Spring practices are in full swing and we are starting to get some great scrimmages. On Monday night at Sumner, we saw the host Spartans take on Graham-Kapowsin, Bellarmine Prep and Todd Beamer.
All four teams did some really nice things, and I genuinely think each team will make at least the Round-of-32 this coming season, but the Graham-Kapowsin Eagles really looked the part of a top 10 team, maybe even into the top five when we release our first set of team rankings.
Foster Sarell (’16) was sidelined after tweaking his knee at last weekend’s Opening Regional in Eugene. It doesn’t appear to be anything serious, but head coach Eric Kurle and his staff played the safe side and let’s face it, it’s not like Sarell really needs a ton of spring reps.
I would actually like to thank Sarell, who was nice enough to help with pointing out who is who on the GK team. It can be tough during spring ball, as we do not have a roster and a lot of teams do not wear numbers.
As you talk to people around the GK program, it becomes apparent that this team is set up for big things over the next few years. They have a lot of youth, but are highly skilled all over the field. It seemed like every time I asked what year an athlete was, he was in either the 2018 or 2019 class.
The first player who stood out to me was Jeremiah Kekoa (’18). He very much looks the part of a D1 athlete, and he is just finishing up his freshman year. Kekoa plays fast and physical on both sides of the ball. His instincts defensively are what caught my eye initially, as he flew around making plays from his FS spot. As the day progressed he would also impress at CB and then at WR as well. The way he plays reminds me a lot of Fotu Leiato of Steilacoom, who signed to play with the University of Oregon.
Another impressive youngster was Micah Smith (’18). He played some RB and DB, and showed good speed and overall athleticism. Smith has good size and a frame that should fill out nicely.
A third member of the elite 2018 class is Viliami Hansen. He saw reps at MLB and RB, and I love everything about the way he plays. Hansen is very physical, but also has Get-Up-And-Go type speed to get the corner when needed. Defensively, he was everywhere.
Trae Hawthorne (’16) and Jeremy Thesenvitz (’17) return for the Eagles and should be tough to handle on the defensive line. Both created chaos for opposing offensive lines, and should be a lot of fun to watch in 2015.
Offensive lineman Elijah Lugo (’16) has been rising steadily in the recruiting world, and did a nice job during the day. He projects highest at guard, and I love the mean streak he plays with.
I could literally talk about GK for this entire article, but we will move on.
Sumner’s Connor Wedington (’17) did what Connor Wedington does. This time he did it on both sides of the ball. While Wedington projects very high as a RB, he played some DB and looked pretty good doing it. With his athleticism he could project highly on either side of the ball. If he keeps growing, he might turn into a nasty FS.
Really liked the play of Tre Weed (’18). He was Sumner’s top receiving threat on the day and made a few nice catch and run type plays. Weed is transferring from rival Bonney Lake, after seeing significant time as a freshman.
Loved the played of Kolby Nikolaisen (’16) at OLB for the Spartans. He was fast, physical and played with an intensity you love to see from your backers.
Todd Beamer was a bit of an unknown to me, as they graduated a solid senior class, but they played physical, fast and look like a team that may surprise this year.
Liked what I saw from QB/S Isaiah Lard (’16). He has good size at 6’1″ 185 and really played a nice FS spot. Lard flew around to the ball making plays, is a player I will be keeping a close eye on this coming season.
A name you may want to remember at Beamer is Lincoln Liulama-Mitchell (’17). He has a great frame, nice burst off the ball and played really well at DE/OLB. He is listed at 6’2″ 215, but could add 20+ pounds with ease.
The Titans picked up a transfer from Ewa Beach (HI) Campbell High School named Kingsten Sua (’16). He looks like a top level LB with a mean streak and great instincts.
Last but certainly not least is Bellarmine Prep. The Lions have been one of the more consistent teams over the last few years and 2015 looks to be good again.
Bookend tackles Paul Gicewicz (’16) and Nico Xitco (’17) both look had nice days and look like they will be the force behind the BP running game. Xitco also played well on the defensive side of the ball, and told me he had played a few days on that side of the ball.
Taking over the running back duties for the Lions will be Ahmad Lewis (’16). He has a nice frame, good vision and top end speed. Lewis looks like an all-around back similar to what the Lions have had in the past.
When talking about Bellarmine Prep you have to mention Erik Glueck (’16). The senior backer was all over the field defensively, and looked nice on offense at TE. Glueck gets sideline to sideline, and does a tremendous job filling the hole and shedding blocks.