It could potentially be one of the most exciting football teams in Oregon for a variety of reasons, but most people don’t have a clue. The Century Jaguars return a host of all league kids from a team that finished 3rd in the Pacific Conference in 2011, and they look like they could even crack NEI’s preseason Top 10.
The Jaguars no huddle offense is extremely fun to watch as points are plentiful, but this Hillsboro school will have to act like they have been there before. They have never had a team go deep into the playoffs, and have had very few standout football players come out of the school.
That said Head Coach Bill Smith has done an outstanding job of getting the kids to buy in, and this year they should be able to hang with Tigard and Tualatin in the race for the conference title.
1st team all league QB Brad Bennett (6-0 185 Jr.) returns after dropping dimes on opposing DB’s for the majority of last season , while Sam Riddle (6-2 190 Jr. ATH) also plays QB and is an overall outstanding athlete. Bennett will have multiple targets to throw to, but none more exciting then unanimous first team all league WR Xavier Mitchell (6-1 170 Jr.) who looks to be one of the better receivers in the state. Mitchell is a talented basketball player on a top ranked basketball team, so he will take a winning mentality back to the football field next fall. He also just added a 4.0 (GPA) semester to his resume so things look very bright for Xavier.
One other asset that will make Mitchell even more dangerous will be the emergence of Vance Hamilton (5-11 165 Jr. ATH/KR/DB) who earned all league honors on both sides of the ball. Hamilton will make it tough to double team Mitchell, as he is able to do damage himself with the ball in his hands.
The key component to any good football team that plans on making a run at a title starts with the line. If you don’t have the big boys up front you aren’t going to beat the best. This is what makes this Century team different. Austin Thimjon (6-1 300 Jr.), Alex Sirois (6-5 295 Jr.), Sheridan Olds (6-4 220 OL/DL) and Sam Devedjian (6-1 200 Jr.) give the Jaguars four returning all league starters that could anchor an already potent offense in 2012.
Thimjon was a first team all league kid last season, and did an outstanding job looking very mobile on an offense that did things in a hurry. He’s not going to project at the highest level unless he is able to add some additional height, but his skills are intact and he is looked at as a team leader.
Sirois missed some time due to injury, but battled his way back and earned honorable mention all league honors. He has legit size at 6-5 and progressed rapidly as the season moved along. He has heard from some different D1 programs and should be considered one of the better lineman in the state.
The final two pieces to the puzzle may be undersized first team all league kid Devedjian and Olds. Devedjian was quick enough to thrive in a no huddle offense and athletic enough to do very well, while Olds earned second team all league honors and provided good size and coordination. Between these four kids the Jags have a legit shot at a winner, and I think most of them know it.
We have seen plenty of teams in the past with solid perimeters that just can’t get the job done, because they don’t have what it takes up front. If Century does things right this could be a special year, and we look forward to following this Jaguar club into next season and beyond.
Left: QB Sam Riddle (6-2 190 Jr. QB) and Unanimous First Team All League WR Xavier Mitchell (6-1 165 Jr. WR)