About a half hour Southeast from where I-90 crosses the Columbia River is Royal City, Washington, and unless you’ve made the drive from Seattle over to Washington State University, you’ve likely never even heard of it. If he has his way, Kaden Jenks of Royal High School will be changing that over the next few years.
The 6-foot-2, 200 pounder started as a freshman two years ago, but it was a strong sophomore campaign resulting in a 2nd team All-SCAC award that propelled Jenks into a very nice offseason.
“It felt rewarding to be acknowledged for my hard work during the season as well as the offseason,” Jenks told Northwest Elite Index. “The coaching staff placed me in a position for success and my teammates all did a terrific job as well.”
Jenks manages to keep a 3.85 GPA, while being a three-sport athlete, also starting on both the basketball and baseball teams since his freshman season, but admits football is his true passion.
“I love the grind of working hard to get better everyday, and I want to be a college quarterback,” Jenks said. “There’s always room for improvement so I will continue to work hard on improving my weaknesses as well as my strengths. I’m trying to be a more vocal leader for my team, and even more importantly lead by example.
“I am working hard to improve my decision making, reading defenses, and throwing the right ball at right time. My personal goals for next year are to have a 65% completion percentage and over 40 total touchdowns. Also, I want help the younger players at Royal develop into great football players.”
Being at a 1A school can be tough on recruiting. Having just finished his sophomore year, Jenks is receiving strong interest from the likes of Eastern Washington and Northern Arizona, while also hearing from Washington and Arizona.
Things could really begin to pickup if the Knights have a big season, which really looks possible as they return a ton of offense, but lose RB Miguel Ayala to graduation.
“We are reloading at the running back position with great players who can do their jobs,” Jenks noted. “Our returning receivers [Jose] Ponce, [Sam] Christensen, and [Joe] Lang are some of the best around and we are excited to get them the ball. Coach Allred has always done a great job with a balanced attack and keeping other defenses guessing, that should not change.”
Royal is one of the more successful programs in the state, and one of the main reasons for their success is head coach Wiley Allred and his coaching staff. Allred is a Royal alum, having played for legendary coach Bob Nielsen, for whom Allred took over for following the 1998 season.
Under Allred’s guidance, the Knights have been to six state championships, winning four, and have been a state championship contender just about every year.
“Coach Allred is a brilliant coach who has had a very large amount of success at Royal High School,” Jenks said. “He shows a ton of support for all of his players. He and the whole coaching staff do a great job preparing our players for Friday night as well as developing younger players. I feel lucky to play for coach Allred every day.”
Time will tell for Jenks and the Knights, and we will be sure to keep you updated as things progress.