By David Pan | Oct 11, 2018 , Edmonds Beacon
After three scoreless quarters, King’s and Granite Falls’ offenses finally got on track in the fourth quarter.

The two teams trades touchdowns with the Knights scoring the final touchdown to pull out a 13-12 victory in a North Sound Conference football game Friday, Oct. 5, at Woolsey Stadium in Shoreline.

Senior running back Josiah Seirs scored the winning touchdown on a 4-yard run to lift the Knights (2-0 in the league, 2-4 overall) to the come-from-behind victory. King’s took over the ball on its own 30 with just over four minutes left in the contest.

“We moved the ball pretty good all four quarters,” King’s coach Jim Shapiro said. “We finally started converting. Granite Falls had a nice long run, 61 yards. They had a big play. Both teams kind of woke up.”

Seirs also caught a key 35-yard pass to help King’s convert on third down during the final drive.

“We got some momentum as we went forward,” Shapiro said.

The Knights struggled with their ground game, rushing for only 41 yards. Seirs finished with only 31 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown. Seirs caught three passes for 46 yards.

Junior quarterback Casey Needham completed 16 of 26 passes for 202 yards and one touchdown. Junior wide receiver Davis Campbell caught five passes for 74 yards and one touchdown and senior wide receiver Luke Bobin had five receptions for 39 yards.

Granite Falls (0-2, 0-6) defended the run well, though Shapiro added that the Knights didn’t help themselves with their own mistakes, such as missed blocking assignments.

“In some ways we stopped ourselves,” Shapiro said. “But we found a way to move the ball.”

Trailing 6-0 in the fourth quarter, King’s took the lead on a 11-yard pass from Needham to Campbell and a successful extra point by Jack McCallister.

The Tigers responded with a 61-yard TD run by Brayden Counsellor but a pass on a 2-point conversion attempt was incomplete and Granite Falls led 12-7.

Up next is a battle for first place in the league as King’s faces off against Cedar Park Christian – Bothell (2-0, 4-1), which beat South Whidbey 35-20. The two teams square off at 7 p.m., Friday,, Oct. 12, at Redmond High School.

The winner will move into sole possession of first place in the league. The top seed will face a lower seed in the district crossover playoffs.

The Eagles run a Wing-T offense under former Bellevue coach Butch  Goncharoff. But Shapiro noted that Cedar Park Christian will throw the ball if teams focus too much on its ground game.

“They are big up front,” Shapiro added. “They are one of the more athletic lines we’ll face.”


