AMANDA PARK — Graduation took away a large portion of Lake Quinault’s experience and speed, but the Elks are adjusting for the new season.
Returning eight players, the Elks will embark on a District IV 1B independent schedule chock full of experience on the offensive line, the team’s strength according to head coach Darwin Sharrah.
“Our line is our strength, four guys who all played up front last year, three of them at center,” Sharrah said. “We added a few adjustments (to the offense), because we lost a lot of that speed we have from last year. With our line as our strength, we’re going to play to that. We’re confident with what we have up front.”
On Sept. 14, Lake Quinault (3-5) will open the season at home against Crescent.
Quinault’s four linemen — center Jeffrey Diggle, guards Enrique Arreguin and Miguel Venegas and tight end Julio Silva — will provide the punch up front for quarterback Kobe Kalama, who returns healthy to the lineup.
Kalama will have Silva and Dylan Lines as key aerial targets, while halfback Jorge Ochoa and fullback Dylan Dorhofer will highlight the running game. Kalama, who showed plenty of speed in limited action as a freshman and sophomore, will also have the opportunity to run as well.
Dorhofer, a first-year senior, will find time to play at fullback, as well as quarterback, wide receiver and linebacker/safety on defense.
“He’s a great athlete who can play anywhere,” Sharrah added. “We lost a lot of speed, but Kobe is really speedy back there and Ochoa returned from basic training over the summer. He’s came back in awesome shape and twice as fast as he was last year. Speed is key in eight-man football.”
“Kobe and Jorge have stepped up in leadership roles and the kids have followed them,” Sharrah added. “Jorge has a leadership quality to him that the kids have taken to. Both of them came out and got other to come out and play after we had some numbers issues earlier. We are really excited to come out here and play some football.”
Sharrah added first-year player Chayton Johnson as the team’s “ninth man” at running back/safety/cornerback for the Elks.
The Elks had to drop a planned first game against King’s Way Christian, but have seven games to play — a home-and-home series against Wishkah and home games against Mary M. Knight and Washington State School for the Deaf as key matchups. Assisting Sharrah this season will be Frank Kawoosh.