Here is an inside look at the 2019 Eastmont Wildcats football team.
2018 IN REVIEW
9-2 in Columbia Basin/Big Nine (first place); lost to Puyallup in 4A first round
Mike Don, fifth season
Offense – 7. Defense – 7.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
QB Carson Everhart, 6-6, 200, sr.
OL Carsen Paine, 6-1, 230, sr.
RB Austin Popoff, 5-8, 170, jr.
OL Andrew Snyder, 6-0, 220, sr.
RB Carson Talley, 5-9, 185, sr.
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
DB Oscar Calvillo, 5-10, 170, sr.
LB Jeremy Gregerson, 5-11, 185, sr.
DB Wesley McIlwaine, 6-0, 175, sr.
DL Max Prazer, 6-0, 200, jr.
DL Dominic Torres, 5-8, 200, sr.
THREE TO SEE
Carson Everhart, quarterback
A year ago, he was preparing to hold clipboard as backup; now he acts like top dog
Wesley McIlwaine, defensive back
Hyper-competitive league defensive MVP plays cornerback, safety – wherever you need
Carsen Paine, offensive lineman
When Eastmont switched to Wing-T, he came to life as quick-footed pulling guard
The one thing Don has learned playing under former Prosser coach Tom Moore is to not sit still.
Before last season, Don knew Eastmont’s scheme did not fit its personnel, especially with a guy such as Everhart sitting on the bench. So he installed an offense nobody else in 4A runs – the Wing-T – moved around a few pieces and watched the Wildcats take off to unexpectedly win the league crown.
The next step in the offensive evolution is for the passing game to produce big-chunk plays. Everhart has more than enough arm strength to push it downfield. And keep your eye on ninth grader Austin Ruffins, who will play the same running back/wide receiver hybrid role as Caelen Massey, the 2018 league player of the year.
With McIlwaine patrolling the back end of the defense that returns five all-league performers – and a good wave of sophomores filtering through – this could be Eastmont’s league to rule for the next few seasons.
Sept. 6: at Wilson, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13: Pasco, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20: at Ellensburg, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27: West Valley of Spokane, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4: at West Valley of Yakima, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11: Davis, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18: at Sunnyside, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: at North Creek, 7 p.m.
Nov. 1: Moses Lake, 7 p.m.
Nov. 7: Wenatchee, 7 p.m.