Five Key Players
QB Trevor Asbjornsen (6’4, 210) – As a junior last fall, Asbjornsen completed right around 60% of his passes for 1,600 yards with 22 touchdowns and just three interceptions while leading GK to a 10-1 record. The senior singal-caller is a very good leader with great touch. While he doesn’t have a big-time arm, it’s plenty strong enough to make the throws necessary to be successful.
WR Austin Ewell (5’8, 155) – Ewell is a talented two-way player who is considered one of the leaders of the team. Because he’s on the small side, he’s tough to locate at times and with his outstanding quickness and Football I.Q. he’s a player who always seems to be around the ball or making a big play with the ball in his hands.
OL/DL Foster Sarell (6’6, 310) – Sarell was so impressive as a freshman last season that he was named to the All-State team for all classifications. With his size, quick feet and athleticism, he’s already drawing attention from programs across the country and he’s got an offer from the Washington Huskies as well as a few others. Many think Sarell could become the best offensive lineman to ever come out of the state and that’s saying something.
DE/TE Donald Walkinshaw (6’4, 235) – The three-year starter will play both ways for the Eagles and he’s an invaluable resource for the GK coaching staff. Walkinshaw is a leader and he’s got the size to be a threat in the redzone as a tight end while being a force off the edge from one of the defensive end spots.
FS/WR Nathaniel Affonso (6’1, 180) – Affonso started in 2013 at free safety and he’ll be back in the deep patrol for the Eagles again as a senior this fall. While he’ll contribute the most on defense, Affonso will definitely be a playmaker on offense as well.
Eric Kurle’s 10-plus seasons with Graham-Kapowsin have been an unmitigated success, but last year’s team might have been his best up to this point, going 10-1 with their only loss coming in the first round of the state playoffs to a very good Bothell squad.
As they prepare to start the 2014 season this weekend, the prospects for the Eagles to make yet another run at a state title are definitely realistic and a big reason why is the trigger man at the helm of their offensive attack — senior QB Trevor Asbjornsen — who threw for 1,600 yards with 22 touchdowns and just three interceptions as a junior last fall.
When they want to run the ball, Shannon Edwards (540 yards and 12 touchdowns), a shifty and quick senior with a lot of talent will be the main man, but backing him up will be Damian Howard, another senior, who butters his bread on defense.
Along the line, sophomore Foster Sarell is about as impressive athletically as anyone could be at his age and he is already a very polished pass-blocker that is developing into a nasty run-blocker. He’s the cornerstone while seniors Malik Asagai, Braxton Bennett and Tyler Morris all fill roles and junior Elijah Lugo also brings a bit of nastiness.
The receivers are talented and deep, but the top four wideouts will seniors Austin Ewell and Noah Bales, junior Belton Mershon and rising sophomore Ian Almost, a 6’1, 190-pounder with a lot of talent and moxie.
Senior Donald Walkinshaw handles the tight end duties and he’s a dual-threat type who can block or be a big target in the passing game.
Along the defensive line, Asagai will return at one of the tackle spots while Lugo, Sarrell and Walkinshaw all will see plenty of playing time this fall.
Because their defensive line is huge, athletic and very active, the Graham Kapowsin linebackers have the ability to roam and just make plays.
Returning inside is senior Danny Lorenz who is a leader and likely captain. He’ll be flanked by the likes of Austin Dowell, Ezra Bolten and Howard.
Bolten plays a sort of hybrid linebacker/safety in GK’s scheme, so he’ll drop into coverage plenty of times and joining him in the secondary are Affonso at the other safety spot and then a combination of Kevin Dudley, Aaron Wright and Nathan Rainey out at corner.
Bottom Line: The Eagles are one of the more talented teams in the 4A classification and they have great coaching and a quarterback with a ton of experience. With a strong running game, solid passing game and a physically imposing offensive line, GK can score with anyone so it’ll come down to staying healthy and how they perform on defense. Expectations of another repeat as the 4A SPSL champs and another run into the playoffs are very real with an outside shot at a trip to the state finals if things go their way.
vs. Curtis (9/26)
@ Skyline (10/10)
vs. Puyallup (10/17)