White River football: Hornets hope to improve this season

The dawn of a new season brings hope for all football programs, particularly those hoping to rebound from disappointing years.

That’s certainly the case on the White River High campus, where the Hornets are determined to show serious improvement from 2008, when the team dropped its first nine contests. The squad managed to put an exclamation point on the season with a 45-0 whitewashing of the Tyee Totems in the season finale, a crossover contest between the last-place teams from the South Puget Sound League 3A and the Seamount League.

Coach Kevin Fagan and his staff have been putting their troops – featuring many familiar faces – through their paces since Aug. 19.

Coach Ken Fagan admits he’s excited about this year’s group, most of whom participated in spring drills and a weighlifting program during the summer – the kind of offseason dedication that helps bring success in the fall.

Offensively, the Hornets will revolve around junior quarterback Marcus Kaelin. Fagan’s philosophy is to put the ball in Kaelin’s hands and let his playmaker make some plays. If Kaelin puts the ball in the air, his top wide receiver is Mike Madden or he can look to big tight end Chase Myers. If he’s handing off, Blake Tidwell is the top returning running back.

The defense will feature many of the same names as the offense.

“We’re going to pick our best 11, put them on the field and keep them there,” Fagan said.

Kaelin will hold down a safety spot and, according to Fagan, he’ll be one of the best in the area. Tidwell will fill the other safety position, Madden will join them in the defensive backfield and Myers is expected to be solid at linebacker.

Many of the linemen will go both ways, including Caleb Murphy, Cameron Kujawa and Dave Meager.

All the preseason work is geared toward Friday’s opener, when the Hornets host the Franklin Pierce Cardinals.

To comment on this story visit www.courierherald.com. Reach Kevin Hanson at khanson@courierherald.com or 360-802-8205.