WR/OLB Trevor Hoffman (6’3″, 185, ’17) – Hoffman is big, physical and athletic. He can do it all and he’ll be a stud on both sides of the ball for the Lancers.
QB Ben Gaoteote (6’2″, 180, ’17) – Physically gifted signal-caller who will go from running the Wing-T to running the Air Raid this fall. Gaoteote has the ability to hurt teams with his arm and his legs and the Lancer coaches will give him all of the tools to have a big senior season.
WR/S Primo Ramirez (5’11”, 180, ’18) – Widely considered the best football player on the team, Ramirez has a high Football I.Q., he’s one of the hardest workers on the team and he’s a leader both on and off the field.
DE Sav’ell Smalls (6’4″, 220, ’20) – It’s rare that a freshman who has never taken a snap of high school football winds up on this list, but that should tell you how good Smalls already is and how much better he’ll get over the course of the next three months. He’s big, he’s athletic and once things really start to click, he could wind up being one of the top players in the state.
OL/DL Marvin Maele (6’1″, 265, ’17) – Maele is a two-way starter and leader. He mans the all-important left tackle spot and he’ll provide a pass-rush on the defensive side of the ball.
Bob Bourgette, an institution at Kennedy Catholic, retired following the 2015 football season after 43 years as a coach and administrator at the school.
Stepping into the void is former Idaho State offensive coordinator Sheldon Cross and the team will take a drastically different look, especially on offense, once they hit the field on September 2nd.
Gone is the tried and true Wing-T that had been a staple of the Kennedy Catholic offense during Bourgette’s tenure and in it’s place will be a version of the Air Raid offense that will resemble the one Texas A&M ran during the heyday of the Jonny Manziel era.
Leading the offensive attack will be quarterback Ben Gaoteote (6’2″, 180, ’17).
Gaoteote has great athleticism and, because he had run the Wing-T for so long, he’s great with the ball in his hands, but Cross and his staff plan to use him more as a point guard where he plays the role of a distributor and gets the ball into the hands of the playmakers on the offense.
When he drops back to pass Gaoteote will have some big-time targets to throw to led by Trevor Hoffman (6’3″, 185, ’17) and Primo Ramirez (5’11”, 180, ’18), Keannu Royster (6’0″, 175, ’17) and Jared Thurber (6’3″, 170, ’17).
Hoffman and Thurber will be the outside receivers while Royster and Ramirez handle things out of the slot.
When the Lancers do choose to run the ball, they’ll turn to Kendell Oakes (5’10”, 170, ’18) who can flat out fly, but don’t be fooled, he’s not a track guy that plays football. He’s a football player who also runs track.
The offensive line returns some experience and they will rely on left tackle Marvin Maele (6’1″, 265, ’17) and center Bowen McConville (6’1″, 235, ’18) to lead the way up front.
The defensive line features Maele at one of the defensive end spots and freshman Sav’ell Smalls (6’4″, 220, ’20) on the other side.
Maele is strong against the run while Smalls is an elite athlete who has a chance to be special once he gets used to playing varsity football.
Hoffman will man one of the outside linebacker spots while Alex Parker (6’1″, 200, ’17) is the leader of the defense from his middle linebacker spot.
The Lancers have a very experienced secondary that features Ramirez and Nick Blakley (5’11”, 160, ’17) at the safety spots while two juniors — Matt Wallitner (6’0″, 165, ’18) and Daeshawn Wilson (6’0″, 170, ’18) — will handle cornerback duties.
The Bottom Line: Kennedy Catholic is one of the storied programs in the state. They always have seemed to make the playoffs and typically won eight or nine games a season, however, a lot of that had to do with playing in one of the weakest leagues in the state — the now defunct Seamount League. Now the Lancers move up from 3A to 4A, so Cross and his staff have some work to do. They have some really nice athletes and the newly formed North Puget Sound League has a lot of teams that are rebuilding so a realistic goal for them is to win their league and make the state playoffs. Anything after that is gravy at this point. However, in the future Cross should be able to build a power in Burien and be a team to contend with on a weekly basis.
@ Lakewood (9/2)
vs. Kentwood (9/17)
vs. Tahoma (10/14)