Previewing the Top 50 high school football teams in Washington: No. 30 Royal Knights

SBLive Washington is previewing the Top 50 high school football teams in the state ahead of the 2020-2021 season. Here’s an inside look at the Royal Knights of the North Central League (on COVID leave from 1A SCAC) – No. 30 in our countdown.

Editor’s note: Royal is in the North Central region of Washington’s COVID-19 reopening plan. The region has been cleared to move to Phase 2 of the plan, which means football practice can start. Royal is scheduled to kick off its season on March 5.

2019 IN REVIEW

14-0 overall, 6-0 1A South Central Athletic Conference (first place); beat Lynden Christian in the 1A state championship.

COACH’S RESUMÉ

(Photo by Tom Jones)
  • Wiley Allred, 22nd season.
  • Overall record: 243-27.
  • Coordinators: Offense – Wiley Allred. Defense – Jeremy Scroggins.

NOTABLE DEPARTURES

DL Michael Perez

RB/DB Lorenzo Myrick

WR/DB Tyler Allred

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense – 6. Defense – 8.

TOP PLAYERS

QB Caleb Christensen, 6-3, 205, sr.

WR/DB Cooper Christensen, 6-1, 195, sr.

OL Carlos Garcia, 5-10, 235

WR/LB Derek Bergeson, 6-1, 200

RB/LB Avery Ellis, 6-2, 225

DL Elliot Delay, 6-0, 200

DL Jose Medina, 6-1, 240

THREE TO SEE

Caleb Christensen, quarterback

Coaches can’t remember him missing a single workout — six days a week for two years straight — and he plays like he prepares. Primarily a pocket-passer, he’s added muscle and zip to the ball, and moves the offense with ease.

Cooper Christensen, receiver/defensive back

Great speed and strength, with an impressive range catching the ball makes him a QB’s favorite target.

Derek Bergeson, linebacker

On-field leader as a sophomore separates himself with a high-level understanding of the game. He’s the anchor in the middle of a strong defense, even by Royal’s standards. 

2021 OUTLOOK

The defending 1A state champions Knights bring back experience — lots of it. 

Leadership and talent? They have that too.

That’s where the Knights will lean on sure-handed quarterback Caleb Christensen, whose player-led throwing sessions and workouts throughout the offseason have eased coach Wiley Allred’s concerns that a COVID-zapped offseason have slowed his ability to set program standards and build chemistry. 

“It’s huge,” Allred said. “We really rely on going to camp, doing spring ball to figure that out. The guys in place know what they’re doing.”

Cooper Christensen and senior receiver Caleb Christensen (no relation), both all-state selections, flashed a QB/wideout connection unparalleled at the 1A level in 2019.

“It’s as good as we’ve had,” Allred said.

And the Knights boast depth out wide with speedster Aldo Farias, Jace Allred and Luke Bergeson poised to make a jump, as well as a capable back in Avery Ellis stepping into the place of graduated all-state back Lorenzo Myrick.

But the scary part about Royal is the depth and talent on defense.

Explosive and mean defensive tackle Michael Perez is gone, but the Knights return eight starters on D and a linebacker and secondary group that will be hard to move the ball against.

“It’s an advantage to have experience,” Allred said.

The 2021 season will be a test like no other.

In a year that Royal would have entered the overwhelming favorite to repeat if there was a traditional state playoff, it will play a schedule comprised exclusively of bigger schools in its area.

COVID-19 IMPACT

“It’s been tough. Especially on our younger kids. No team time. Less committed kids will most likely not play. Less school weight room time.” —Head coach Wiley Allred

2020-21 SCHEDULE – ROYAL TEAM PAGE

  • March 5 vs. Eastmont
  • March 12 at Ephrata
  • March 19 at Wenatchee
  • March 26 vs. Wahluke
  • April 2 vs. Moses Lake 

(Feature photo by Tom Jones)

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