SVSJ preview: Red Wolve football aims to contend with experienced group in reshaped Cascade Conference

EDITOR’S NOTE: We continue our high school fall sports previews this morning as we head back to the gridiron and provide a look at the Cedarcrest High School football team’s upcoming season.

The reshaped Cascade Conference will provide the Cedarcrest High School football team a tougher challenge this fall. But, with a good group of seniors returning, the Red Wolves look to remain competitive.

Billy Ojeda is back as the head coach for Cedarcrest this season. This will be his second season at the helm, after finishing his inaugural campaign last fall with a solid 6-4 record and a trip to the district playoffs, in which they fell to Sedro-Woolley. A number of juniors from last year’s team are back as seniors this fall, aiming for a return trip to the playoffs. Among them are running backs Ryan Golden, Dave Boak, Zach Hetherington and Alex Parnell, lineman Ryan Connell, and quarterback Kyle Lupo.

A key senior newcomer, according to Ojeda, is receiver Bryson Rary. “Good, heady player,” Ojeda noted by email to the SVSJ. “Welcome new addition.”

Other newcomers to watch this fall – all underclassmen – include junior Garret Nelson and sophomores Tyler Gray, Cody Shultz and Fredrick Reid.

With Lakewood’s exit from the Cascade Conference, the league becomes, at least for the 2A teams, a little more clear-cut. Ojeda, though, thinks the Red Wolves could still contend. “(The) Cascade Conference Championship will go through Archbishop Murphy. If we stay healthy and focused, we can make some noise,” he wrote. Granite Falls is the other 2A team this fall in the conference, and likely will be in the lower half of the standings. The 1A team to watch in the conference is King’s, with Cedar Park Christian also expected to make noise among the 1A squads.

Ojeda adds, though, that everything has to work right for his team to be in contention at the end. “Every game will be more important than they already were before. The(re) will be no room for error.,” he wrote.

That all said, the coach is looking to also make sure the players don’t feel too much pressure to perform. “We try to create a family environment where student athletes are comfortable and are not afraid to make mistakes,” Ojeda wrote. “They not only play for themselves but for one another.”

CHS opens with a pair of non-league contests to start the season, and both will be tough. They play at Liberty Friday; the Patriots are part of the very challenging 2A/3A Kingco Conference. Next Friday, the Red Wolves welcome in Mountlake Terrace, and this is a game that could ultimately decide whether Cedarcrest will advance to the playoffs this fall with a second-place Cascade Conference result. The Hawks are the 2A Wesco representative, and as such the Cascade teams will be paired with them for playoff berths.

The league schedule starts on September 16 at South Whidbey, and Homecoming is likely on October 7 when the Red Wolves host Sultan. Senior night will be the big one – as CHS hosts Archbishop Murphy, perhaps with the league title on the line. All games begin at 7:00 p.m. with the home games being held at Cedarcrest High School’s stadium, 29000 NE 150th St. in Duvall.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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