Football News

Klahowya Eagles: 2019 Washington high school 1A football preview

By WILL HOLLAND

Here’s an inside look at the 1A Klahowya Eagles.

Links: Klahowya team page | 2019 schedule | Roster

2018 IN REVIEW

7-3 overall record, 5-1 in 1A Olympic/Nisqually League; lost to Zillah in first round of playoffs, 51-20

COACHING RESUME

HC: Jeff Witte

0-0 record (1st season as head coach)

Coordinators: Jeff Witte (OC); Jon Jackson (DC).

Base schemes: Spread offense, 3-5 defense

RETURNING 

Offense – 5. Defense – 4.

TOP RETURNERS

RB/LB Hunter Wallis, 5-11, 195, Jr.

OL/LB Matt Strickland, 6-2, 210, Jr.

OL/DL Aaron Phillips, 5-10, 165, Sr.

QB/LB Jacob McKeel, 5-6, 140, Sr.

RB/LB Nick Lewis, 6-1, 175, Sr.

THREE TO SEE

RB/LB Hunter Wallis, 5-11, 195, Jr.

Wallis will be the heart and soul of this Klahowya team in 2019 as only a junior. Last season, the two-way stud earned defensive player of the year honors in the Nisqually-Olympic crossover league, as well as a first team all-league running back selection. He doesn’t have the biggest frame in the world, but he plays with the physicality of a 6-4 linebacker. 

OL/LB Matt Strickland, 6-2, 210, Jr., OL/DL Aaron Phillips, 5-10, 165, Sr.

These two will return to lead a strong Klahowya offensive line in 2019. The pair were named to all-league selections last season, and they hope to open some big holes for their fellow all-league selection in RB Hunter Wallis. Both possess the footwork and smarts to thrive in coach Witte’s spread offense. 

OUTLOOK

New look for the Eagles this season. Former head coach Dan Ericson has left the school to take on the head coaching job at 4A South Kitsap, and in his place, they’ve called up their varsity line coach, Jeff Witte, to fill the role. Witte steps into his first ever head coaching job this season with what he calls a “gritty” crew at his disposal. The Eagles went 7-3 last season, which earned them a second place finish in league behind fellow playoff contender, Cascade Christian. Moving into this season, they return their two-way playmaker in junior Hunter Wallis, who is expected to carry this young team on both sides of the ball. The team returns only returns nine starters, five of whom were selected to Nisqually/Olympic all-league teams in 2018. Among their key spots to fill is the quarterback position, where they lose all-league first team selection in John Hartford. They may play around with the idea of bringing Wallis into that signal-calling role, with the hopes of getting the ball into their star’s hands as quickly as possible. Coach Witte’s tenure with the program in an assistant role should spell a very similar identity on both sides of the ball this season, which will allow returning varsity players to quickly adapt to this year’s playbook. Should be a solid year for the new-look Eagles.

2019 SCHEDULE

Sept. 6, 6:30 p.m.: Kingston

Sept. 13, 6 p.m.: at North Mason

Sept. 20, 6:30 p.m.: Granite Falls

Sept. 27, 6:30 p.m.: at Chimacum

Oct. 11, 6:30 p.m.: Vashon Island

Oct. 18, 7 p.m.: at Charles Wright

Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m.: Port Townsend

Nov. 2, 7 p.m.: at Cascade Christian

Nov. 8, 6:30 p.m.: Bellevue Christian

*home games in bold

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