Washington’s Top 50 high school football teams: Despite personnel upheaval, No. 42 Steilacoom still a dangerous team in 2A

SBLive is previewing the Top 50 high school teams in Washington ahead of the fall 2021 season. Here’s an inside look at the Steilacoom Sentinels of the 2A SPSL – the No. 42 team in our countdown.

SPRING 2021 IN REVIEW

6-1 in 2A SPSL (first place).

COACH’S RESUMÉ

  • Kyle Haller, first season (interim).
  • Overall record: 0-0.
  • Coordinators (base scheme): Offense – Kyle Haller (spread). Defense – Mike Martin (4-4).

NOTABLE DEPARTURES

WR Logan Brady

OL Anthony Charles-Cross

WR/DB D.J. Fryar

LB Lance Garcia

WR Tre Horner

QB Chance McDonald

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense – 4. Defense – 6.

TOP PLAYERS

OL/DL Nick Barnes, 6-4, 305, sr.

RB Jaycion Cain, 5-7, 165, soph.

DB Demari Ross, 5-8, 160, sr.

LB Austin Kinney, 5-10, 180, sr.

WR/QB Cole Miller, 6-1, 175, sr.

RB Deandre Napier, 5-8, 160, sr.

DL/OL Sam Stowers, 6-3, 315, sr.

THREE TO SEE

Jaycion Cain, running back

After featuring pass-heavy attack, Sentinels expected to dial it back this season, and feature this ultra-fast and shifty tailback.

Cole Miller, athlete

Goes from No. 3 wide receiver to heavy-usage, all-purpose player that will still line up out wide, but play quarterback, too.

Sam Stowers, defensive tackle

Co-2A SPSL defensive lineman of the year is a powerful run stopper who has better hands and feet than given credit for.

FALL SEASON OUTLOOK

The past eight months has seen a revolving door of movement around the Steilacoom program.

First, five-star wide receiver Emeka Egbuka decided to enroll early at Ohio State University, and missed the spring season.

Then a host of talented seniors – record-setting quarterback Chance McDonald (Western Kentucky), linebacker D.J. Fryar (Arizona) and wide receivers Tre Horner (Air Force) and Logan Brady (Central Washington University) – graduated in June.

And finally the late-developing transaction – coach Colby Davies resigned in July to take an assistant-coaching position at Portland State.

Kyle Haller got hired as the interim coach the week after Davies departed. It’s up to him to keep the ball rolling.

“It’s all happened really fast,” Haller said.

“Big picture, one positive is this senior group I coached in eighth grade at Pioneer Middle School.”

It also helps that Haller will remain the primary offensive play-caller, and has a feel on how to handle his personnel.

Cole Miller is the catalyst for everything. He becomes not only the top pass-catching option, the Sentinels also play on utilizing him as a dual threat under center. He could touch the ball plenty.

Caleb Crider, who sat out an injury-filled spring at Cascade Christian, will also see a lot of action at quarterback.

Steilacoom will likely lean on the run game, at least early on, with two dynamic tailbacks in Jaycion Cain and Deandre Napier.

“We are doing what we’ve been doing,” Haller said. “It’s worked – clearly.”

FALL 2021 SCHEDULE

  • Sept. 3 at Lakewood
  • Sept. 10 vs. Life Christian Academy
  • Sept. 17 at Franklin Pierce
  • Sept. 24 vs. Orting
  • Oct. 1 vs. White River
  • Oct. 8 at Enumclaw
  • Oct. 15 vs. Washington
  • Oct. 22 at Clover Park
  • Oct. 29 vs. Fife

(Featured photo by Vince Miller)

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