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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
August 26, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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August 26, 2009

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r THE ISSAQUAH PRESS SECTION WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26, 2009 More Sports/C2-3 Classifieds/C4-5 By Bob Taylor Issaquah Press sports editor he Issaquah High School football team will have one of those seasons wher it will spend plenty of time on the highway. Although they will be Eastbound and down for their home games at Mount Si High School in Sno- qualmie this fall, the team's ulti- .mate destination is south to Tacoma. That's where Issaquah ended the 2008 season, falling five points short against rival Skyline in the 4A state championship game in the Tacoma Dome. The Eagles want to get another shot at the ti- fie this season. "The goal is to get back to Tacoma," Issaquah head coach Chris Bennett said. The Eagles will play all of their home games at Mount Si because of construction at Issaquah High School this year. It means a lot of travel time for the Eagles. Last fall, Issaquah was a bit of a surprise, at least outside of the KingCo Conference, compiling a j 1-3 record and a second-place finish at state in its first season at- the 4A level. "Nobody expected us to be as good as we were last year," senior Daniel Fleischman said. "But we surprised a lot of people." A major reason for Issaquah's success last season was the line- men. The Eagles figure to be solid in the trenches again with seniors Fleischman (6-foot-6, 285 pounds), Greg Finch (5-10, 275), Phillip Hamilton (6-3, 250) and Ja- cob Everson (6-3, 280). Juniors Jay Deines (6-4, 230) and Jeff Crocker (6-5, 200) will work their way into playing time, too. Another up-and-coming prospect is sophomore Eric Lemke (6-4, 230}, who earned acclaim as the Rising Star for tight ends at the Washington State University football camp in June. See EAGLES, Page C2 Greg Rnch, Issaquah outside lineman, leaps at a tackling dummy in a drill Aug. 20 at Issaquah Stadium during the football team's practice. 4 BY G-REG FAI~I~AR st Anthony Lemmon rurls the ball after a handoff from scrimmage dur- ing the Liberty Patriot football team practice. BY GREG FARRAR By Tim Pfarr Issaquah Press reporter fter ending their 2008 sea- son with a loss to Bellevue in the state 3A quarterfinals, the Liberty Patriots are back, and they're hungry for competition. "Our summer workouts have gotten really intense," said Cameron Talley, senior linebacker. "Everyone's been trying to work as hard as they can." Last season, Liberty finished 9- 3, leading the league in offense and defense, racking up an aver- age of 410 yards of offense per game and giving up an average of 238 yards on defense per game. This year, head coach Steve Valach said the team is focusing on taking things one step at a time. "Our theme this year is one," he said. "One practice, one play, one game." Junior quarterback Trey Wheeler (6-foot-I, 180 pounds) and junior running back Chandler Jenkins (5-9, 165) may be the two most dangerous men on the squad. Valach described Wheeler as tal- ented and incredibly driven, and he said the team will use Wheeler to build a stronger foundation for its passing attack. Valach said the team was trying to develop its passing game on the run last season, which "isn't the way you want to do it. "You want to figure those things out in January, February, March and practice them during the spring and all summer," he said. "The improvement is that we're becoming more systematic in how we use our passing game." Jenkins said he believes Wheeler has grown mentally since last season. "He's more prepared this year, more confident," Jenkins said. "I just think he took a lot of strides in the offseason." Wheeler had a tremendous sea- son in 2008, throwing for 1,237 yards, ranking second in the league. He also threw nine touch- downs, and he was third in the league in total offense, including See PATRIOTS, Page C2 "I By Christopher Huber Issaquah Press reporter II of the attention quarterback Jake Heaps and many of his Skyline High School teammates have got- ten in the past year doesn't seem to have gone to their heads. If they keep it that way, and as Heaps said on the second day of practice, "use it as motivation," the Spartans football team will likely go a long way this season. Obviously, that long way would be to win a third-straight state championship, but as former coach Steve Gervais' well-in- grained one-week-at-a-time men- tality goes, they're not thinking that far ahead. Skyline has a lot of momentum coming into the 2009 season. It is 28-0 the past two seasons; it outscored opponents 514-77 in 2008 with one of the most ac- claimed receiver corps in the state, and MaxPreps.com, a prep sports ranking site owned by CBS Sports, ranks Skyline as the second-best team in the nation. "We want to have that mentality that we're going to win every foot- ball game," head coach Mat Taylor said at practice Aug. 20. "But it goes back to what coach Gervais said: All we can control is our- selves." He said the national rankings and attention from numerous sports agencies across the country are nice, but it's a new season and they have their own identity. Among the top returning starters from 2008 will be Heaps fits (6-foot-2, 195 pounds), junior Kasen Williams (6-2, 190) at wide receiver and defensive back, sen- ior linebacker Anthony DeMatteo (6-foot, 190) and Jase Butorac (6- 3, 260) on the offensive line. At 245 pounds, lineman Evan Day will be a force to reckon with, as will defensive back Tommy Aarts. Junior cornerback Michael Ford, defensive end Conner Cree and defensive back Connor Brandt will shore up efforts on defense with the help of senior lineman Jack Carlson and newcomer defensive back Miles Edwards. "We have a lot of guys with a lot of experience, which is nice," De- Matteo said. "We just gotta have See SPARTANS, Page C2 Skyline safeties coach Brett VanVoorhls shows players the next play formation during the second day of practice Aug. 20. BY CHRISTOPHER HUBEI~ !lll'll I