• by Zac Hereth - Everett Herald
• Friday, August 24, 2018 7:23pm

COACHES POLL
The predicted order of finish as voted on by the league’s coaches. Included is the average points teams received per vote, with first-place votes counting for five points, second place four, etc. First-place votes received by teams are in parentheses.
1. King’s (3) 4.75
2. Sultan (1) 3.5
3. Cedar Park Christian (1) 3.2
4. South Whidbey 2.75
5. Granite Falls 2
6. Coupeville 1.5
Notes: Coaches weren’t allowed to vote for their own teams. One coach chose not to participate in the voting.
FAVORITE
King’s. In a new conference with new coaches and a new school, it makes sense that the program with the richest football tradition and longest-tenured coach, Jim Shapiro, is the favorite in Year 1 of the North Sound Conference. No coach voted the Knights lower than second place. Nine of the 11 state tournament appearances made by North Sound Conference teams since 2000 belong to the Knights, who are coming off a year marred by injuries. Shapiro, in his 22nd year as the Knights’ head coach, said it was probably the worst he had seen in his tenure. The team will have decided on a new quarterback by the time of its season opener against Lakewood on Aug. 31, and he’ll have a strong offensive line in front of him. On the defensive side of the ball, the Knights should be stout up front with the likes of seniors Avery Hamann, Danny Bogen and Jacob Renneke and 6-foot-6, 280 pound junior Collin Hamilton. King’s will be tested early, with non-conference games against Lakewood (2A), Lakeside (3A) and 2017 1A state playoff qualifier Nooksack Valley to start the season.
CONTENDER
Sultan. The Turks finished 2017 in second place in the Cascade Conference at 4-1 in league play and hold a 6-2 record over teams in the new conference over the past two seasons. Sultan is replacing almost all of its prodution at its skill positions this season but returns all five starters across the offensive line. To go along with the experience up front, the Turks may have the most size on the line — seven players are listed at 220 pounds or above at offensive line and tight end on their 2018 roster. Senior Josh Ford leads the defense, coming off a junior campaign with nine tackles for loss, six sacks and five fumble recoveries. In 2017, Sultan hit a few small milestones on the field. The Turks won their first homecoming game in seven years, beat King’s for the first time since 2007 and hosted their first playoff game in 16 seasons. If the the Turks and Knights play up to expectations around the league, an Oct. 19 showdown on Senior Night at King’s could have huge conference title implications, with only one regular-season game remaining.
STORYLINES TO WATCH
What’s in store for Cedar Park Christian in Year 2 of the Butch Goncharoff era?
The Eagles made a big splash heading into the 2017 season when they hired former Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff. CPC’s overall record stayed the same (4-6) from the year before Goncharoff came aboard, but coaches in the conference know Goncharoff and his staff have the ability to make the Eagles a dangerous team. Returning the bulk of their roster that flashed lots of potential doesn’t hurt either. CPC returners gained 1,010 of the team’s 1,900 rushing yards and scored 13 of 20 touchdowns in 2017. The team also returners starting quarterback Deegan Csigi and almost all of its receiving production. “You can never count out Butch,” Shapiro said. “Butch has been around for a long time. He obviously knows how to coach kids up. I anticipate he’ll being getting Cedar Park to an even higher level this year.”
Can the Falcons fly high after a season trying to rejuvenate the program?
Citing its overall youth and low turnout numbers, South Whidbey’s football team elected to forgo its 2017 Cascade Conference schedule in favor of an independet slate. The Falcons had just 11 combined juniors and seniors on their 2017 roster, which featured 24 combined freshmen and sophomores. After an 0-8 2016 season in which the team was outscored 325-88 and saw its roster dwindle into the teens, the Falcons went 7-2 in 2017 while playing a scheduled that consisted of 1A, 2B and Canadian schools. However, the team lost both of its games to 1A schools by a combined score of 31-6. “We were able to build some confidence, we were able to play teams that were kind of more at our comeptition level and (it) kind of showed the community that it’s a good team sport. We built that trust back in the community again,” Falcons coach Mark Hodson said of his team, which has seen the program’s participation numbers increase to nearly 40. “It was absolutely the right thing to do last year for South Whidbey.”
Closing the gap on the NWC
Last year’s Week 10 playoff games against the Northwest Conference were something the new North Sound Conference schools would probably like to forget. The conference’s top-seeded 1A school, Sultan, was on the receiving end of a 66-12 thrashing from Nooksack Valley, King’s didn’t fare much better in a 45-15 struggle against Mount Baker and Cedar Park Christian was no match for Meridian in a 63-3 blowout loss. Those scores follow a pattern that’s been going on for several years. The conference’s current members are 2-10 (both wins by King’s) against the Northwest Conference in playoff games since 2014 and haven’t won a crossover game since 2015. The North Sound Conference teams will get their shot to prove they can compete with the schools up north early this season with four games scheduled between North Sound and Northwest Conference teams in the non-league slate. In order for any of the four public schools in the league to end their state-playoff droughts that date back to 2000, they’ll have to get through a Northwest Conference foe in Week 10.

