Here is an inside look at the 2019 Curtis Vikings football team.

Links: Curtis team page | 2019 schedule | Roster

2018 IN REVIEW

7-4 in 4A SPSL (third place); lost to Lake Stevens in 4A first round

COACHING RESUME

Chris Paulson, fifth season

24-17 record

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense – 4. Defense – 5.

TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYERS

QB Brayden Baker, 6-1, 175, so.

WR Garrett Beard, 6-1, 175, sr.

WR Keyon Corvey, 6-0, 200, sr.

RB Caleb Kwalalon, 6-0, 210, jr.

OL Malik Washington, 5-11, 265, jr.

TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

DB Garrett Beard, 6-1, 175, sr.

LB Layne Boies, 6-2, 215, jr.

LB Marcus Cooney, 5-10, 185, jr.

DL Jared Franklin, 6-4, 205, sr.

LB Josiah Miller, 6-5, 195, sr.

THREE TO SEE

Garrett Beard, defensive back

Just plays at a different gear as third-year starter at free safety than on offense

Caleb Kwalalon, running back

Warning to those who were run over by this standout — he has better speed now

Malik Washington, offensive lineman

No starters return on OL, but he is easily most proven commodity as “sixth man” last year

OUTLOOK

You might be wondering — where is returning dual-threat quarterback Kyle Russell, the reigning co-4A SPSL offensive player of the year (2,500 passing yards, 800 rushing yards)?

The Washington State baseball commit is out indefinitely with a broken left wrist, suffered sometime last spring during the Vikings’ run to the baseball state playoffs. And doctors discovered the injury just weeks before training camp.

Needless to say, that changes the Curtis offense in a big way. First, expect the focus to shift more to Kwalalon, a workhorse-type who is one of the best tailback prospects in the 2021 class.

Paulson said Kwalalon is built for an expanded workload. He is a tackle-breaking power running back who was hobbled by a high ankle sprain injury a year ago. Before he got hurt, he averaged 12.5 yards per carry. He could see 20-25 touches a game now as a junior.

But when the Vikings do need to pass, Baker — another athlete with a baseball background — will be the guy. He saw some playing time as the third-string signal caller last season, and has been leading the offense much of this summer when Russell was away at select tournaments.

Curtis has as talented a skill-position group as anybody in the league, but what has kept the Vikings from seriously threatening the top teams is their offensive line. They lost all five of their 2018 starters, and even though there is a large group of underclassmen ready to emerge, only Washington has varsity playing experience as a center.

2019 SCHEDULE

Sept 5: at Rogers of Puyallup, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13: at Gig Harbor, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20: South Kitsap, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27: Sumner, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4: at Emerald Ridge, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11: Bellarmine Prep, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18: at Graham-Kapowsin, 7 p.m.

Oct. 25: Puyallup, 7 p.m.

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

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