(Jordan Johnson & Austin Wilson- Sprague Sr. LB/RB)
(Austin Wilson 6-3 215 Sr. LB/RB) Sprague
(Jon Schaub 6-1 190 Sr. QB- Sprague)
Many of you may remember a Sprague team from the late 90’s and the 2000 era that was heavily dominate in the Salem area, and competed year after year on a state wide level. They have notoriously been West Salem’s biggest nemesis for the Valley League title and 2012 looks to be no different.
Things have changed as of late with the program taking a hit over the last few years, and head coach Robin Hill stepping down. That said former Mckay Coach Jay Minyard has jumped in a created some excitement, on a senior based team that will have a host of all league talent back representing it.
A kid all of us at NEI think a lot of is returning all league LB Austin Wilson (6-3 215 Sr. LB/RB), brother of former Sprague standout and Oregon St starting linebacker Tony Wilson. His love for the game couldn’t be more obvious, and his overall size and talented gene pool make Austin one of the more appealing linebackers on the 2012 recruiting front.
We caught up to Wilson after one of our Regional combines and he said, " Im excited, we have all of our guys coming back and I think we could make this a special season". He continued, " We have a lot of experience back and everyone has bought in to what Coach Minyard has been teaching".
The Olys return a special pair of athletes who will be carrying the ball in Devonn Gage (6-2 215 Sr. RB/MLB) and John Marshall (5-11 170 Sr. ATH/RB). Both athletes earned second team all league honors on offense and Defense, and should be considered potential candidates for conference player off the year honors.
Gage showed up at the NFTC in Eugene last week with Wilson looking like a beast, and someone you want to run away from at all costs. Wilson, Gage, and Andy Aldana (6-0 215 Sr. LB) will be one of the top linebacking trio’s in the state and there is more where that came from.
Offensively Jon Schaub (6-1 190 Sr.) will return at QB and provides leadership and experience. He earned honorable mention all league honors last season, and should thrive thrive behind a talented offensive line. Nick Moran (5-11 165 Sr. Slot/DB) is a kid that we have seen out on the camp circuit, and should be the key speedster on the outside.
The perimeter kids are in place for the Olys and the line looks to be experienced , and ready to grind it out up front. Connor Astley (6-4 240 Sr. OL) was a second team all league kid, and Ricky Julian (6-3 220 Sr. OL/DE) is mean and aggressive and was all league both ways in 2011. These two will be the key to the success up front.
Two other seniors Michael Everett (5-9 230 Sr. OL) and Riley Long (6-4 195 Sr. OL) will be the other starters, and Riley’s brother, Levi Long (6-6 280 So. OL) could be one of the more talented sophomores state wide.
Add in Zach Sweet (6-0 200 Sr. DE/TE) on the defensive line, and at tight end when used, and you have what amounts to a very solid offensive and defensive front.
In all Sprague looks to be back and ready to go in 2012. We are big backers of Shawn Stanley and West Salem, and we expect the Titans to be challenged by Sprague and also a very much improved McNary team. The Central Valley Conference has been down and out for the last couple seasons, but this could be a year where things take a turn.
We hope to see a good majority of the Olympians at our Barton Showcase Event on June 30th at the University of Washington. It will be a way for these kids to get some exposure, when a lot of times they get overlooked playing in the Salem area.