CHIMACUM — The Cowboys football team won’t be asking where the beef is this season.
They know where it is. About 1,600 pounds of beef. In their offensive and defensive lines.
They also expect to have a lot of speed.
Chimacum enters its final year in the Nisqually/Olympic League 1A Division with high hopes of doing damage against mostly private schools.
The Cowboys had an unusual season in 2018. They had an explosive offense at times, scoring 30, 28, 22, 51 and 38 points in five games last year. Unfortunately, Chimacum’s defense struggled as the Cowboys lost four of those games.
After that experience, the emphasis during practice this year has been on defense.
“We are very defensive-minded this year,” said coach Chris Storm, entering his second year leading the Cowboys. “We’re pretty solid on defense this year. We’re off to a good start.”
“We put up a lot of points, but just couldn’t get that stop when we needed it. In some games, we didn’t have any stops,” Storm said.
He said last year, the Cowboys were simply trying to outscore everyone, sometimes out of necessity.
“This year, I have less worries about giving the other team the ball,” he said.
Storm said the team and its coaching have been more organized in its second year. The numbers are low so far with turnout, but he’s expecting more kids to come out once school starts.
Storm said other than turnout, the team “isn’t lacking in any department.
“I’d put us up against anyone. We’re pretty well-rounded. We’re just young. We got speed and we got tough kids,” Storm said.
The team also has size. Boy, does it ever. Don’t expect the Cowboys to get pushed around with their front line on offense and defense.
“It’s a young team got a lot of size on the line … 1,600 pounds. We’re going to work off of that,” said Storm. “We’re going to go straight over the top of people.”
Storm isn’t kidding about the team’s youth. The Cowboys will have 15 sophomores on the team, three juniors and three seniors.
That big line will be anchored by returning all-league senior Jacob Williamson, who is a beast at 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds. He isn’t the only big guy on the line. Chris Fair is 6-foot-3 and 345 pounds, Gabe Williamson is 6-foot-5 and 290, Ryan McGreggor is 6-foot-2 and 320. Marshall Graves is 6-foot-2 and 270. Jordon Pomeroy is one of the smaller kids on the line at 5-foot-10 and 270 pounds.
But, Storm stressed that the Cowboys also have a lot of speed. Most of the skill players from last year — Issac Purser, Logan Storm and Cole Dotson — have all graduated. But taking their places are Carson McConnell and Bjorn Devos as receivers, both of whom have plenty of speed.
At quarterback, Wyatt Pennington, who has started games for the Cowboys, is returning. But, there will be a battle for starting quarterback between Pennington and Clayton Smith. Storm likes the attitude that Smith brings to the table.
“He’s like Baker Mayfield. The worst thing you can do is tell him that he can’t do something,” Storm said.
Logan Storm carried much of the load at running back for the Cowboys last year. Storm expects Anson Jones to step in and take his place. Jones is only 5-foot-8, but Storm described him as elusive.
“He’s a very mobile individual. He can move diagonally left and right just as fast as he can move forward,” he said. “He is a strong and tough kid.”
To help out with the defense, Storm expects Alex Harvey to be a big factor at safety.
“He’s the tip of the spear. The other team is going to have to worry about where he’s at,” said Storm.
Chimacum is likely dropping down to 2B in 2020 and into a new league, probably with teams such as La Conner, Concrete and Coupeville. Storm said Chimacum is the smallest school in the Nisqually/Olympic 1A League, but that opponents better not overlook the Cowboys.
As usual, the private schools in the Nisqually League will be tough — Bellevue Christian, Charles Wright and Cascade Christian. Last year’s league champion Cascade Christian will likely be very tough again, while Klahowya is on the opposite end of the spectrum as Chimacum. The Eagles are expected to move up to 2A after this season because of that Klahowya’s big size.
These are also dedicated kids. They’ve been working all summer to help with fundraising for the team. The team this year has brand new shoulder pads and new helmets.
“I’d rather have a 2-8 team that doesn’t get in trouble than an 8-2 team that does,” Storm said.
• Head coach: Chris Storm
• Last year: 1-9
• Key contributors: OL/DL Jacob Williamson; RB Anson Jones; Clayton Smith, QB; Wyatt Pennington, QB, WR
• Expected team strength: The front defensive and offensive lines are massive, anchored by all-leaguer Williamson. Williamson, Ryan McGreggor and Chris Fair are all well over 300 pounds.
• Question mark: The Cowboys had offense last year, but the defense had trouble stopping teams last year and must improve.
• Game to watch: Home game against league foe Klahowya on Sept. 27 should show how far the Cowboys have come from last year. Klahowya is expected to move up to 2A in 2020, while Chimacum is expected to drop down to 2B, so this should be a good test for the Cowboys.