Coach of the Year-Tim Dennis, Granite Falls
OFFENSE MVP
Kyler Gordon 12th Archbishop Murphy
1st Team QB
Camden Landrum 12th Granite Falls
2nd Team QB
Victor Gabalis 10th Archbishop Murphy
1st Team RB's
Zach Wilkins 10th Cedar Park Christian
Ray Pimentel 12th Archbishop Murphy
2nd Team RB's
Logan Perrigo 12th Kings
Andrew Buchholz 12th Granite Falls
Ben Hines 12th Archbishop Murphy
1st Team WR's
Errett Turner 12th Sultan
Jace Fransen 12th Kings
Rwehabura Munyagi 12th Archbishop Murphy
Dillon Singh-Halpin 11th Archbishop Murphy
2nd Team WR's
John Petrus 9th Cedar Park Christian
Cordaro Rivas 12th Sultan
Levi Bundrant 12th Kings
Brennon Blevins 12th Kings
1st Team O-Line
Hunter Chapman 12th Granite Falls
Killian Boyle 12th Cedar Park Christian
Taylor Schoenfeld 12th Kings
Martin Napeahi 12th Archbishop Murphy
Matthew Keck 12th Archbishop Murphy
2nd Team O-Line
Liam Schenfeld 11th Granite Falls
Judah Shirley 11th Cedar Park Christian
John Hollinrake 12th Kings
Nathan Honold 10th Sultan
Kobe Moorhead 12th Archbishop Murphy
1st Team Tight End
Jonny Bell 12th Cedarcrest
2nd Team Tight End
Payton Nelson 12th Cedar Park Christian
1st Team Kicker
Jace Fransen 12th Kings
2nd Team Kicker
Bradley Cumley 12th Cedar Park Christian
1st Team Punter
Phoenix McGuire 12th Sultan
2nd Team Punter
Ben Hines 12th Archbishop Murphy
Aaron Davenport 12th Cedarcrest
Defensive MVP
Ben Hines 12th Archbishop Murphy
1st Team Secondary
Alex Perrigo 12th Sultan
Payton Nelson 12th Cedar Park Christian
Camden Landrum 12th Granite Falls
Kyler Gordon 12th Archbishop Murphy
Jonathan Chen 12th Kings
2nd Team Secondary
Atley Shapiro 12th Kings
Brayden Haefele 10th Sultan
Rwehabura Munyagi 12th Archbishop Murphy
Jake Fowler 12th Cedarcrest
1st Team LB's
Phoenix McGuire 12th Sultan
Jason He 12th Cedar Park Christian
Jerad Stretton 12th Kings
Luke Riojas 11th Archbishop Murphy
2nd Team LB's
Aidan Fleming 10th Sultan
Dawson Drews 11th Cedar Park Christian
Logan Perrigo 12th Kings
Seth Harris 11th Granite Falls
1st Team D-Line
Hunter Chapman 12th Granite Falls
Tyler Shimman 12th Cedar Park Christian
Taylor Schoenfeld 12th Kings
Jonny Bell 12th Cedarcrest
Martin Napeahi 12th Archbishop Murphy
2nd Team D-Line
Kaleb Dennis 12th Sultan
Brad Cumley 12th Cedar Park Christian
Avery Hamann 11th Kings
Zion Robinson 10th Archbishop Murphy

Edmonds Beacon Article
By David Pan | Oct 12, 2017
King’s made the most of its opportunities against Cedar Park Christian – Bothell.

Four fumbles by the Eagles gave the Knights’ offense a short field and enabled King’s to claim a 45-27 victory in a Cascade Conference football game Friday, Oct. 6, at Woolsey Stadium.

Knights coach Jim Shapiro described his team’s play as fine, but also added that King’s didn’t execute as well as he would have liked.

“We really were lacking focus and hustle,” he said. “We were not as sharp as we need to be.”

Cedar Park Christian – Bothell outhit the Knights in Friday’s game in Shapiro’s opinion. What he and his coaching staff want to see from the players is a little more hustle getting to the line of scrimmage and better fundamental tackling and blocking.

“These are things we know we can do better,” Shapiro said. “It’s part of the mental side of the game.”

Part of the problem can be traced to the numerous injuries the team has suffered this season. Three players returned last week and were on the field for the first time in six or seven weeks, Shapiro noted.

Not having those players available definitely impacted practices, Shapiro added.

Senior quarterback Brennon Blevins rushed for 111 yards on 11 carries and scored four touchdowns. He also completed 11 of 14 passes for 153 yards and three TDs.

In his return to the lineup, running back Camden Hauck rushed for 63 yards on 10 carries. Wide receiver Levi Bundrant caught four passes for 77 yards.

King’s (2-1 in the league, 3-3 overall) heads out on the road to Granite Falls for a 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 13 contest. The Tigers (2-1, 3-3) lost 52-14 to Archbishop Murphy.

Shapiro said that the Knights are treating Friday’s clash as a playoff type game.

“We’re on the road. This is our first game at Granite Falls’ new facility,” Shapiro said. “Granite Falls has put together a good offense and defense. They had a good quarterback. They have good size up front. … It should be a very competitive and balanced game for both teams.”

All three of the 1A teams – King’s, Cedar Park Christian and Granite Falls – in the Cascade Conference advance to the district playoffs. South Whidbey, the other 1A team, is playing an independent schedule this season and is not eligible for the postseason. Friday’s game is important for seeding purposes.

King’s took a 12-0 lead in the first quarter on a 20-yard pass from Blevins to Jace Fransen and a 5-yard TD run by Blevins.

The Eagles cut the lead to 13-7 with a TD in the second quarter before Blevins scored on a 1-yard run to give the Knights an 18-7 halftime lead.

Blevins threw touchdown passes of 9 and 13 yards to Hauck and Bundrant and also ran 26 yards for a score in the third quarter. The senior quarterback closed out the scoring with a 19-yard TD in the fourth quarter.

Edmonds Beacon article
By David Pan | Oct 05, 2017
King’s Brennon Blevins did it all against Sehome.

The senior quarterback completed 19 of 38 passes for 394 yards and three touchdowns and also ran 20 times for 160 yards and four TDs to lead the Knights to a 47-28 victory over Sehome in a non-conference football game Friday, Sept. 29, at Woolsey Stadium.

“He really showcased the kind of athlete he is,” King’s coach Jim Shapiro said. “He made smart choices at quarterback. He didn’t force the ball. He hit the underneath ball routes. … He’s the fastest kid on the team. When needed, his speed was put to work.”

The Knights led 21-14 at halftime and outscored the Mariners 26-14 in what Shapiro described as a much improved second half performance.

“The second half was much better than the first,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro appreciated the better mindset from his players and also liked the play of both the offensive and defensive lines.

“We just weren’t as sharp offensive and defensively in the first half,” Shapiro said. “The line didn’t dominate as much as they should have.”

Senior wide receiver Levi Bundrant caught seven passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Shapiro noted that because of injuries, the Knights have called on some new faces to play wide receiver.

Bundrant, a basketball standout, has not played football since his freshman season, but decided he wanted to come out his senior year and contribute.

Senior Connor McElmurry, who used to run cross country, started his first-ever game against Sehome and caught a couple of passes.

“We’re having some younger and less experienced guys play,” Shapiro said. “They’re doing a good job.”

Senior Jace Fransen had seven receptions for 111 yards and one touchdown.

Blevins threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Bundrant to give the Knights (2-3) a 7-0 first quarter lead. Sehome (0-5) tied the score with a TD before Blevins scored on runs of 32 and 3 yards. The Mariners responded with a TD to cut the King’s lead to 21-14 at halftime.

Blevins extended King’s lead to 35-14 with TD runs of 43 and 13 in the third quarter. Blevins then connected on TD passes of 42 and 19 yards to Bundrant and Fransen in the fourth quarter.

Starting quarterback Luke Marion was held out of Friday’s game due to an injury suffered Sept. 15 against Archbishop Murphy. He and Blevins will share the reps at practice.

Shapiro said that his main objective is putting all the right pieces of the team in the right places. He noted that Blevins, whether he is at quarterback or running back, is going to get his touches in games.

King’s hosts Cedar Park Christian –Bothell (0-2, 2-3) at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 6, at Woolsey Stadium.

“I think they’re less experienced than we are,” Shapiro said. “They are well coached. … It’s going to be a pretty good battle.”

Everett Herald
By David Pan | Sep 28, 2017
After winning its first game of the season, King’s had every right to be excited.

The Knights started out strong, scoring 21 points in the first quarter en route to a 31-10 victory over Cedarcrest in a Cascade Conference football game Friday, Sept. 22, at Woolsey Stadium.

But after the game some of the Knights talked with coach Jim Shapiro and they were not too excited about their first victory.

“They didn’t feel they played their best football,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro and his staff stress that the scoreboard isn’t the measure by which King’s evaluates its performance.

The players told Shapiro that “this doesn’t feel so good. We didn’t play well.”

The offense struggled in the second and third quarters with the Knights (1-1 in the league, 1-3 overall) coming away with only a field goal.

“We got a little flat in the second and third quarters,” Shapiro said. “We did get inside the red zone twice and didn’t convert.”

The Knights also were looking for some turnovers on defense that didn’t materialize.

The offense did get back on track in the fourth quarter and finished with a touchdown.

Senior quarterback Brennon Blevins threw touchdown passes of 12 and 25 yards to Levi Bundrant and Jacob Gaenz. Senior running back Logan Perrigo added a 7-yard TD run to give King’s a 21-0 first quarter lead.

“We did a lot of things right,” Shapiro said. “We came out really fast and scored early. … We took care of business in the end.”

