As a traditional wrap-up to preseason football activities, Kingston High School hosted a jamboree Friday night with the Buccaneers looking forward to their first game of the season; a Sept 5 non-conference repeat against the WF West Bearcats in Chehalis. Guests on the field included the Olympic Trojans, Bainbridge Island Spartans, and a host of referees from the Peninsula Football Officials Association.
For those unfamiliar with jamboree or scrimmage mechanics, the event was designed to rotate opportunities for each team to run offense against both other teams for a set number of plays. Defense receives the opportunity to explore defensive plays against each offense. The players all get the chance to warm up to what it will be like outside of practice. Even the referees get to train and warm up their skills while helping educate teams in the nuances of some rules. In the words of Kingston head coach W. Todd Harder,
"Scrimmages are an extension of practice with an opportunity to work against fresh opponents who will provide the team a different 'look' and attitude. It is important that we as a staff remain disciplined and work through the objectives we have for the event. Even with a very business-like approach, the scrimmage is an important measuring stick for the team and can provide an emotional bump up if it goes well."
Going well for the Bucs was up for grabs during the first rotation with what seemed like a timid offense and a defense that gave up two quick touchdowns. After the break, and after several timely barks from the coaching staff about "attitude," "authority," and "do your job," the team showed a refreshing rebound that allowed for greater optimism.
With a renewed sense of direction, senior QB Max English soon connected with a sweet 40 yard pass to wide open receiver Adam "A-bomb" Wright, and started to show off that his tall frame had lively feet. Senior Alex Barrett is also someone to watch closely this year.. clearly not intimidated during the carry, his perseverance to drive through a defensive line will make for exciting football. And speaking of exciting football, it is on the schedule for this week for an away game in Chehalis.
While a prior year's high school team statistics aren't necessarily telling due to summer transfers and graduate attrition, here's the 2014 background for the Buccaneer's first game of the season - a non conference match up against the WF West Bearcats. The Bucs lost to the Bearcats at home last year, 27-14. Is this a good year for payback?
According to coach Harder, "'The first game is always full of uncertainty and questions. Is the team ready? Is the game plan good? How will the team react to the emotion of the first game? Will we respond to the speed of the game? We can't wait to play...!'
Statistics according to MaxPreps:
The 2014 Bucs: Overall 4-8 and ranked 141 in State Category 2A, 4 of 7 in the Olympic District; .400 with 178 points and 211 against. In 2015 however, the Bucs stand up with 14 seniors, one of which is a new starting QB that earned good experience last year as a receiver.
The 2014 Bearcats: Overall 6-4 and ranked 36 in State Category 2A, 2 of 4 in Evergreen District; .600 with 228 points and 222 against.