Highland Scots: 2019 Washington high school 1A football preview

By WILL HOLLAND

Here’s an inside look at the 1A Highland Scots.

Links: Highland team page | 2019 schedule | Roster

2018 IN REVIEW

2-8 overall record, 2-4 in 1A SCAC West; no playoff appearance

COACHING RESUME

HC: Sean Sleater

4-36 record (5th season as head coach)

Coordinators: Sean Sleater (OC); Cesar Dominguez (DC).

Base schemes: Spread Air Raid offense, 5-2 defense

RETURNING 

Offense – 7. Defense – 7.



TOP RETURNERS

WR/S Peter Williams, 5-8, 160, Sr.

OL/DL Anthony Nehls, 5-9, 190, Sr.

DL Leif Rydberg, 6-4, 225, Sr.

TE/LB Jorge Villafan, 6-0, 205, Jr.

OL/DL Jorge Ibarra, 5-8, 215, So.

THREE TO SEE

WR/S Peter Williams, 5-8, 160, Sr.

Williams might have a small frame, but don’t let that fool you – this kid can hit. He’s a danger to receivers over the middle from his hybrid linebacker/safety position, and will hope to make ball carriers pay this fall. Great blocker from the receiver position as well. 

OL/DL Anthony Nehls, 5-9, 190, Sr.

Nehls returns this season after an all-league campaign on the offensive line in 2018. While undersized, the 190 lb senior has the footwork and physicality to pose problems to offensive lines by filling gaps in the run game. 

DL Leif Rydberg, 6-4, 225, Sr.

Rydberg has potential to pose threats in the passing game this season coming off the edge. The senior defensive end has the size and length to be a major disruption on defense, and coach Slater has confidence in this guy coming into 2019. 

OUTLOOK

Highland’s football program has struggled to find success. Their lone playoff visit was in 1985, and since the squad has consistently finished in the bottom half of the SCAC – West. Last season, while it was their best finish in the last decade, was no exception. The Scots finished 5th in league with a 2-8 overall record, missing out on the playoffs once again. This fall, head coach Sean Sleater will step into his 5th year at Highland, and will be changing things around a bit in hopes of changing the program culture. Says coach, “We are changing what we do on both sides of the ball […] by adopting an air raid type of offense and a type of 5-2 on defense. The kids are excited about the change and hopefully this will lead to more success”. This change on offense is partially in response to a loss of talent in the backfield, but coach Slater also has confidence in the arm of his quarterback. Incoming senior quarterback Lino Palacios returns at the helm on offense, and will be counted on to throw the ball around quite a bit in the new scheme.They lose 12 seniors to graduation coming into this season, which will leave quite a mark on a program with relatively low player turnout. Hopefully the Scots can turn it around this year, as coach Slater attempts to create a winning football culture in Cowiche.

2019 SCHEDULE

Sept. 6, 7 p.m.: College Place

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

Sept. 20, 7 p.m.: Granger

Sept. 27, 7 p.m.: at La Salle

Oct. 4, 7 p.m.: Zillah

Oct. 11, 7 p.m.: at Cle Elum-Roslyn

Oct. 18, 7 p.m.: Naches Valley

Oct. 25, 7 p.m.: at Goldendale

Nov. 1, 7 p.m.: Wahluke

*home games in bold

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