Washington’s Top 50 high school football teams: Stout line, seasoned QB lead the way for loaded No. 38 Peninsula

SBLive is previewing the Top 50 high school teams in Washington ahead of the fall 2021 season. Here’s an inside look at the Peninsula Seahawks of the 3A South Sound Conference – the No. 38 team in our countdown.

SPRING 2021 IN REVIEW

5-1 in 4A SPSL (third place).

COACH’S RESUME

  • Ross Filkins, 22nd season.
  • Overall record: 161-98.
  • Coordinators: OC – Jim Fairfield (multiple); DC – Joel Epstein (multiple).

NOTABLE DEPARTURES

WR Chris Akulschin

DB Bryce Cleave

DB Chase Coalson

OL Spencer Kanouse

RB/LB Landon Sims

RB/DL Sean Skladany

K Cameron Watkins

TE/DL Tyler Welch

TOP PLAYERS

QB Jake Bice, 6-2, 200, sr.

LB Josh Hinkel, 6-0, 215, sr.

OL Grady Johnson, 6-1, 250, jr.

OL Taylor Jones, 6-1, 275, sr. 

DB Dane Meddaugh, 6-1, 170, jr.

TE/DL Caleb Novak, 6-5, 240, sr.

OL Hall Schmidt, 6-7, 300, sr.

DL Tanner Staben, 6-0, 240, jr.

LB Jones Stalker, 6-1, 180, jr.

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense – 6. Defense – 5.

THREE TO SEE

Jake Bice, quarterback

The Seahawks’ offense purposely limited Bice in the run game during the spring to preserve him, but look out — the proven pocket passer is going to flash his wheels. Also the team’s punter.

Josh Hinkel, inside inebacker

At 5-11, 200 pounds, Hinkel is physical, boasts agile feet and will be tasked with leading a linebacking corps that has been a strong suit for the Seahawks, and must replace D1 products Sean Skladany and Landon Sims.

Hall Schmidt, offensive tackle

Massive-framed Boise State commit headlines an offensive line that returns just about everyone. Was a 4A SPSL all-league pick at left guard last spring, but has moved to right tackle this season.

FALL SEASON OUTLOOK

If you’re wondering what Peninsula gleaned from a shortened spring season when it was temporarily reassigned in the pandemic to the 4A SPSL league,  perhaps the state’s deepest 4A gauntlet, just ask coach Ross Filkins.

“Tremendous for us, particularly our young players,” Filkins said. “We’ll go anywhere … we’re OK winning and losing – we know how to handle both of those.”

The Seahawks have done their fair share of winning as the mainstay atop the 3A SSC. There’s no indication that will stop.

Peninsula brings back most of its offensive and defensive lines, led by first team all-leaguers Taylor Jones and junior Boise State commit Hall Schmidt. 

“We’re really strong in the box,” Filkins said.

That’s music to the ears of Jake Bice, the second year starting quarterback who asserted himself as a passer in the spring, and will run more now as Peninsula expands its playbook for him. 

Peninsula has earned its living with a strong run game, and must replace outgoing power running backs Landon Sims (now at Hawaii) and Sean Skladany (Eastern Washington). It turns to a new stable, headlined by power runner Josh Hinkel (also the inside linebacker) and speedy sophomore Connor Burton.

The Seahawks are on a crash course for an Oct. 22 showdown with Yelm, which could determine the SSC winner.

And playing a full season for the first time in two years isn’t lost on them after losing nearly a year of football to COVID-19. They’ve come to appreciate “just how precious every day is.”

“We all got a point where we were taking things for granted,” Filkins said.

FALL 2021 SCHEDULE

  • Sept. 3 vs. Bellevue
  • Sept. 9 vs. Mount Rainier
  • Sept. 17 vs. Timberline
  • Oct. 1 at River Ridge
  • Oct. 8 at North Thurston
  • Oct. 15 vs. Central Kitsap
  • Oct. 22 at Yelm
  • Oct. 29 vs. Capital

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