Jace Fransen booted a 28-yard field goal in the third quarter and Elijah Jones ran for a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Blevins completed 13 of 26 passes with two touchdowns. Perrigo rushed for 94 yards on 18 carries with one touchdown. Fransen caught four passes for 85 yards. Gaenz had three catches for 52 yards and one TD.

Blevins stepped in again for sophomore Luke Marion, who was still banged up following the Archbishop Murphy game on Sept. 15. Shapiro said that Marion could have played but was not 100 percent, so he was held out.

“Logan handled the running game for us. He did a great job,” Shapiro said. “Brennon was able to distribute the ball to a wide variety of receivers.”

Knights upbeat after giving Wildcats all they can handle in 35-7 league opening loss
By David Pan | Sep 21, 2017 
King’s came out on the losing end in its league opener against defending 2A state champion Archbishop Murphy.

But you wouldn’t necessarily know that looking at the Knights after the game and listening to coach Jim Shapiro.

Players and coaches left Terry Ennis Stadium upbeat despite a 35-7 loss in a Cascade Conference football game Friday, Sept. 15, at Archbishop Murphy High School in Everett.

King’s previously has lost to 2A Burlington-Edison and 3A Lakeside before Friday night’s clash with the Wildcats.

“The last three games we competed against very good football teams,” Shapiro said. “Tonight is a state-caliber football team. We competed with them toe-to-toe. That gives us hope.”

Archbishop Murphy took a 7-0 led on a 20-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Victor Gabalis to wide receiver Dillon Singh Halpin. Late in the second quarter, the Knights (0-1 in the league, 0-3 overall) blocked a field goal attempt and took over the ball deep in their own territory.

The Wildcats’ defense then forced a fumble and John Land-Quinn returned the ball nine yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 halftime lead.

“I talk about momentum all the time,” Shapiro said. “We had it. We just can’t give up that type of turnover versus a team like that. Those are the little things we’ve got to take care of.”

The Knights’ didn’t dwell on the turnover and subsequent Wildcats’ touchdown. Instead sophomore quarterback Luke Marion threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Max Lane to cut the deficit to 14-7 in the third quarter.

“They just mentally don’t let those things impact them,” Shapiro said of the turnover. “They’re the most mentally tough team I’ve coached in 24 years.”

Archbishop Murphy responded with a 12-yard TD run by running back Ray Pimental and headed into the final period with a 21-7 lead.

“I thought we gave them the best fight that they’re going to get,” senior lineman Taylor Schoenfeld said. “In the trenches, we played well. … We take this as a building block. This is the best team in the Cascade Conference and we fought them toe-to-toe. So that means we can fight any other team and we believe that. We’re going to give it just as much as we gave against Archbishop tonight.”

The Wildcats scored a couple of late touchdowns in the fourth quarter. With the Knights focused on trying to stop the Wildcats from getting a first down, senior running back Ben Hines broke through the line and ran 40 yards for a touchdown. Archbishop Murphy’s Colin Guy then recovered a fumble on the subsequent kickoff and returned it 15 yards for the final touchdown.

The King’s passing attack moved the ball against Archbishop Murphy.

Marion, who was knocked out of the game during a scramble, completed 16 of 22 passes for 152 yards and one touchdown with one interception. His favorite target was wide receiver Jace Fransen, who caught nine passes for 78 yards.

“We proved that we can throw on this team,” Shapiro said. “We also proved to ourselves that we’re a throwing football team.”

Schoenfeld said that the key was pass protection.

“We give them (quarterbacks) time, we’re going to complete our passes,” Schoenfeld said. “Our skill guys are really talented and we’ve got guys that can put the ball in the right spots, as long as we give them time.”

Senior Brennon Blevins came in for Marion, but he also eventually had to leave due to a leg bruise. Third-stringer Casey Needham finished the game for the Knights.

Shapiro didn’t know the extent of either injury but was hopeful Marion and Blevins will be healthy for the team’s next game against Cedarcrest (7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 22 at Woolsey Stadium).

Archbishop Murphy’s offense suffered a blow when senior running back Kyler Gordon left the game with a leg injury during the first offensive series. The Wildcats turned to Pimental, who rushed for 195 yards on 27 carries, and Hines, who had 122 yards on 11 carries. Gabalis completed five of 10 passes for 81 yards.

