Washington’s Top 50 high school football teams: This isn’t a drill – this is for real as No. 1 Graham-Kapowsin stalks first 4A championship

SBLive is previewing the Top 50 high school teams in Washington ahead of the fall 2021 season. Here’s an inside look at the Graham-Kapowsin Eagles of the 4A SPSL – the No. 1 team in our countdown.

SPRING 2021 IN REVIEW

6-0 in 4A SPSL (first place).

COACH’S RESUMÉ

  • Eric Kurle, 17th season.
  • Overall record: 144-41.
  • Coordinators (base scheme): Offense – Jeff Logan (pro-style, multiple). Defense – Muckie Foreman (4-2-5).

NOTABLE DEPARTURES

DB/RB Va’alele Hansen

LB Charlie Lockington

DB Billy Phinizy

LB/RB Jonas Waugh

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense – 10. Defense – 5.

TOP PLAYERS

RB/LB Jalen Davenport, 5-10, 215, jr.

DB/WR Vinny Hansen, 5-10, 165, jr.

DB Myles Haywood, 5-9, 165, sr.

OL/DL Curtis Hill, 6-2, 260, sr.

OL/DL Hunter Hill, 6-2, 240, sr.

OL/DL Josh Holder, 6-2, 275, sr.

OL/DL Vega Ioane, 6-5, 315, sr.

DB/WR Stephen Mars, 6-1, 175, sr.

WR/DB Julian Mason, 5-11, 175, sr.

DL/TE Andrew Savaiinaea, 6-4, 265, sr.

OL/DL Austin Siitia, 6-3, 290, sr.

LB/DB Cameron Sonnefeld, 5-11, 190, sr.

QB Joshua Wood, 6-3, 185, sr.

THREE TO SEE

Curtis and Hunter Hilldefensive tackles

It’s not just the tireless work rate, or the nasty edge these Idaho State-bound twins showcase in their play – they also keep teammates in check.

Vega Ioane, offensive tackle

Transformed himself from big-man-playing-football project to Pacific-12 Conference offensive tackle (UW) with lots of extra offseason work.

Joshua Wood, quarterback

A year ago, most knew Wood as a high-level point guard in basketball. Now, he is being mentioned as one of the top signal callers in the state.

FALL SEASON OUTLOOK

Top-ranked Graham-Kapowsin has been building for this.

The Eagles have performed at a state level for many years. They have been in the Class 4A playoffs for 15 consecutive years – and have reached the state quarterfinals in the past three seasons (when WIAA playoffs were active).

But now – the undisputed state favorites?

They are ready.

“Everyone can say we are preseason No. 1, but we have to show it on the field,” Graham-Kapowsin coach Eric Kurle said.

The Eagles are loaded everywhere: Joshua Wood gives them a bona fide dual-threat star at quarterback (even after just one season as the starter); both lines rotate a bevy of college-bound recruits, led by left tackle Vega Ioane (UW) and twin defensive-tackle brothers Curtis and Hunter Hill (Idaho State). And not only is Julian “Juice” Mason a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver, he will have inside-the-seams tight end transfer Andrew Savaiinaea to help take some of the attention away.

But it all starts with the cool-headed Wood – the reigning Northwest 9 Showcase senior-class winner.

“He is respected so much by teammates, and he can do so many things – passing, running and scrambling,” Kurle said. “And the biggest thing is he is such a humble kid. He’s a lot like (ex-G-K/current UW quarterback) Dylan (Morris) – a team-first guy.”

So, what is the team’s biggest question mark?

On defense, the Eagles have to replace middle linebacker Jonas Waugh. That role will fall to junior Jalen Davenport, who also leads a deep running-back corps.

“He’s real athletic, and quicker than Jonas,” Kurle said. “He reads things well.”

While young, the secondary has plenty of speed, led by cornerbacks Myles Haywood and Stephen Mars, and free safety Jordan Woods.

“The chance to win a state title is the ultimate goal,” Kurle said. “But we need to build depth in the games we can. … so we might not have the (individual statistics) like in other years.”

FALL 2021 SCHEDULE

  • Sept. 3 at Rogers of Puyallup
  • Sept. 9 vs. Olympia
  • Sept. 17 at Bethel
  • Sept. 24 vs. Puyallup
  • Oct. 1 at Curtis
  • Oct. 8 vs. Bellarmine Prep
  • Oct. 16 at Sumner
  • Oct. 21 at Emerald Ridge
  • Oct. 28 vs. South Kitsap
%d bloggers like this: