New season, new league, but the same objective about what football teams need to accomplish to reap success.
As he watched his players roll through offensive and defensive drills under the lights at Cedar Park Christian on Aug. 16, second-year Eagle head coach Butch Goncharoff noted that it’s the little things that need to be mastered before big things occur on the field and teams can make an impact in the standings.
This season, Cedar Park will compete in the newly formed 1A North Sound Conference along with Sultan, South Whidbey, King’s, Granite Falls and Coupeville, which joins the five Cascade teams while former Cascade squads Cedarcrest and Archbishop Murphy have departed for another league.
Under Goncharoff’s guidance last fall, the Eagles earned their first 1A postseason berth and they posted a 4-6 record.
“I think for us right now, it’s commitment. You’re in a Christian school: Being committed to your faith, being committed to your teammates, understanding that when you make a choice to do something, you are committed to it,” Goncharoff said.
The coach felt the players held their own at a University of Puget Sound camp and was encouraged by what he witnessed. The Eagles still have a ways to go, he added.
“They’re good kids. I think if we can stay healthy,” they can succeed, said Goncharoff, whose roster sports 26 players, the bulk of whom are sophomores. Last year, Cedar Park had seven seniors and started eight freshmen and improved throughout the season, the coach said.
Deegan Csigi will helm the squad from his quarterback spot and junior Daniel Rickman will be second in QB command and play cornerback and wide receiver as well.
As Goncharoff rolled through the roster, he highlighted junior Zach Wilkins, an all-league first-team starting fullback who rushed for close to 1,000 yards last year; junior safety and wingback Kellan Cerrillo; sophomore safety Johnny Petrus; sophomore tackle/guard/defensive end Brendon Brown; and seniors Dawson Drews (6-foot-4 linebacker), wide receiver/safety Luke Lampe and lineman Epic Csigi.
Goncharoff thought about his league opponents for a second and then halted, noting that the Eagles will just focus on themselves and do their best each day.
CEDAR PARK CHRISTIAN
Aug. 31: CHIMACUM (at Lake Washington High), 7 p.m.
Sept. 7: BLAINE (at Redmond High), 7 p.m.
Sept. 14: at Vashon Island, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28: at Granite Falls, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5: at South Whidbey, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12: KING’S (at Redmond High), 7 p.m.
Oct. 19: COUPEVDLLE (at Juanita High), 7 p.m.
Oct. 26: at Sultan, 7 p.m.