By Mike Wilson, Bob Lundeberg and Rockne Andrew Roll
This month, SBLive Oregon is previewing every Class 6A, 5A and 4A high school football team in the state leading up to the six-week season in March and April.
Today, we examine the quarterback situation for each of the 33 Class 5A teams. Who are the starting quarterbacks? Who are the backups expected to push the starters for playing time?
Note that the information provided here reflects where things stood as camps opened. Be sure to follow SBLive Oregon throughout the season for the latest on what’s happening with each team!
(Read the Class 6A quarterback situations here.)
Ryan Rosumny (La Salle Prep) photo by Taylor Balkom
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Hood River Valley
The Eagles are looking for a successor to Ryan Gray, who was second-team all-Northwest Oregon Conference East Division at quarterback last season. Senior Zac Wells, a wide receiver/safety, was also Gray’s backup last season and could play at quarterback this season. Sophomore Michael Frost is a candidate at quarterback, as is junior Trenton Hughes, who started at wide receiver and defensive back last season.
La Salle Prep
The Falcons of Milwaukie have a clear-cut starter at quarterback in senior Ryan Rosumny. First-team all-Northwest Oregon Conference East Division last season, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Rosumny was third on the Oregon Class 5A regular-season leaderboard in passing yards (1,858), throwing 20 touchdowns and completing 65 percent of his passes. “He is one of the two best leaders I’ve had the privilege to coach,” coach Aaron Hazel said.
Early in the calendar year, junior Michael Scott appeared to be leading the competition to succeed Tre Singleton, a first-team all-Northwest Oregon Conference East Division quarterback last season. “We lost a good quarterback when Tre left, but I think there is a lot that Michael may have picked up on,” first-year coach Brian Jackson said.
The Buckaroos’ projected starting quarterback is senior Brogan Biggerstaff, who returns to the position after he played wide receiver the past two seasons. Coach Erik Davis said Biggerstaff had a strong spring. Sophomore Jackson Davis, son of the head coach, also will be in the conversation.
Early in the calendar year, three players were in the mix at quarterback for the Kingsmen of Milwaukie: junior Jackson Brown, senior Christian Rainville and sophomore Konnor Bickford. Brown can also start at tight end, and Rainville has what coach Tim Jacobs calls great versatility. “We’re getting a good look at all three guys,” Jacobs said. “We’re really looking at not only right now, but also for the fall and long term.”
Junior Hayden Parrish is projected to start at quarterback for what the Panthers hoped would have been his second season. He was slotted to start under center last season before an injury derailed that plan. “He’s got a great arm and knows when to throw it and where to throw it at,” coach Seth Womack said, praising also Parrish’s leadership, work ethic and dedication. Austin Carter, last season’s starting quarterback, has moved to running back.
Bryce Demars, Ridgeview’s quarterback the past two seasons, transferred out of state. Three sophomores were competing early in the year for the No. 1 spot for the Ravens of Redmond: Ryder Parazoo, Colten Chastain and Aidan Brenneman. Parazoo is a physical athlete who can be a threat to run the ball. The 6-foot-3 Chastain did not play as a freshman, but coach Patrick Pileggi said he has a strong arm and the other tools to be successful. Brenneman was the starting freshman quarterback and had an amazing offseason, Pileggi said. “All three are showing huge strides this offseason and have the potential to be solid quarterbacks moving forward,” Pileggi said.
Early in the calendar year, the starting quarterback competition between senior Skyler Leeson and sophomore Kade Wilson was ongoing. Leeson was the varsity backup last season, but he didn’t get significant game experience. Wilson was last season’s JV quarterback as a freshman and started on defense at the varsity level at the end of the season (three tackles in the OSAA Class 4A semifinal).
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Second-year coach Jimmy Joyce likes what the Cougars have at quarterback in 6-foot-2, 200-pound junior Mikey Gibson. As a sophomore, Gibson started the final five games of the season, surpassing 200 yards passing in four of those games — including in a four-touchdown showing against Tualatin in his first start. Last season was his second playing quarterback. “And his first year was playing in the wing-T as a freshman,” Joyce said, “so in some ways, it was his first year.”
