Sports

"Wolves offer mix of experience, youth this season"

"There's experience and game experience.South Kitsap High School football D.J. Sigurdson has a team full of players that have been in the program, but is short on players that have varsity game experience.Sigurdson said blending the old with the new will be the most important task in putting together a team gunning for its 22nd straight trip to the state playoffs.There's not a lot of game experience so we're still working through that, Sigurdson said. We're going to have to create some depth.One option Sigurdson said he hopes he doesn't have to commit to is having a bulk of his core players playing on both sides of the ball.The depth of the Wolves and their road savvy will be tested early as they open the season Sept. 7 on the road against powerhouse Snohomish.Defensively we have a lot of guys that are in new positions trying to create a bit of depth at those positions, Sigurdson said. It would be great if we could just keep some of those guys on one side of the ball. But we may have to go both ways. That's where depth becomes a factor.Senior anchor Buddy Anderson, a 310-pound defensive lineman, could play on the offensive line, but like some other players, their energy may be tapped out by the start of the fourth quarter.While the search for depth continues, Sigurdson said he is pleased with this year's crop of seniors. Senior Ryan Cole will be looked upon to help guide the Wolves to the state championship game.The highly coveted running back posted school and West Sound records in rushing (2,175 yards), touchdowns (35), and points in a season (218).Sigurdson said Cole will put up fine numbers based on talent and work ethic alone, but stressed the work of the offensive line will be the determining factor.He got a lot of personal accolades last year but he knows this is a team, Sigurdson said. Every time he's asked a question he makes sure he talks about the team.Cole's greatness may even benefit other players on the team looking to latch on to a college somewhere.Oh sure, Sigurdson said. (Scouts) are there watching (Cole) instead of others but the others get noticed. That's great for us. This is a special group of seniors.Opening the holes for SK running backs will be five seniors. Returning starters Ben Duncan and Chris Krueger will anchor the left side, followed by Phil Bilderback at center, Matt Christenbury at right guard, and Scott Kasten at right tackle.The flanker position will be led by a pair of juniors, Nick Anderson and Cody McCulley.Second-year player Tyler Mayfield, who enjoyed a successful football debut last year, returns at wide receiver.Junior Andy Sund's ability to block and catch has earned him the starting job at tight end.Though Cole is the featured back, junior Victor Valle will also get some touches.Under the I formation, the running backs rely on the solid blocking from the fullback.Senior John Enbom is the starting fullback, though sophomore Chris Anderson will also get some looks.Leading this year's offense is quarterback Travis Vetters, who begins his first full season as the starting quarterback.He earned big starts against Capital and in the playoffs against Kamiak.Sigurdson said Vetters should only grow from those games.Backing up Vetters is junior Jared Stevenson. Stevenson and junior Hiram Davis will share the team's kicking duties. Defense has always been SK's first priority, and Sigurdson said he's confident in this year's group.Buddy Anderson, SK's record holder in the weight room, will add his muscle on the defensive line.Christenbury will be one of the few guys playing on both sides of the ball. Senior Phil Estevez will add to the mix, and Enbom will start at defensive end.The SK defense is predicated on the talent of the linebackers, which Sigurdson said is solid this year.The inside linebackers are Chris Anderson and Sund.Senior Jeff Goodwin is the only starting linebacker returning.He and Nick Anderson will hold down the outside linebacking duties.Mayfield and senior Sean Banks are the defensive backs with Cole adding defense to his resume this year as the free safety.Last year's starting free safety and return specialist Gary Snyder would have been a senior this year, but transferred last spring to Permian HIgh School in Odessa, Texas.Sigurdson said Cole's role on defense should not hinder his running back duties because he's in such good shape. "

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