Bothell looks to take next step toward state championship | Football preview

Bothell High School seniors, quarterback Ross Bowers, left, and running back Sam McPherson, will help lead the Cougar football team’s offense this season.  - Matt Phelps, Bothell Reporter
Bothell High School seniors, quarterback Ross Bowers, left, and running back Sam McPherson, will help lead the Cougar football team’s offense this season.
— image credit: Matt Phelps, Bothell Reporter

Bothell High School’s football team is in a promising position this year based on it’s ranking and how it finished last season. The return of it’s talented quarterback and running back doesn’t hurt either.

“I’m so excited to be back on the field with the guys and I can’t wait to start the year,” said Cougar quarterback and senior Ross Bowers. “I worked hard in the off-season so I could come back and be the best teammate I can be.”

MaxPreps has Bothell ranked No. 4 in the state during its preseason poll.

Last year, Bothell finished the 2014 regular season 4-0 in Crest division play and 9-3 overall. They had a good run during the playoffs but Bellarmine Prep sent the Cougars home for the third time in four years. The team, chalked full of seniors who remember those losses, is ready to overcome the past and write a new chapter in Cougar football lore.

“That was a bad day and it made me want to be a better player and work harder to do so,” Bowers said. “I use that as motivation in practice when there is a really hard drill and I’m feeling like I’m dragging. It makes me push through that pain because I know I need to do this drill to get better.”

Bowers will have some great talent to throw to at wide receiver this season including senior Dayzell Wilson and running back Sam McPherson.

McPherson tore up the KingCo league last season for 1,317 yards rushing (2,370 all purpose) and 29 touchdowns. He also had five kick returns for TD. When the season was all finished, he was voted All-KingCo defensive back and Offensive MVP. He had seven interceptions on defense - the most in the league.

“It’s going to be tough to beat the record we had last year but we have plenty of talented players willing to step up to the challenge,” McPherson said. “The offensive line is really good this year, there are a ton of really fast and really big guys.”

Bowers said there are many offensive linemen this year to watch out for.

“I’m excited to see what Cody Mitchell will do,” Bowers said. “He was out early last year with an injury but now he’s back and is really strong and fast this year.”

Size will not be a factor for the Cougars as Mitchell is one of five offensive lineman over 250 pounds.

As a seniors, Bowers, McPherson and many other players on the team are looking over their shoulders at college scouts.

“I had a few offers from college recruiters last season and I want to get more this year,” he said. “I want to work hard and prove to myself I can make it at that level.”

But even more college coaches could come calling with a Bothell football state title.

The road to state championship starts with defending the 4A KingCo Crest division title, which the team won in 2013 with a perfect 4-0 record. Head coach Tom Bainter also won coach of the year in 2013.

The team will start the season by traveling to Eastlake High School in Sammamish tonight for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

The regular season will end at Pop Keeney Stadium with the annual Spaghetti Bowl against Northshore rival Iglemoor on Halloween.


Cougar schedule

Sept. 5, at Eastlake, 7 p.m.

Sept. 12, host Issaquah, 7 p.m.

Sept. 19, at Newport, 7 p.m.

Sept. 26, host Mount Si, 7 p.m.

Oct. 3, at Woodinville, 7 p.m.

Oct. 9, host Redmond, 7 p.m.

Oct. 17, at Skyline, 7 p.m.

Oct. 24, at Mercer Island, 7 p.m.

Oct. 31, host Inglemoor, 7 p.m.

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