The Vikings are looking for a successor to three-year starter Jarod Miller. Early in the year, there were four candidates for the No. 1 quarterback job: senior Ayden Case, who played wide receiver last season; junior Kaden Clute, who relieved an injured Miller in the 2019 season finale; sophomore Afton Milton; and junior Chaseton Hubel. Coach Perry Herbst said each has his strengths and provides opportunities for the Vikings to be successful.
Senior Jackson Godsey is projected to be the Spartans’ starting quarterback. Godsey was behind multiyear starter Kane Kiaunis and didn’t receive significant varsity action in 2019. “He’s ready to show everybody what he can do,” coach Dan Shuff said, referring to Godsey. “And we’re excited for him to get the opportunity to do it.”
The quarterback situation for the Scots of Salem was undecided early this year. Senior James Jennings, the backup last season, started two games as an injury fill-in in 2019 and has made great strides, coach Brandis Piper said. Senior Justyn Byrd is returning to the program after a year’s hiatus.
TC Manumaleuna, though a freshman, is targeted to be the Vikings’ starting quarterback. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Manumaleuna was No. 10 among dual-threat quarterbacks for the class of 2024 in a mid-January national ranking on the QB Hit List website. Manumaleuna reportedly has received an offer from Oregon. “His trajectory is really, really high,” coach Jeff Flood said.
Junior Lukas McNabb, son of coach Sean McNabb, has a hold on the No. 1 quarterback spot after he split time at the position as a sophomore. Lukas McNabb completed 57 percent of his passes, threw for four touchdowns and ran for two scores as a sophomore. He’s now 6-feet-3 and 190 pounds and “has the ability to really stretch the field,” Sean McNabb said.
Three sophomores were competing for the starting quarterback position early in the year. All have a taste of varsity experience, but not as the starter. Of Garrett Smith, Jeremiah Rund and Tyler Tolles, coach Cory Young said, “All three have strengths that will make them great options moving forward. It will be fun to watch them all compete and grow as quarterbacks.”
Junior Chase Hix is projected to start for the Wildcats after Jayce Knapp — 2019 Northwest Oregon Conference West Division offensive player of the year — transferred late in the summer to Texas so he could play a fall season. Hix got experience at the varsity level last season in closing-time duties.
Chase Nelson was expected to compete with 2019 starter Brooks Ferguson for the No. 1 quarterback spot, but Ferguson left the program, and Nelson — a 6-foot-2 sophomore — will start for the Panthers of Independence. Nelson is smart and willing to learn, first-year coach Joel Everett said. “We are excited to be able to start his varsity experience earlier than usual,” Everett said.
Juniors Carter Steeves and Garrett Holpuch are competing to be the Spartans’ starting quarterback. Steeves was the team’s primary passer in 2019 and surpassed 1,000 yards through the air. “I think both guys are pretty talented, and both will get lots of playing time, unless somebody emerges,” coach Chris McGowan said.
Junior Landen Parker, a transfer from Class 4A Elmira, takes over at quarterback for the Raiders of Corvallis. Coach Mike Connor said Parker is an excellent athlete and has the necessary arm talent to play quarterback in the Mid-Willamette Conference. “Just watching him move around and what he’s done in the past, he can do a little bit of everything,” Connor said.
As of mid-January, junior Ashton Foster was getting the first-string quarterback repetitions in practice with senior Luke Hess receiving an equal number of snaps behind him. Hess is a standout wrestler; Foster was all-Mid-Willamette Conference in basketball as a sophomore.
Cole Weber returns for his senior season after he passed for 19 touchdowns (against five interceptions) in 2019 en route to second-team all-Mid-Willamette Conference recognition. Though on the shorter side at 5-foot-9, Weber excels at the mental aspects of playing quarterback. “For me, the quarterback has to make good decisions — that’s the bottom line, and Cole does that,” coach Ty Tomlin said. “He’s just that kid; he never misses anything.”
The Foxes’ quarterback position remains in the hands of junior Jordan McCarty. In 2019, McCarty passed for 1,783 yards with 15 touchdowns (against three interceptions), ran for 12 touchdowns and was voted first-team all-Mid-Willamette Conference. “If you need a play, you want the ball in his hands in some capacity,” coach Josh Craig said.
