Coming off a break-even season that included an appearance in the Class 4A state playoffs, the Enumclaw High Hornets are looking for even more during the upcoming season.
The campaign kicks off Friday, when Enumclaw makes the short trek to Buckley for the annual Battle of the Bridge. Game time is 7 p.m. at historic Sheets Field, the natural-grass venue in downtown Buckley.
Under the direction of coach Mark Gunderson, beginning his sixth season at the EHS helm, the Hornets will be led by a handful of players who see action on both sides of the ball. Among the stalwarts, Gunderson said, are Keegan Ulrich, Eric Knutson and Austin Rewoldt, who see action on both the offensive and defensive lines; setting up at wide receiver and also patrolling the defensive backfield will be Bear Kuro, Kaden Anderson and Ethan Eilertson; and running the ball while also making stops at linebacker will be Kale Engebretsen and Nick Harberts.
Ulrich, a senior, is coming off a season in which he was named Special Teams Player of the Year for the North Puget Sound League 4A; he also was a second-team, all-league pick on the offensive line. Also, Anderson, now a senior, a first-team honoree at wide receiver.
Kuro, a senior, earned honorable mention honors last year as both a receiver and defensive back. Also gaining honorable mention were Eilertson, as a receiver, and Rewoldt, on the defensive line.
There will be a new hand running the Hornets’ Power-I offense, due to the graduation of quarterback Jacob Revell.
Gunderson, who serves as his own defensive coordinator, has a staff that includes Johnson, Brady VanHoof, Willis Bathum, Dennis Hagen, Kody Dribnak, Brad Barto, Scott Eilertson, Greg Ulrich, Nate Jones, Terenn Hauk, Kevin Huckins, Jon Luke and Pat Thomas.
Last year’s Enumclaw High squad went 4-3 in the NPSL Olympic Division and was 5-5 overall. That included a season-ending, playoff loss to a powerful Camas team that went on to claim the state 4A championship.