SVSJ preview: MSHS football aims to compete in tough Kingco 4A

EDITOR’S NOTE: We continue our high school spring sports preview series this morning with a look at Mount Si High School football. 

The Mount Si High School football program looks for improvement in 2015, their second season as a member of the Kingco 4A Conference.

The team saw a very competitive conference last fall, but held their own, finishing 6-4. Even though the team missed the playoffs, the Wildcats learned an awful lot about what it will take to be successful on a consistent basis in 4A, and have worked hard in the offseason as a result. “(Fans) should expect a good team this year, (a) step up from last year and a hard-nosed team,” said senior quarterback Harrison Danna, one of several seniors that might land college opportunities next fall. “We’ve worked harder than we’ve ever had this offseason and should expect a great run this year.”

Danna leads a quarterback threesome that could be a pretty significant story to watch this fall, largely because all three possess skill sets, exhibited at last week’s Scarlet and Gray game, which make them very interchangeable. Danna has the propensity to throw long balls for touchdowns – and infact did just that once in that contest – while sophomore Jesiah Irish possesses strong speed and athletic ability; he is seen by some as potentially one of the best athletes that this school will end up producing, and junior Zeke Barden also displayed some of that same athleticism as well during his stint in the Scarlet/Gray contest. While it is anticipated Irish or Barden might see more playing time in the junior varsity program under center, that both of those quarterbacks have the skills they have could make them intriguing players to watch as the season rolls on.

And it should also be mentioned as well that on the freshman team this fall expected to be under center is Cale Millen. Many local youth football fans are familiar with the success he’s had in Wildcat junior football, and also know his father is ex-NFL and UW quarterback Hugh Millen. With all of that said, it looks like the quarterback position will be in good hands over the next few years.

Back as coach for his 24th season, as the dean of Kingco coaches, is Mount Si’s Charlie Kinnune. He’s excited about what fans will see this fall. “I think you’re going to see a really good defense and I think you’re going to see an offense that is going to improve throughout the year,” he said.

Three top senior offensive threats are expected to aid Danna and the quarterbacks. Receivers Parker Dumas, Caleb Mitchell and Colton Swain all are expected to be playing on the college gridiron this fall, with one or more likely to end up in NCAA Division I. Dumas is excited about the season ahead. “I think our passing game this year is going to be very strong,” he said. “We’re all really confident in it.” Danna is happy to have both Swain and Dumas ready to catch his throws. “It’s definitely a blessing. I have some of the best receivers in the state,” he said.

The Kingco 4A is expected to be a tough one once again this fall, with every game expected to be competitive. “Our biggest rivalry is who we’re playing that week,” Kinnune said. “We’re excited. We like it like that.” Look for Skyline and Bothell to be the cream of Kingco, as is the custom every fall, with Eastlake, Newport and Issaquah also expected to be contenders for playoff spots.

Dumas, as many have been following, is in the midst of a college search, as he looks for his next stop on his football journey. He has four offers as of now, mostly from Big Sky Conference schools. He doesn’t plan on letting that big decision distract him. “I am definitely undecided. I don’t know where I’m going to end up yet. I’m just going to play this football season out, see how things roll, see if a couple more offers come on the table,” Dumas said.”I think I’m going to stay pretty undecided until the end of football season.” Among the schools who have offered him scholarships include Big Sky stalwarts Eastern Washington and Montana.

Mount Si opens the season Thursday on the road against Woodinville, then will open the home schedule September 11 against Redmond. The big game against Bothell is September 25, and will mark a return trip to MSHS for Cougars coach Tom Bainter, a former Kinnune assistant who was a teacher at Mount Si during your editor’s time as a student there in the 1990’s. October 9 against Eastlake is likely going to be the Homecoming game for the Wildcats, then the season closes with home games October 23 against Newport and October 30 against Liberty. All games start at 7:00 p.m.

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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