Sophomore Kaden Younger is the RedHawks’ projected starting quarterback entering the season. He is the son of former South Albany coach David Younger, now an assistant coach at Willamette University. “Kaden has great vision, a great mind for the game, a superb arm and has the makings of a collegiate-level quarterback,” first-year coach Jeff Louber said.
Michael Cale, a junior with a solid arm and quick release, is the Bulldogs’ projected starting quarterback. “He is fearless and young and green, and I kind of like that in a way,” coach Brian Mehl said. Cale will take over for Carson Van Dyke, who passed for 1,807 yards and 22 touchdowns against two interceptions last season. One-time projected starter Luke Killinger, who threw three passes at the varsity level in 2019, moved to Arizona to play his senior season in the fall.
Senior Hayden Ellis will take over for Rieger Sayre, the 2019 Midwestern League South Division first-team quarterback. Whereas Sayre passed for 40 touchdowns in 2019, Ellis might give more of a running look to the position.
Juniors Chace Pence and Camdyn Stiegeler lead the competition to be the No. 1 quarterback for the Lancers of Eugene. Pence has been a JV quarterback and varsity backup and has steadily improved the past two years. Stiegeler, a transfer from Sheldon in the northeast part of Eugene, impressed during the fall 7-on-7 environment with his power and finesse.
After two seasons as the varsity backup, Blake Eaton will take over as starting quarterback as a senior. Eaton is succeeding Trever Davis, who passed for 2,216 yards and 29 touchdowns and was second-team all-Midwestern League South Division in 2019. Eaton started at safety and received closing-time action at quarterback in several games last season for the Comets of Central Point. “He’s got a lot of varsity time, knows the speed of the game,” first-year coach Berk Brown said. “He’s got a great understanding of the game and has really worked on his technique throwing the ball, staying in the pocket, his footwork, his reads.”
Early in the calendar year, juniors Alex Smith and Anthony Milian, sophomore Dawson Foulon and freshman Bryton Livingston were expected to compete for the starting quarterback spot. Coach Erik Johnson said each is physically and mentally equipped for the job, so he wants to see who will mesh best with the first-string offense. “The one that has the best chemistry with the offense as a whole will be the starter for Week 1,” he said.
Senior Coleman Compton was first-team all-Midwestern League North Division at wide receiver last season but will move back under center after the accidental death of incumbent starter Ian Spalding in May. Compton earned all-division honors as a quarterback his sophomore year and competed with Spalding for the job in the 2019 preseason. “We’re excited to see what he can do,” coach Gary Prince said.
Senior Brooks Robertson and junior Parker Saunders will compete to take over as the starting quarterback. Robertson was the varsity backup last season, and Saunders is a dynamic athlete and playmaker. “We haven’t been able to work with them as much as in a normal season, but we are excited about the potential we have there,” coach Kenny Koberstein said.
Junior Gavin Colter takes over as starting quarterback this season. Colter excelled as a passer in fall 7-on-7 action, and his running ability should make him a constant big-play threat. “He proved he can be a gunslinger,” coach Miles Haley said. “He’s not afraid to make throws downfield, and when you add the running element onto it, I think it’s going to surprise people.”
Three players stand out as primary competitors for the No. 1 quarterback spot: sophomore Darien Witham, senior Zachary Bonar and junior Alex Boring. They’re battling to succeed Cade Crist, who led the Colts of Springfield to the 2019 OSAA Class 5A championship and was voted Midwestern League North Division offensive player of the year. Witham took the most first-team repetitions in fall 7-on-7 action, ahead of Bonar (Crist’s backup the past two seasons) and Boring (who was injured in the fall). If none of the three impresses in preseason practice, the job could fall to senior Dawson Muggy, a wide receiver/defensive back who played quarterback on the JV squad as late as his sophomore season.
Seniors Lane Nelson and Dane Woodcook are the starting quarterback candidates for the Wolverines of Eugene. Woodcock, a latecomer to football who comes from a soccer and a baseball background, started the final two games of 2019 and passed for four touchdowns against one interception. Nelson’s strengths include his football smarts and reliability. “He doesn’t miss anything, ever,” coach Josh Wolfram said. Whereas Nelson is the more experienced candidate, Woodcook’s mobility in the pocket is a plus.