By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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QUILCENE — A new era begins today in Quilcene.
The Rangers have a new coaching staff and lost eight players to graduation, a whopping total for an 8-man football team.
Byron Wilson takes over as head coach for Nic Dahl, who is now an assistant coach at Chimacum. Trey Beathard is the assistant coach and Everette Hunter is a volunteer assistant.
On the field, there will be a transition from a senior class that led the Rangers to a 5-3 record and within one game of the Class 1B district playoffs.
Gone are dual-threat quarterback and All-Peninsula defensive back Jacob Pleines, All-State First Team and All-Peninsula linebacker Josh King and All-State Second Team linebacker and top receiver Jason Smith.
But the cupboard isn't bare.
Triston Williams, who was named All-State First Team by The Associated Press, is back for his senior year, as is multipurpose standout Colten Pol, who ran for 303 yards and three touchdowns on offense and had 5.5 sacks and forced two fumbles on defense.
Also returning is lineman Nate Weller, who will be a junior.
“Nate will be one of the biggest factors on this team,” Hunter said.
Pleines leaves probably the largest void, and Hunter said the quarterback job is a “toss up” between seniors Brandon Bessey and Eli Harrison and sophomore Juan Rogers.
Twenty players showed up for Quilcene's camp after school ended, and as many as 10 were regulars at the three-times-per-week weight training sessions.
The Rangers begin practices today at 10 a.m. Players are asked to meet at the clubhouse.
The WIAA requires players to participated in 12 practices days in order to be eligible to play in the season opener.
Quilcene opens the season Saturday, Sept. 6, at Lopez.
Sports Editor Lee Horton can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous camp previews
Neah Bay: http://tinyurl.com/NeahBayCamp
Clallam Bay: http://tinyurl.com/ClallamBayCamp
Port Angeles: http://tinyurl.com/RidersCamp
Port Townsend: http://tinyurl.com/pdnRedhawksCamp