Football News

Wahluke Warriors: 2019 Washington high school 1A football preview

By WILL HOLLAND

Here’s an inside look at the 1A Wahluke Warriors.

Links: Wahluke team page | 2019 schedule | Roster

2018 IN REVIEW

4-6 overall record, 1-5 in 1A SCAC – East; no playoff appearance

COACHING RESUME

Head coach: Ryan Antos

4-6 record (2nd season as head coach)

Coordinators: Ryan Antos (OC); Joe Wirtzberger (DC).

Base schemes: Spread offense, 4-3 defense

RETURNING 

Offense – 7. Defense – 7.

TOP RETURNERS

QB/DB Oscar Rodriguez, 6-0, 195, Sr.

WR/DB Isaac Sanchez, 5-7, 150, Sr.

OL/DL Pedro Casteneda, 5-11, 270, Jr.

RB/S Jose Celaya, 5-6, 160, Sr.

RB/LB Tony Cruz, 5-5, 150, Sr.

THREE TO SEE

QB/DB Oscar Rodriguez, 6-0, 195, Sr.

Rodriguez comes into his senior season with a year’s experience in coach Antos’ new spread offense under his belt. Coach says this dude has a “big arm,” and he’s expected to throw the ball around quite a bit this fall. 

RB/S Jose Celaya, 5-6, 160, Sr.

Despite the Warriors’ plans to throw the ball a lot this year, a solid running game will be important to keep defenses guessing. Celaya enters 2019 after receiving an honorable mention from the league for his efforts in the backfield last season. Expect to see some wildcat packages with Celaya at QB this fall – head coach and OC Ryan Antos loves to get this kid the ball in open space. 

OL/DL Pedro Casteneda, 5-11, 270, Jr.

At 270 lbs, Casteneda returns to Wahluke in 2019 with some much-needed size for the Warriors’ line. He earned second team all-league honors on the offensive line last season, and was a valuable asset on the defensive side of the ball as well, bullying his way through the A-gap to make plays from his defensive tackle position. 

OUTLOOK

Wahluke enters 2019 after a disappointing season last year, in which the Warriors finished last place in the SCAC – East. This can be chalked up to a handful of things, including a tough league with two playoff contenders in Royal and Connell and the loss of five all-league selections from the previous year.

But the biggest reason for the tough year was the complete overhaul that the team faced under new head coach Ryan Antos. He brought in the spread offense to a team that had been run under the double-wing for years prior, which meant that the entire offense had to learn a new playbook in 2018.

Antos says that this year, with a year’s experience in the new scheme, the offense has taken on a “big learning curve” and has shown some big improvements thus far through camp. The switch suits their talent a bit better – “big arm” QB Oscar Rodriguez is expected to lead the offense through the air, and skill weapons like Isaac Sanchez and Jose Celaya will help make his job a little easier. The defense remains a question mark for a team that gave up a league-high 251 points on defense last year, but the Warriors get a good amount of starters back on that side of the ball. Wahluke will hope to improve on last year’s league finish in a tough South Central East division in 2019. 

2019 SCHEDULE

Sept. 6, 7 p.m.: Wapato

Sept. 13, 7 p.m.: at Granger

Sept. 20, 7 p.m.: Royal

Sept. 27, 7 p.m.: at Connell

Oct. 4, 7 p.m.: Kiona Benton

Oct. 11, 7 p.m: at River View

Oct. 18, 7 p.m.: College Place

Oct. 25, 7 p.m.: Warden

Nov. 1, 7 p.m.: at Highland

*home games in bold

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