SVSJ preview: Mount Si football looks to remain strong after historic 2012 campaign

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today we begin our series of team previews for selected Mount Si and Cedarcrest High School sports teams, a series we will continue for you throughout the week. We begin with Mount Si football.

The 2012 season for the Mount Si High School football team was certainly one to remember. One that the players, coaches, parents, fans, and reporters like your editor will be telling their kids and grandkids about for years to come. Last season, which finished 11-2, was a season like no other, and it was one which brought an entire community together.

But this 2013 season is a new season, and with that comes a different set of goals, a different set of expectations. One thing, though, remains constant, and that is that Mount Si’s football team is ready to give it their 110% best as it seeks to make it back one more time to the postseason.

Senior quarterback Nick Mitchell, seen here during last year's Mount Si football playoff game at the Tacoma Dome, leads the Wildcats in 2013. He is bound to play college football for Oregon State next season. (Photo courtesy Calder Productions)

Senior quarterback Nick Mitchell, seen here during last year’s Mount Si football playoff game at the Tacoma Dome, leads the Wildcats in 2013. He is bound to play college football for Oregon State next season. (Photo courtesy Calder Productions)

Back for his 22nd season as coach, now the dean of Kingco head coaches, is Charlie Kinnune. Kinnune knows what his team needs to do to help focus on the present and not on the past. “We need to really avoid complacency. We need to really work on being unselfish and then we need to concentrate on the details,” he said. “If we can do those three things, we should continue winning.”

The top player back for Mount Si is senior quarterback Nick Mitchell. Bound for Oregon State next fall, Mitchell will look to lead the Wildcats back to state in 2013, but for him to fulfill that accomplishment, his teammates will need to do their part. Chief among them are the linemen, and Mount Si expects to have a group of linemen that will be among the toughest customers in the trenches this fall in the entire league. Among the linemen to watch is senior Bradly Christensen. “Bradly’s had an awesome first couple of weeks. He’s been a leader both on and off the field. He’s worked really, really hard,” Kinnune said.

Several others to pay attention to on the line include seniors Jack Nordby, Ryan Bolen and David Bluher, and juniors Cameron Davis and Chris Schlicting. “Nothing happens without them,” Kinnune said.

Senior running back Evan Johnson, who scored a memorable touchdown for the Wildcats during last season’s playoff rout of Glacier Peak, is excited about the season ahead. “We have a lot of young guys coming into this year that we think are going to step up and we’re looking forward to that,” Johnson said. Johnson is one of several top offensive returners who will help aid Mitchell; others include tight end Beau Shain, who will also see work at linebacker this fall, where he excelled last season, and receiver/defensive back Trevor Daniels. Shain says that for the team to stay focused on the here and now, it must treat every game with utmost importance. “I think we just need to go into every week like it’s a playoff game,” he said.

As has been the case for the past many seasons, Bellevue is by far the class of the Kingco field, and should be in position once again this fall to win the 3A state title. Mount Si, though, will still have some challenges, and if there is one game that you need to be in the stands for, it’s this one. “That September 20 game against Juanita is a playoff game,” Kinnune said.

The week three contest for the Wildcats against the Rebels will be at Juanita High School in Kirkland. Juanita, according to Kinnune, looks to be very much in the discussion for postseason as well, and with just three berths for Kingco into the week 10 postseason round, this will be a game that could decide where everyone shakes out at the end of the season. The Rebels, coached by Shaun Tarantola, finished strong last season, and surprised some people by making it into the opening playoff round as the last seed out of Kingco. Kinnune also looks for Mercer Island and Liberty to potentially be in the mix as well. Both of those games wrap up the regular season at home, with the MI game on October 25 being the Homecoming game.

This fall’s Mount Si program has a total of 130 players involved in it, on four different teams. Kinnune is thrilled. “There’s programs where numbers are dwindling and we’re just booming,” he said. But for all of that to occur, it’s a team effort. “We do it together. None of this goes anywhere without great assistant coaches; none of this goes anywhere without obviously the kids and parents,” he said.

The Wildcats open the season Friday night, September 6, at home against Kennedy at 7:00. They then play at Issaquah the following Friday, then open the league schedule with the aforementioned Juanita game September 20.

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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