“Teams that play Archbishop try to do special stuff. We didn’t do anything special,” Shapiro said. “We lined up on our assignments. We played football. They definitely ran hard at us. But our kids played tough.”

Schoenfeld saw a solid effort from the defense that limited a team that scored 37 points against Garfield and 54 points against Bishop Blanchet to only three touchdowns.

“We knew this was going to be a battle,” Schoenfeld said. “The effort was the No. 1 key that we used to shut down their offense.”

King’s loses to Lakeside in wild shootout
By David Robert Pan | Sep 14, 2017
King's Brennon Blevins runs for a touchdown against Lakeside Friday, Sept. 8, at Woolsey Stadium in Shoreline.
Football fans might have done a double take Friday night at Woolsey Stadium.
What was supposed to be a football game between King’s and Lakeside turned into a race to the end zone.
The Lions won that race, hanging on to defeat the Knights 44-39 in the Sept. 8 non-conference game.
The two teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of offense (King’s – 528 and Lakeside – 437).
“That was more like a track meet than a football game,” King’s coach Jim Shapiro said.
Shapiro voiced no complaints about his offense, which was led for three quarters by sophomore quarterback Luke Marion.
“I’m very happy with our offensive production,” Shapiro said. “We had a good mix offensively of the run and pass. It’s a matter of getting the right people in the right places.”
Shapiro and his staff made the decision to shift quarterback Brennon Blevins, who started in the season opener, to wide receiver and install Marion at quarterback.
Injuries to some of the Knights’ skill people helped Shapiro made the decision.
“It was a good change. Brennon is a heck of an athlete,” Shapiro said. “It’s good to have him at wide receiver. Luke does a good job of delivering the ball.”
Blevins caught three passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns. The senior standout also rushed for 65 yards on five carries and scored two TDs. Marion completed 11 of 25 passes for 318 yards and two touchdowns. He was picked off once.
King’s Camden Hauck rushed for 103 yards on 14 carries and scored two touchdowns and Jace Fransen caught six passes for 102 yards.
A hard hit sent Marion to the sidelines and Blevins took over at quarterback in the fourth quarter.
Shapiro is hoping that Marion will be back for this week’s Cascade Conference opener at Archbishop Murphy (7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 15).
The King’s defense ended up spending a lot of time on the field.
“What happened is that we were in the right spots,” Shapiro said. “We weren’t finishing our tackles. They broke some big plays on us.”
Lakeside (1-1) was led by 6-foot-7 senior quarterback A.J. Allen, who also happened to have a pair of 6-6 and 6-5 receivers among his targets. The Knights (0-2) countered with some talented freshmen and sophomores in the secondary, who nevertheless were at a distinct height advantage.
The Lions still ran a balanced offensive attack, finishing with 237 yards on the ground and 200 through the air.
This week’s opponent, the Wildcats (2-0), comes in as the No. 1 2A ranked team in the state. Shapiro said he is glad to have three strong opponents (Burlington Edison, Lakeside and Archbishop Murphy) to start the season.
“We wanted strong competition so that we can be ready for the heart of our league schedule,” Shapiro said.

Cascade Conference preview: Coaches poll, storylines to watch

CAMERON VAN TILSun Aug 27th, 2017 7:29amSPORTS

Coaches poll

The predicted order of finish as voted on by the league’s coaches. Included are total points, with first-place votes in parentheses.

1. Archbishop Murphy (4) — 20

2. King’s (1) — 17

3. CPC-Bothell — 14

4. Cedarcrest — 10

5. Granite Falls — 9

6. Sultan — 5

NOTES: Coaches weren’t allowed to vote for their own teams. One coach chose not to participate in the voting.

FAVORITE

Archbishop Murphy. This is a no-brainer. The Wildcats cruised to the Class 2A state title last year, outscoring opponents by a combined 463-44 margin while winning all nine games in their forfeit-shortened season by at least 34 points apiece. Archbishop Murphy lost numerous key players from last year’s dominant squad, but plenty of talent is returning — including big-time college prospect Kyler Gordon, standout linebackers Ben Hines and Emmanuel Osuoha, and 6-foot-2, 300-pound center Martin Napeahi Jr. The Wildcats enter the season as favorites to win a second consecutive state crown.

