Pateros is looking to build off a successful campaign in which it finished third in Central Washington 1B League play and clinched a postseason bid. There’s enough returning talent to make that goal a realistic one.
The Billygoats return wideouts Lance Evans and Carlos Ciniceros, quarterback Mikey Piechalski, running back Jorge Cavallero and center Jon Gelstin. They have more skill guys coming into the program, giving first-year coach Marcus Stennes an abundance of weapons and plenty of reason to enter the fall with an air of optimism.
“I think we’re going to take another step up and we’re going to be pretty tough at all positions,” Stennes said.
Although bringing in a new coaching regime can sometimes translate into a transition year, Stennes is walking into a good situation given the sheer amount of returning to talent.
“I feel pretty comfortable because the guys have been in the system,” he said. “They know how the offense and how the defense runs.”
Stennes isn’t the only incoming 1B coach with high hopes.
Entiat’s Brian Bailey is taking big steps to make the program his own. He implemented an offseason program, which included spring ball and weight training, and has high expectations in his squad, despite a small presence of senior leadership. Bailey’s been encouraged about what he’s seen so far and expects to be competitive in 1B play.
In order to do that, the Tigers would have to take a big step forward. They finished 3-7 last season with just one win in league play.
“We should be right up there,” he said. “I would say toward the top three to four in the league.”
Meanwhile, Waterville is hoping to rebuild after a 2-7 finish. The Shockers have a handful of returning starters, including junior quarterback Wyatt Mires and junior running back Mat Deshazer.
Bridgeport has more returning talent to bolster its preseason optimism.
The Mustangs return all of their starters from 2012 and have seven players with two years of starting experience. Five were all-league selections.
Bridgeport finished 2-8 last year, but given the corps of returners and the league outlook, coach Kyle Krustangel expects a markedly higher win total this fall.
“The rest of the league lost a lot and I think we didn’t lose a lot,” he said. “I’m pretty optimistic going into the season. … I’m liking the direction we’re going.”
Manson went winless last season and finished at the bottom of the league, but has six returning starters on both sides of the ball. It figures to be a run-heavy team and has a number of backs that can contribute in the ground game. Although the Trojans’ quarterback situation is an uncertainty as of now, the smash-mouth approach could help them settle in and pick up a few more victories in 2013.