Washington’s Top 50 high school football teams: No. 47 Hockinson has new coach, same high expectations

SBLive is previewing the Top 50 high school teams in Washington ahead of the fall 2021 season. Here’s an inside look at the Hockinson Hawks of the 2A Greater St. Helens League – the No. 47 team in our countdown.

SPRING 2021 IN REVIEW

5-0 in 2A GSHL (first place).

COACH’S RESUME

  • Clint LeCount, first season
  • Overall record: 0-0
  • Coordinators: OC – Josh Racanelli (single-back set; spread; balanced); DC – Clint LeCount (multiple)

NOTABLE DEPARTURES

OL Zack Brandt 

WR Makaio Jaurez

LB Adam Nute 

OL/DL Jake Rogers

TE/LB Jake Talarico

RB Daniel Thompson 

TOP PLAYERS

WR/DB Andrew Domingos, 5-8, 150, sr.

TE/LB Kenyon Johnson, 6-3, 185, sr.

WR/LB Tyler Litle, 6-1, 185, jr.

WR/DB Andre Northrup, 6-1, 180, sr.

QB Jarod Oldham, 6-0, 165, jr.

WR/DB Hale Prior, 6-1, 182, sr.

DB Noah Prior, 6-3, 205, soph.

LB/RB Cody Wheeler, 5-11, 201, sr.

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense – 6. Defense – 7.

THREE TO SEE

Tyler Litle, linebacker/wideout

He was a force on D as a sophomore, blowing up pass coverage and laying huge hits. After earning first team all-league honors on D (played with a cast), he healed up from an ankle injury this summer and is set to play more running back and slot receiver as a junior. 

Andre Northrup, athlete

“Fearless” is the word LeCount uses to describe one of Southwest Washington’s most dynamic all-around players. He’s a hard-hitting defensive back, junior QB Jarod Oldham’s top target and a scoring threat on special teams.

Cody Wheeler, running back/linebacker

Third-year starter was a part of the Hawks’ repeat state title run as a freshman. Now, the lead-by-example workhorse is a dynamic linebacker — on blitz and in coverage — and will also shoulder more carries at running back to replace graduated RB Daniel Thompson’s production. 

FALL SEASON OUTLOOK

After making its mark on the state with an electric offense that brought it two state championships in as many years, Hockinson is entering a new era. 

But it’s keeping its old DNA.

Clint LeCount took the reins after 11 years as an assistant coach at Hockinson, the last eight as defensive coordinator, replacing Rick Steele, the architect of the program, and the school’s first coach when it opened its doors in 2003. 

A flashy offense may have put the Hawks on the map. 

LeCount, who played at Central Washington University and Evergreen (Vancouver) High School under former Camas coach Jon Eagle and Camas defensive coordinator Jon Keilty, knows winning will keep them on the map. 

To win, he wants to diversify the offensive playbook — incorporating a balance of schemes to get the ball in the hands of playmaking wideouts Andre Northrup, Kenyon Johnson and Tyler Litle, as well as running back Cody Wheeler. 

And he’s keen on bolstering what fueled the Hawks seventh consecutive league title in the spring and what he knows best: defense.

“Our defense keeps us in games regardless of how well our offense was playing,” LeCount said.

Though Steele is gone, much of what makes the Hawks a consistent winner remains, starting with the coaching staff. 

LeCount retained every assistant coach, including Josh Racanelli, the offensive coordinator who crafted the Hawks’ aggressive offense that was on display in the 2017 and 2018 state titles. He added Kasey Powers, who has made coaching stops at Seton Catholic, Hudson’s Bay and Skyview, as an offensive line coach, the position group Steele long oversaw.

As Hockinson ascended to state prominence over the last decade, in a Southwest Washington region that is growing and producing more state players, the question is no longer if or when the Hawks will come back down to earth. 

Instead, it’s which league power is ready to rise to their level?

Ridgefield was one successful red zone trip away from knocking the Hawks off the top fo the league standings in the spring. The Spudders are back, and talented. 

But Hockinson is no stranger to pressure.

“Every year you have to expect that,” LeCount said.

FALL 2021 SCHEDULE

  • Sept. 3 at Lynden
  • Sept. 17 vs. Ridgefield
  • Sept. 24 vs. R.A. Long
  • Oct. 1 at Woodland
  • Oct. 8 vs. Columbia River
  • Oct. 15 at Mark Morris
  • Oct. 22 at Hudson’s Bay
  • Oct. 29 vs. Washougal

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