Five Key Players
RB/S Elliot Phillips (5’10” 160, 15) – Phillips is a tough, physical runner who had a breakout year in 2013, finishing as a second team All-Kingco member. He shows good speed, vision and is very tough to bring down. The coaching staff is excited as they watch him improve.
WR/DB Braun Inslee (6’0″ 175, ’15) – Inslee appears ready to have a breakout season. He put in a ton of work over the offseason, focusing on improving his route running and attention to detail. Kangaroo coaches will turn to Inslee this season for leadership of a young group.
OL/DL Tyson Andrews (6’1″ 210, ’15) – Andrews is another great leader for the Kangaroos, and will be making the move from LB to the DL in 2014. This will give the Kangs much needed athleticism on the defensive line, and should also give them a physical presence up front.
OL/DL Maurice Daum (6’2″ 210, ’15) – Daum was an Honorable Mention All-League member last season, and appears ready to step into a bigger role. He plays with an edge, and looks like he will be the rock of both the offensive and defensive line.
ATH/DB Riley Simonson (5’8″ 160, ’15) – Simonson may be the best all-around athlete on the Lake Washington roster, but has battled injures the last two seasons. He was a member of the Kangaroo baseball team that finished second in state this past season.
New head coach AJ Parnell takes over a program that hasn’t seen a ton of success recently, but he has done it with the big picture in mind.
The first task at hand was getting into the Middle Schools that feed Lake Washington, Rose Hill and Kirkland, to spread word of great days ahead. In turn the Kangaroos are fielding a freshman team of close to 50 players.
Lake Washington has adopted a motto of “Always Rising” and to do so, you need good coaching. So Parnell surrounded himself with coaches he describes as having “integrity and high character.”
He has hired former Evergreen (Seattle) head coach Andy Arena to be his offensive coordinator, and Fred Abila, formally of Issaquah, to be his defensive coordinator.
The Kangaroo offense should feature plenty of Elliot Phillips, and for good reason. He is a high caliber back with the ability to get in the endzone on just about any play.
Also seeing carries this season will Riley Simonson, who will typically line up at receiver, but plays what is a sweeper for the Kangs, getting carries while in motion.
Simonson is a gifted athlete, and should also see opportunities at receiver, but the top target offensively looks to be Braun Inslee. Adding depth to the receiver rotation are seniors Austin Davis and Elijah Singstad, while junior Jake Wikel looks like he will see time on both sides of the ball.
At tight end the Kangaroos will use two seniors with Spencer Mueller and Axel Rivera should both see time. Mueller has good size at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, and could be a real sleeper.
Getting the start at QB looks to be junior D.J. Mann. He shows good all-around athleticism, and has a good arm to make him a solid duel-threat.
The Kangs don’t have a lot of size, or depth along either the offensive or defensive lines, but they do have a tough mentality that could make them hard to deal with.
Leading the group will be seniors Tyson Andrews and Maurice Daum. Both are returning athletes that should see plenty of snaps during each game.
A name to keep an eye on is junior Jared Menssen. He has the ability to play a variety of positions along each line, and should have a great chance to showcase his skills this season.
The linebackers look to be young, but talented as juniors Spencer Anderson and Dylan Bacher will both man the middle. Anderson will also see time on the offensive line, while Bacher doubles as a runningback. Both athletes are names we will keep an eye on, as each appears to have a bright future ahead.
Passing on the Kangs could be tough this season, as their defensive backfield looks to be its strength. Inslee and Simonson both have lockdown corner type ability, while Philips, Davis, Singstad and Rivera, give the coaching staff plenty of options at safety.
The Bottom Line: The Kangaroos are going to have to stay healthy, as they do not have a lot of all around depth. They will need the line play to really gel during a tough early schedule, as their first three games are all on the road. While the future looks bright at LW, don’t expect them to roll over this season.
@ Hazen 9/4
@ Blanchet 9/12
@ Juanita 9/19