CONTENDER

King’s. If any team can contend with Archbishop Murphy for the league title, it would be the Knights. King’s, the only Cascade Conference team to play Murphy last season, beat the league’s other five teams by an average of 34.8 points per game. The Knights lost nine all-conference players from last year, including speedy running back Caleb Perry, a state-champion sprinter in track who is now a member of the Washington State football team. But King’s is a constant force under veteran coach Jim Shapiro, and his team returns standout two-way lineman Taylor Schoenfeld, who is garnering Division-I college interest.

STORYLINES TO WATCH

Can Wildcats defend their state crown?

All eyes will be on Archbishop Murphy this fall after last year’s dominant run to the state title and a slew of opponent forfeits that made national headlines. Non-conference matchups against Garfield and Bellevue should provide an early gauge of this season’s Wildcats before they enter the heart of their league schedule, where they figure to be heavy favorites against every team.

New faces at the helm

Three of the league’s seven teams will have new head coaches roaming the sidelines this fall. The most notable is Butch Goncharoff, who takes over at Cedar Park Christian-Bothell after guiding Class 3A powerhouse Bellevue to 11 state titles in 16 years as the Wolverines’ head coach. Goncharoff was removed from his job last year following an investigation that found the Bellevue program had committed wide-ranging violations of state rules. Another newcomer is Jim Wright, who takes over at Sultan after previous head-coaching positions at Seattle Lutheran and Franklin. Longtime coach Mark Hodson returns to South Whidbey after a three-year hiatus, looking to turn around a program that will play an independent schedule this fall while working to build up participation numbers.

Can Tigers take another step forward?

Prior to last year, Granite Falls had mustered just two league wins combined in the previous two seasons and four league wins combined in the previous five seasons. The Tigers showed marked improvement last fall, winning three conference games and reaching the postseason in coach Tim Dennis’ first season at the helm. Granite Falls will look to build on that success this year with the return of starting quarterback Camden Landrum and running back Brayden Counsellor.

ARCHBISHOP MURPHY WILDCATS

Last season: 14-0, 6-0 in conference play (Class 2A state champions)

Coach: Jerry Jensen (fifth season)

Key players: Kyler Gordon, sr., WR/DB; Dillon Singh Halpin, jr., WR/DB; Ben Hines, sr., RB/LB; Matt Keck, sr., OL/DL; John Land-Quinn, jr., OL/DL; Kobe Moorhead, sr., OL/DL; Martin Napeahi Jr., sr., OL/DL; Emmanuel Osuoha, sr., RB/LB; Ray Pimentel, sr., RB/DB; Luke Riojas, jr., LB; Ryan Schroeder, sr., TE/LB; Jeric Williams, sr., WR/DB

Outlook: Archbishop Murphy lost numerous starters on both sides of the ball from last year’s dominant state-championship squad, which won all nine games by at least 34 points during a season that was shortened by forfeits because of player-safety concerns from opposing teams. But with plenty of returning talent — including big-time college prospect Kyler Gordon, standout linebackers Ben Hines and Emmanuel Osuoha, and 6-foot-2, 300-pound center Martin Napeahi Jr. — the Wildcats are favorites to win another state crown.

2017 Schedule

CEDAR PARK CHRISTIAN EAGLES

Last season: 4-6, 2-4 in conference play

Coach: Butch Goncharoff (first season)

Key players: Killian Boyle, sr., OL/DL; Bradley Cumley, sr., OL/DL/K; Jason He, sr., RB/LB; Payton Nelson, sr., TE/LB; Tyler Shimmin, sr., OL/LB;

Outlook: CPC-Bothell begins a new era under coach Butch Goncharoff, who guided Class 3A powerhouse Bellevue to 11 state titles in 16 years as the Wolverines’ coach. Goncharoff was removed from his job last year following an investigation that found the Bellevue program had committed wide-ranging violations of state rules. Goncharoff brings a wealth of experience to the Eagles, who are looking to be more competitive this fall after losing three of their five league games last year by 27 points or more.

2017 Schedule

CEDARCREST RED WOLVES

Last season: 4-6, 2-4 in conference play

Coach: Billy Ojeda (third season)

Key players: Sam Bennett, jr., OL/DL; Aaron Davenport, sr., QB; Jake Fowler, sr., WR/DB; Tyler Gray, jr., WR/DB; Caleb Lay, jr., OL/DL; Frederick Reid, jr., RB/LB; Jaren Stevenson, sr., RB/LB

Outlook: Cedarcrest lost several all-conference players from last year but returns versatile senior Jaren Stevenson, who earned all-league honors on both the offensive and defensive line last season after filling in due to a rash of injuries. Stevenson has moved back to his natural positions this fall at running back and linebacker.

