Ellensburg Bulldogs: 2019 Washington high school 2A football preview

Here is a look inside the 2019 Ellensburg Bulldog football team.

Links: Team page | 2019 Schedule | Roster

2018 IN REVIEW

6-5 overall, 3-1 in the 2A Central Washington Athletic Conference – North (2nd place); lost to Liberty in the 2A state quarterfinals, 21-10.

COACHING RESUME

Jeff Zenisek, first season

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense – 4. Defense – 4.

TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYERS

QB Ryan Ferguson 6-5, 220, Sr.

RB Dion Hardeman, 5-10, 170, Sr.

RB Brenden Swanson, 5-9, 160, Sr.

OL Tate Morris, 6-2, 185, Sr.

WR Preston Oldham 5-9, 160, Sr.

TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

DL Wyatt Nelson 5-9, 220, Sr.

LB Henry Rinehart, 5-10, 190, Sr.

DL Tate Morris, 6-2, 185, Sr.

LB Bryce Messner 6-3, 210, Sr.

DB Preston Oldham 5-9, 160, Sr.

THREE TO SEE

Dion Hardeman, running back

First team all-2A CWAC North running back as a junior. Tenacious runner who is tough to bring down after contact.

Tate Morris, tackle

First team all-2A CWAC North offensive tackle as a junior. A grinder who has blossomed into a leader not just on the line, but also across the whole team.

Wyatt Nelson, defensive tackle

First team all-2A CWAC North defensive tackle as a junior. Started the season at linebacker, but moved to nose guard. By the end of the season, Nelson was a difference-maker on the D-line and shined in the playoffs.

OUTLOOK

Ellensburg returns key skill position players from a team that competed in the 2A state quarterfinals last season, and is helmed by a new coach with a few rungs in his belt.

Jeff Zenisek took over the program in April, replacing Randy Affholter, who left to take the Kennewick job after 22 years. Zenisek hopes to carry the torch of Affholter’s legacy, and has decades of high school and college coaching experience to his name. He’ll have three first-team all league selections back, headlined by running back Dion Hardeman. 

Depth could be in question, but Ellensburg returns enough talent to get back to the playoffs. 

2019 SCHEDULE

Sept 6: Royal, 7 p.m.

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

Sept. 20: Eastmont, 7 p.m.

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

Oct. 4: East Valley (Yakima), 7 p.m.

Oct. 11: at Prosser, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18: at Othello, 7 p.m.

Oct. 25: Quincy, 7 p.m.

Nov. 1: CWAC crossover, 7 p.m.

*home games in bold

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