MSHS football gets set for 2017 season with spring scrimmage

Mount Si High School football fans got their first chance to see the 2017 version of the Wildcats yesterday as the program hosted its annual spring scrimmage at the high school in Snoqualmie. And the theme looks to be an air attack is on tap for this fall, led by star junior quarterback Cale Millen.

The Wildcat varsity and junior varsity played mini-games against four different opponents yesterday – Lake Stevens, O’Dea, Redmond and Federal Way. Mount Si’s varsity went 1-1-2 in their four games, with a win over Federal Way, a loss to Lake Stevens, and ties against the Irish and Mustangs.

Mount Si coach Charlie Kinnune was pleased. “We came out healthy, that’s really, really important,” he said. “We’ve got a good measuring stick and we also bring out these really good teams to find out where we’re at right away.” This year, finding out where this team stands going into 2017 will be important, as the team’s playoff fate will be decided in the first month of the season, with games against all four teams they will be contending with for those postseason playoff spots in Kingco 4A – Woodinville, Bothell, Skyline and Eastlake – coming in those first four weeks.

Millen was also pleased with the efforts of his team. “We definitely played well today. Lot of work to go in the offseason so we can hopefully light it up on the Fridays,” he said.

Millen went right to work in the first mini-game, against Lake Stevens. Each mini-game consisted of 10 plays each on offense and defense, with all plays untimed. He connected for a touchdown with receiver Jonny Barrett, the first of four on the afternoon between the two juniors-to-be. Millen knows his receiving partner well. “I’ve thrown to him since the third grade, so obviously a lot of chemistry with him,” the quarterback said. Barrett also likes the cohesiveness between him and his QB. “This spring, we’ve been working a lot together, including in the offseason, so that helps a lot when you have that good of chemistry,” he said, “and it shows on the field.”

The Vikings scored a pair of touchdowns in their 10-play sequence and took the mini-game 12-6. Mount Si then faced Federal Way, and the Millen-Barrett connection really showed up in this mini-game, with the other three touchdown connections between the two happening in this contest. The Wildcats took it 18-6.

Mount Si then faced O’Dea, and local fans will want to follow the Irish this fall. Senior-to-be Parker D’Anna will be the Irish’s starting safety and he is the younger brother of recent Wildcat grad – and former starting quarterback – Harrison D’Anna. Parker saw action for O’Dea in their mini-game with Mount Si, and the two teams ended in a 6-6 tie, with Millen connecting with sophomore-to-be receiver Braden Holt on the lone Wildcat score in this mini-contest. Those two connected again on the final play of the final mini-game, against Redmond, helping Mount Si steal a 6-6 tie from what looked to be a certain loss against the Kingco 3A team. What was a good day overall for Millen wasn’t without its rough patches, and the roughest of those came early in the sequence against the Mustangs, when he lost a fumble and had a pass intercepted on consecutive plays.

Overall, another element fans will want to pay attention to is the offensive and defensive line. The line has always been a hallmark of Wildcat football in the quarter-century plus that Kinnune has coached Mount Si, and that will be the case again this fall, especially since the program has hired a new assistant coach that will be working with the linemen who is no stranger to the position himself. Josh Mitchell is a former star lineman at Mount Si; the 2011 Wildcat grad went on to star on the line with Oregon State University, which he graduated from in 2015.

“Josh Mitchell coming in (is) in his first year as head line coach and he’s done a tremendous job,” Kinnune said. “The kids love playing for him and he’s doing a great job. They have a tremendous amount of pride. They want to do things right. There’s nobody on our team as a group, there’s nobody on our team that loves their team more (and) wants their team to be more successful than our linemen.”

Noticeably absent from yesterday’s proceedings were two other top receivers – Andrew Mostofi and Jesiah Irish. Mostofi was out injured while Irish was in street clothes but is healthy. Kinnune expects a lot from the team when it’s 100% in about seven weeks from now. “If we get healthy and stay healthy, we’re going to be an exciting team to watch,” he said.

The scrimmage wrapped up spring practices for the Wildcats, who will now be working in the weight room and also attending the upcoming Mount Si speed camps as well, as they get set for their fall season to start in August.

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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