Central Catholic football won it all in 2019 with renowned senior class … what’s next for Rams?

By Mike Wilson

Over the next few weeks, SBLive Oregon will break down every 6A, 5A and 4A football team in the state in anticipation of a six-week season in March and April. Even if the season is postponed or canceled, we will continue to highlight more than a hundred teams and more than a thousand players in Oregon. Here’s our look at the Central Catholic Rams of the Class 6A Mt. Hood Conference.

CENTRAL CATHOLIC TEAM PAGE

HEAD COACH 

Steve Pyne, 18th season (151-51)

2019 AT A GLANCE 

Overall record: 11-2

League record: 4-0, first in Mt. Hood  

Playoffs: Beat Southridge 63-21 in first round; beat Newberg 28-12 in second round; beat West Linn 42-35 in quarterfinals; beat Barlow 35-7 in semifinals; beat Lake Oswego 49-28 in final

ALL-LEAGUE PLAYERS DEPARTED 

QB Cade Knighton, first team and offensive player of the year; first-team all-state

RB Elijah Elliott, first team; honorable mention all-state

WR Silas Starr, first team; first-team all-state

OL Andrew Gross, first team; first-team all-state

DL Braeden Veary, first team; first-team all-state

LB Joe Nizich, first team and defensive player of the year; first-team all-state

DB/RB Miles Jackson, first team on defense and honorable mention on offense; first-team all-state on defense

WR/DB Kalvin Souders, second team on offense and honorable mention on defense; honorable mention all-state on offense

DL/OL Jordan Reed, second team on defense and honorable mention on offense

LB Mason Smith, second team

DB/WR Kimo Hiu, second team on defense and honorable mention on offense; honorable mention all-state on defense

WR Jaden Fulsher, honorable mention

TE Ethan Flynn, honorable mention

OL Daniel Pham, honorable mention

OL/DL Logan Nomura, honorable mention on offense and defense

DL Carter Johnson, honorable mention

LB Clyde Bell, honorable mention

PLAYERS TO WATCH 

Senior WR/DB Myles Broadous

Broadus played a fair amount at safety and cornerback last season. “We expect good production from him,” Pyne said. “He has great instincts, ball skills and is very competitive.”

Senior TE/LB Jack Brown

Brown started every game in 2019 at outside linebacker and amassed 10 tackles for loss in what Pyne called a very consistent season. “He has great athleticism and playmaking ability,” Pyne said. Brown had an interception in the 2019 Class 6A championship game — one of only two that runner-up Lake Oswego threw in its five postseason games.

Senior TE/DE Jalen Ridgeway

Pyne said Ridgeway, a third-year starter and an honorable mention all-Mt. Hood Conference selection at tight end, is the one returning player on offense who contributed significantly to last season’s team. “He is a versatile player who can play as an attached tight end or split out wide and make plays,” Pyne said.

Junior RB/LB/S Zach Grisham

Grisham was the Rams’ third-leading rusher last season, gaining 320 yards and two touchdowns on 53 carries (six yards per rush). Grisham “was very productive running the ball in a backup role last season,” Pyne said. “We expect him to shoulder a much larger role this year.” Pyne said Grisham will be a mainstay on defense, playing a number of positions.

Junior WR/S Jordan King

King had a touchdown reception among his four catches in last season’s Class 6A championship game. That was part of a performance that Pyne characterized as King coming into his own during the playoffs. “He’s an FBS talent,” the coach said. “We expect his role on both sides of the ball to increase with the graduation of Silas Starr and Kalvin Souders.” King earned all-Mt. Hood honorable mention last season as a 6-foot-2, 180-pound defensive lineman. This season, he’s targeted to play in the defensive secondary.

Junior TE/DE/OLB Emar’rion Winston

Pyne expects the 6-3, 220-pound Winston to be a handful for opposing offenses from a defensive end or outside linebacker spot. “He is quick, strong and has good instincts,” Pyne said. “He should also factor on the offensive side of the ball.”

OUTLOOK

Graduation took a deep and broad toll on the Rams, who in 2019 won the school’s third Class 6A title in the past seven seasons. Central Catholic had first-team all-Mt. Hood Conference senior players at five positions on offense and three on defense; on The Oregonian/OregonLive Class 6A all-state team, the count was three seniors who were first-team offense and three who were first-team defense.

First-team all-state quarterback Cade Knighton, a four-year starter, is gone. Pyne said early in the year the competition to succeed Knighton was among juniors Emerson Dennis and Luke Johnson, sophomore Mateo Maehara and freshman Cru Newman. Most of the other positions on offense also will have new starters this season.

“First, we want to make sure that our seniors have opportunities to put their best plays on film if they have a desire to play in college,” Pyne said. “That being said, it is our plan to play as many kids as possible so that we have an opportunity to evaluate them, advance their skill sets and football knowledge so they can be ready for the fall of 2021.”

COACH SAID 

“We will need to develop a quarterback and continue to grow confidence in our younger players while making sure our seniors have adequate opportunities to have a great experience.” — Steve Pyne 

More from SBLive Oregon:

Could the Oregon high school football season switch to a 7-on-7 format? ‘If this is our only option for a season, then we will play our hearts out’

What might OSAA’s ‘culminating events’ look like in Oregon high school sports? Football coaches intrigued by possibility of ‘bowl week’

Could an Open Division playoff work in Oregon high school football?

Oregon all-state football 2020-21: The state’s top returning high school football players

MORE TEAM PREVIEWS

Thank you for joining the discussion on SBLive!

%d bloggers like this: