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Resiliency is key for Cedar Park football team this season
Cedar Park Christian head football coach Todd Parmenter knows his team needs to have resiliency to be successful. Players at the division 1A schools have to compete on nearly every play of the game, playing both offense and defense. But for the Eagles, the term resiliency takes on a different meaning following a disappointing end to the 2012 season.
“We started the season 3-0 but then lost [to Charles Wright] and it just took the wind out of our sails,” said senior co-captain Connor Johnson. “We definitely need more resiliency.”
The team finished the season 5-4 and missed the playoffs. The loss to Charles Wright was followed by a shutout loss to perennial power Cascade Christian.
“We know we can play with those teams,” said senior co-captain and starting running back Andrew Rickman, who is aiming for a 1,000 yard season. “We just have to prove it on the field.”
And while they lost to Cascade Christian 28-0, they finished the season just two games off the division winner’s pace.
“In past seasons that game was our Super Bowl,” said Johnson. “This season we are going to treat it like any other game. When you hype it so much and then lose it really hurts and it is not even a playoff game.”
The playoffs are the most important goal for many of the players, including the seniors.
“We made the playoffs two years ago and I want to get back,” said Rickman.
There is a big change for the offense, as the run-oriented attack of 2012 gives way to a spread offense with more balance.
“Installing this new offense is tough but we will get it,” said Rickman. “Being more balanced is going to make it tough for defenses to stop us.”
The spread offense could also open more holes for the speedy Rickman, who was second team at running back and first team at free safety in 2012. Rickman said that the offense will use misdirection to confuse opposing defenses.
“We have a lot of speed, strength and aggression and a lot of young players with bright futures,” said Rickman.
Parmenter said that Rowan Parmenter, Vincent Hummel and Isaiah Ammon are talented underclassman to watch this season and could be impact players for the team.
“We are really shifty on offense and we have a ton of tenacity on defense,” said Johnson. “But we need to improve our execution and overall sharpness with everything.”
Johnson said the team needs to get back to just concentrating on “the game at hand” and not focus on “some big goal that we have no control over.”
One of the biggest tests for the team will be conditioning. Playing on both offense and defense will take its toll but coach Parmenter said that depth could be an overall issue.
“Everyone on the field is going both ways but conditioning is a big factor and something we have really focused on,” said Rickman. “It is different but you adapt.”
Johnson said the endurance is mostly mental.
“You have to accept, before each game, that there will be no rest or your mind freaks out more than your body,” said Johnson.
The Cedar Park Christian football program is less than a decade old and relatively young.
“We went 8-3 during my sophomore year and that really brought us to respectability,” said Johnson.
The Eagles hope to return that same success this season.
Eagles’ football schedule
Sept. 6 Mission (B.C.) at home 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 South Whidbey at home 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 at Chief Leschi (Puyallup) 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 27 Chimacum at home 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Charles Wright (Tacoma) 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 Bellevue Christian at home 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 at Cascade Christian (Puyallup) 7 p.m.
Oct. 25 Life Christian at home 7 p.m.
Home games played at Cedar Park Christian High School.