JOYCE — The Crescent football team remains a young squad, but the Loggers will be throwing some interesting wrinkles at their opponents and showing off a lot of speed this year.
“We were really young last year. We’re pretty young again this year,” said coach Brian Shimko, entering his ninth year as the Loggers’ head coach. Shimko said the Loggers have 23 kids out for the team, though not all will be available this weekend in Crescent’s opening game on the road against Oakville on Friday.
The “wrinkle” is that the Loggers will have rotating quarterbacks. Conner Bauers will be one the team’s QBs. He’ll also play receiver and safety on defense. Henry Bourm, who got in some QB time last year as a sophomore, will also be back at QB.
Shimko said Bourm and Bauers bring different styles and different temperaments to the QB position and will make it tough for opponents to game plan.
“Henry wears his emotions on his sleeve,” Shimko said. “Conner is more relaxed and calm under pressure.”
While the Loggers lost big and powerful runner Conner Ferro-May to graduation, they have plenty of skill players. Bauers and Bourm were both big parts of last year’s offense, as well as Tommy Leonard, who is back at running back and defensive end/linebacker.
Another skill player joining the team is speedy Dom Sprague, a league champion in the sprints and long jump in track and field. Sprague will be a running back and will use his speed to cover the whole field from the middle linebacker position.
“If we can get [Sprague] out on the edge, he can help us,” Shimko said.
A pair of Loves graduated last year, but the team return Lukas Love as a senior leader along with sophomore Mikah Love.
Lukas Love will be a big part of the offense at the tight end position and one of the main targets of the Crescent quarterbacks.
“He was our go-to guy on two-point conversion last year,” Shimko said. “Hopefully, we’ll be throwing more balls deep.”
Josh Berson is another returning senior who will play receiver and defensive end.
Shimko is excited about the team’s speed. The North Olympic League is usually very tough with Neah Bay, which went to the state 1B championship game and Lummi and Quilcene, always powerful teams, in the league. Crescent can be counted on consistently to be one of the playoff teams in the league. So far, they have more than held their own against league newcomers Darrington and Concrete.
The Loggers are coming off a 3-7 season last year. Crescent has a tough stretch Sept. 15 to Sept. 20 with games at Neah Bay, Lummi and at Quilcene, but they wrap up with three games at Tulalip Heritage and versus Concrete and Darrington at home. The Loggers could go into the postseason with a lot of momentum after those last three games.
“We’ll compete. We have a little more speed than we did last year. We were young last year. I’ll be expecting a little more this year,” Shimko said.