(The Skyview Storm will be one of the top 4a Teams in Washington once again)
After getting to the 4A State Championship game, the Skyview (Vancouver, Wa.) Storm are poised for another deep run in the playoffs and they have some very interesting prospects on both sides of the ball to keep an eye on this fall. Today, Northwest Elite Index takes a look at what players return and which new ones will be counted on to take them back to the state playoffs as they try to find a way to get that ever-elusive state title…
At quarterback, offensive coordinator Aaron Hazel and the rest of the staff feel they are in good shape even though they lost Kieran McDonagh who totaled 2,637 yards and 24 touchdowns with only four interceptions.
Taking over will be senior Jordan Berni (6’1, 185) who may be an even better athlete than McDonagh, who also managed to rush for 371 yards and seven touchdowns.
Berni led his team in several seven-on-seven tournaments this summer, including the inaugural Barton 7-on-7 tourney at Foster High School, and he’s ultra-competitve. We will see how it translates to the field when the "bullets are live" this fall, but the initial viewing of his skills has given the Storm coaches reason for hope.
The running back coaches also have a lot of work to do while trying to replace Parker Henry who rushed for nearly 2,200 yards and 31 touchdowns.
The top candidates to take over include Jabari Marshall (6’2, 215), Calvin Johnson (6’0, 205), a transfer from Beaverton (Or.) who is very physical as well as senior Kevin Washington, a 5’9, 130-pounder who has been described as "lightning in a bottle".
The wide receiver corps looks to be in great hands with the likes of Forrest Russell (5’7, 165) and Reiley Henderson (5’11, 180) who combined for over 100 catches, nearly 1,800 yards and 16 touchdowns, making them one of the deadliest wideout tandems in the region. Those two will be complemented by the likes of junior Jacob Dennis (5’8, 150) who started as a sophomore in the state semi-finals as well as senior Spencer Miles (5’10, 170).
Skyview runs most of their plays out of the spread, featuring four-wides much of the time, however, with senior Anthony Chamberlin (6’1, 245), who moved outside from playing along the offensive line last season, they may run more power sets with him leading the way. The coaches love the improvement he has shown and he could be a real sleeper in the region at the tight end or H-Back position.
Along the offensive line, the Storm lost three starters, but finding players to fill in adequately shouldn’t be a problem since almost all of them some extensive action in 2011.
Starting at left tackle will likely be senior Willie Lopez (6’5, 265) who is getting a lot of attention from Pac 12 schools, although no offers have come his way. Flanking him will be senior Zach Wallace (6’2, 319) who has Big Sky schools after him.
Finishing things out at two of the other three spots along the line are junior Matt Mateo (6’0, 230) at center, senior right guard Grant Vargo (5’11, 240) who may be the toughest player of the group.
Right tackle is still up for grabs, but there are a plethora of underclassmen that will be given a shot.
On defense, the biggest news was the transfer of William Eteaki (6’2, 325) from Southridge High School in Oregon. The junior nose tackle is an immovable object and the coaches at Skyview couldn’t be more excited about his decision to come to their school.
Joining Eteaki will be Lopez who the Storm coaches plan to use both ways.
At linebacker, Marshall is the main stud and he’s getting attention from schools up and down the west coast. He’s a great running back, but he’s a difference-maker on the defensive side of the ball.
In the secondary, Russell and Henderson will be the two starters and Henderson has schools looking at him, but word is they won’t offer until they see his first-quarter grades.
Joining those two at locking down opponents’ wideouts will be Kyle Ponciano (5’8, 165) and Kris Quintanilla (5’10, 175) and the Storm, as long as they can find some replacements at safety, should be in great shape in the back end.
Skyview begins the year with an out of league game against Central Catholic, one of the top programs in the state of Oregon and then two weeks later they will take on Lakes (Lakewood, Wa.) who is always loaded with talent and ranked at or near the top of the 3A rankings. Then later in the season they have brutal league games against Union and Camas, their two chief rivals.
If they can get solid play from Berni and an adequate replacement for Parker, the Storm are set to make a deep run in the playoffs and could wind up in the Tacoma Dome in early December facing someone for the State Championship. This time they may not falter and could wind up hoisting the trophy for the 4A classification.