2017 Schedule

GRANITE FALLS TIGERS

Last season: 4-6, 3-3 in conference play (lost in district crossover round)

Coach: Tim Dennis (second season)

Key players: Andrew Buchholz, sr., RB/LB; Hunter Chapman, sr., OL/DL; Brayden Counsellor, jr., RB/DB; Ryan Dennis, sr., WR/LB; Seth Harris, jr., RB/LB; Camden Landrum, sr., QB/DB; Liam Schenfeld, jr., OL/DL;

Outlook: After just two league wins combined in the previous three seasons, Granite Falls won three conference games last year and reached the postseason. The Tigers aim to continue their improvement this fall under second-year coach Tim Dennis.

2017 Schedule

KING’S KNIGHTS

Last season: 6-3, 5-1 in conference play (lost in district crossover round)

Coach: Jim Shapiro (21st season)

Key players: Brennon Blevins, sr., QB/WR/DB; Logan Perrigo, sr., RB/LB; Taylor Schoenfeld, sr., OL/DL; Atley Shapiro, sr., WR/DB

Outlook: The Knights are aiming for a return to the state playoffs after seeing their streak of seven consecutive state appearances snapped last fall. King’s lost nine-all-conference players from last year, including speedy running back Caleb Perry, who is now a member of the Washington State football team. But the Knights are a constant force under veteran coach Jim Shapiro, and they return a standout two-way lineman in Taylor Schoenfeld who is garnering NCAA Division-I college interest.

2017 Schedule

SOUTH WHIDBEY FALCONS

Last season: 1-8, 0-6 in conference play

Coach: Mark Hodson (returns for his 14th season after coaching the team from 2001-2013)

Key players: Alex Turner, jr., OL; Lucas Watson, sr., OL

Outlook: The Falcons will play an independent schedule this fall as they work to build up their participation numbers. Longtime coach Mark Hodson returns to South Whidbey after a three-year hiatus, looking to turn around a program that lost all five league games last year by 28 points or more.

2017 Schedule

SULTAN TURKS

Last season: 6-4, 3-3 in conference play (lost in district crossover round)

Coach: Jim Wright (first season)

Key players: Brayden Haefele, soph., QB/DB; Phoenix McGuire, sr., TE/LB; Alex Perrigo, sr., ATH; Tre Sargent, sr., RB/LB; Errett Turner, sr., WR/DB

Outlook: Sultan lost head coach Jim Kruckenberg and seven all-conference players from last year’s team, which compiled the program’s first winning season since 2006. Jim Wright takes over a young Turks squad after holding previous head-coaching positions at Seattle Lutheran and Franklin.

2017 Schedule

WSU gets a commitment from another in-state recruit, RB Caleb Perry from King’s

Originally published January 5, 2017 at 12:16 pm Updated January 5, 2017 at 6:07 pm

The Cougars got their sixth in-state commit when RB Caleb Perry issued a verbal commitment to WSU on Thursday

Stefanie LohBy Stefanie Loh 

Seattle Times staff reporter

Washington State opened 2017 with the commitment of King’s School running back Caleb Perry. King’s is a small, independent Christian school based in Shoreline that competes in the state’s 1A division.

It can be tough for athletes from smaller schools to attract the attention of college recruiters, but this isn’t the first time WSU has mined a less-trafficked private school for talent. WSU linebacker Dylan Hanser played his prep football at Central Catholic, a small school in Billings, Mont.

Perry, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound running back, announced his commitment via his Twitter account Thursday morning, thanking his family for dedicating “countless time and money into a dream I’ve had since I was 6 years old.”

Perry amassed 1,160 rushing yards during his senior season and won a state track and field 1A 100m title last spring. According to Scout.com, he had offers from WSU, Missouri, Cincinnati, Portland State and Montana State.

Perry joins offensive linemen Dontae Powell, Quazzel White, Abraham Lucas and defensive ends Kelle Sanders and Joe Tryon as the sixth recruit from the state of Washington to commit to WSU as part of the 2017 class. The Cougars now have 17 committed recruits for this recruiting cycle.