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Experience and unity to fuel Inglemoor’s season in 2014 | Football preview
The Inglemoor High School football program has gone through a sea change during the past few years. Viking fans felt that change last year with a 2-8 record. But head coach DJ Baddeley said that the team gained a lot from the 2013 season beyond wins and losses.
“It was a rough year with the wins but I was more concerned about performance,” Baddeley said. “We won the last two games of the season and the guys did a great job of staying focused.”
The team finished strong by beating Ballard and Shorecrest and lost to Arlington by just a touchdown.
The coach also said that entering last season the team had just two or three players with varsity experience. That won’t be the case this season.
“There are a lot of guys returning from last year and they bring a lot of experience,” said Baddeley, who has coached the track and field team at Inglemoor for 14 years and is in his 19th year teaching at the high school.
Two of those players are Jackson Gardner and Isaiah Lewis. Gardner is a 6-foot-5 235 pound tight end, while Lewis is the team’s primary running back and one of the fastest kids at the school.
“That year under our belt will really help the offensive and defensive lines,” Gardner said.
Linemen like Carson Dewit and Tyren Holt know that winning games starts up front.
“We had a good camp and with that year under our belt I think we will play better together,” Dewit said.
Experience can make a huge difference at the high school level where there are only four possible years to learn the game at the KingCo level.
“The game slows down every year you play so that experience is really big,” Gardner said.
Bryce Larson will quarterback the Viking offense and has led by example.
“He is the hardest working player in our program,” Baddeley said. “… We have a good core of guys who can lead us on the field.”
That core includes senior wide receiving tandem Sam Savage and Chandler Edlin who will be a big part of Larson’s success.
“We need to play our game,” Savage said. “We have to do all the little things right.”
The league is one of the toughest in the state. The team will open the season as they did last year against Juanita but this time at home at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell. Baddeley is hoping for a different result from the loss last year.
“They have a great program over there but all the teams in our league are good,” Baddeley said. “… eight of the ten teams we played made the playoffs and one was in the state semifinals.”
The Spaghetti Bowl against Bothell will be a big game for Inglemoor to test how far they have come.
Baddeley said that his team needs to focus on what they can do that day and not look ahead.
“We just need to improve every day and work on our overall consistency,” Baddeley said. “You can’t be satisfied, you have to continue to push forward.”
But for Baddeley, every year should be a learning year for his teams - after all, it is high school athletics. He said that football can provide a learning environment for the student athletes along with the traditional classroom environment.
“We want everyone to have the ability to go to college,” Baddeley said. “We want to give them all the skills to be productive beyond high school.”
Sept. 5, host Juanita, 7 p.m.
Sept. 11, host Eastlake, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19, at Issaquah, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26, host Newport, 7 p.m.
Oct. 3, at Mount Si, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10, host Woodinville, 7 p.m.
Oct. 16, at Redmond, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24, host Skyline, 7 p.m.
Oct. 31, at Bothell, 7 p.m.