Stout line play should bolster Spartans

Spartan quarterback Quinton Agosta throws during practice at Bainbridge High School. - JIM BRYANT photo
Spartan quarterback Quinton Agosta throws during practice at Bainbridge High School.
— image credit: JIM BRYANT photo

Returning players on both sides of the ball anchor the squad for the ’05 campaign.

They’re the no-name guys in the trenches. The players Keith Jackson refers to as “the big uglies” on a Saturday afternoon.

But Bainbridge head coach Andy Grimm will be on a first name basis with the offensive and defensive line as they will be the leaders to take the Spartans back to the playoffs in the 2006 prep football season.

“Our strength in returners is our line,” he said. “We like their experience.”

“It’s nice to see the line back out. They’ve been working hard,” senior wingback and co-captain Clif McKenzie said. “This is the biggest line we’ve had in a long time. They can let us run with the big boys.”

The Spartans went 7-3 and finished tied for second in the Metro League Mountain Division last year, but lost out on making the crossover game for the right to State in a three team mini-playoff last November.

“They got a taste,” Grimm said. “They were pretty close last year, and you can feed off it and build off it. You can get the kids motivated on that.”

If they are to make the playoffs this year, they’ll do it with three All-Metro second team selections on the line in left tackle Tom Hannuksela, center Josh Truan and right guard Nathan Draper, all seniors. They’ll be joined by junior Gabe Culkin at left guard and senior right tackle Jake O’Malley.

They’ll be blocking for first time starters senior fullback Carter Williams and senior running back Jake Hinton, who will rush for 1,000 yards each if Truan, a co-captain, has his way.

“We were talking about this as a goal for the line,” he said. “Last year we had 2,000 yards total with all our running backs, but this year I think we can do it with those two alone.”

Grimm is switching from a 4-4 defense to a 5-2 defense to take advantage of his lines’ size and experience.

“They are the proven factors,” he said. “We expect them to get things done.”

With the line taken care of, he can worry about filling in other positions. Junior Quinton Agosta is expected to be the starting quarterback in the wing-t formation, replacing Metro League Tri-MVP Grant Leslie.

“I think a lot is going to rely on Quinton,” McKenzie said. “The passing game is all untested guys. We’ll have to see how they look.”

Sophomore Mike Walsh and junior Fiore Alailima are expected to replace Tyler Hannon and Sean Callahan at the ends.

On the defensive side, the returners on the line will be joined by end Brian Gilbreath, Draper at inside linebacker and Williams at outside linebacker.

The special teams will see new kickers in Beau Green and Hinton as the two will work on place kicking and kickoffs.

Even the coaching staff is changing, as former freshman coaches Sean Yar and Sean Eaton were promoted to the varsity. Yar will be the new offensive coordinator replacing Jake Haley and Sean Eaton will be the new defensive coordinator in place of Jim West. Deano Perlatti will take over as the new freshman coach.

The new coordinators will help the team as they go about their goals - to beat the Fighting Irish and make the state playoffs.

If they achieve the first goal, the second goal is well within their sights.

“With the rotation between us and Kingco, that opportunity for a playoff spot is going to go through O’Dea,” Grimm said.

“Whenever we talk to them (as captains) we tell them this year we have a chance to go to the playoffs,” Draper said. “I think we have a really good chance to make it to the playoffs. We’ll give O’Dea a run for their money.”

Grimm can see the possibilities. With only one playoff spot in sight for the Metro teams, the pressure is on.

“We’re looking forward to it (the season),” he said. “Our goal is to be there and I think we should, but high school athletics is high school athletics.

“The bottom line is, we’ll be competitive.”

* * * * *

Varsity football

Sept. 2 North Kitsap Vikings,

7 p.m.

Sept. 9 at Nathan Hale Raiders, 7 p.m.

Sept. 16 at Ingraham Rams, 7 p.m.

Sept. 23 Sequim Wolves, 7 p.m.

Sept. 30 Seattle Prep Panthers Homecoming, 7 p.m.

Oct. 7 O’Dea Fighting Irish at West Seattle Stadium, 7 p.m.

Oct. 14 Blanchet Braves at Edmonds Stadium, 7 p.m.

Oct. 21 Eastside Catholic, 7 p.m.

Oct. 27 Lakeside Lions, 7 p.m.

Nov. 4 or 5 Crossover game Memorial Stadium, time TBA

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