Here is an inside look at the 2019 Walla Walla Blue Devils football team.
2018 IN REVIEW
2-9 in 4A Mid-Columbia Conference (fourth place)
Greg Lupfer, first season
Offense – 4. Defense – 4.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
WR Dylan Ashbeck, 6-1, 200, sr.
OL Omar Cruz, 6-1, 205, jr.
RB Ryan Moore, 5-10, 170, sr.
TE Joe Terry, 6-0, 195, jr.
RB/WR Josiah Wik, 5-6, 175, sr.
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
DL Omar Cruz, 6-1, 205, jr.
DB Ryan Moore, 5-10, 170, sr.
DB Ethan Naftzger, 5-8, 145, sr.
DL/LB Cole Schmidt, 6-0, 210, sr.
LB Joe Terry, 6-0, 195, jr.
THREE TO SEE
Dylan Ashbeck, wide receiver
Offense needs his open-space ability, and he will play a number of positions
Cole Schmidt, defensive lineman
He is the scariest of pass rushers to face – an overachiever with no half speed or quit
Josiah Wik, all-purpose
With good hands and plenty of wiggle, top special-teams returner will play all over field
It is a bit of a homecoming for Lupfer, who played at nearby Dayton and at now-defunct Walla Walla Community College before coaching at six different FBS schools.
And the Blue Devils could use an infusion of ideas into their offensive game plan. In seven of their losses last season, they scored 10 or fewer points.
That is why Lupfer will move his best athletes — Ashbeck, Moore and Wik — all around to get them in good open-field matchups, even though the offense will primarily be about ball control.
Amid the rebuilding effort, one of Lupfer’s other primary aims is to try to reconnect the school’s storied football past to the present (he has already reached out to ex-WaHi and NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe). He also knows alumni will start coming around when the Blue Devils win games.
Sept 6: Southridge, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13: at Hanford, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20: Chiawana, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27: at Hermiston (OR), 7 p.m.
Oct. 4: at Richland, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11: Kamiakin, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17: at Kennewick, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: Pasco, 7 p.m.
Nov. 1: Wenatchee, 7 p.m.