” Port Townsend head coach Nick Snyder said.
“Their showing up in shape, well a majority of them.
“We’re going to be a heck of a lot stronger.”
The Redskins were young last year when they finished 4-6 after going winless the two previous seasons.
Now, they’re veteran, and most of their seniors were starters last season.
Senior Jacob King is back at quarterback, as are running backs Matt Cain and Tim Russell, and tight ends Skyler Coppenrath and Liam Anderson.
Russell, a fullback last season, has moved over to fill the void left by the departure of Mitiku Little, and sophomore David Sua will play fullback.
Snyder said the offensive line also will be improved.
“We didn’t lose one guy. They’ve been playing together for two years now,” Snyder said.
The Redskins currently have 44 players, up from 35 last year, and Snyder expects a few more will join team when school starts.
Middle school football
Forks and Chimacum have good news to counteract the bad news of their football game’s cancelation.
Through the WIAA, and with the agreement of Port Angeles and Sequim, Chimacum and Forks will be allowed to have freshman play middle school football.
Both Feasel and Meacham are excited about this ruling.
It will help each school’s middle school team have enough players to field a middle school team, as well as provide their freshman an opportunity to play rather than stand on the sidelines for the varsity of junior varsity teams.
Feasel said this is a one-year agreement with the WIAA that will be revisited after the season to evaluate how it worked for all parties involved.
Sports reporter/outdoors columnist Lee Horton can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: August 27. 2013 6:22PM