At 6-foot-4, Mountlake Terrace Hawks’ Elijah Dahlman has the height to see over nearly every teammate and opponent on either a prep basketball court or football field. And with a strong right arm, Dahlman has the ability to throw out opposing baserunners from the outfield of a baseball diamond or connect with a streaking receiver running a go-route on the gridiron.
Dahlman will get the chance to display his gifts and abilities this fall as the junior will start at quarterback for the Hawks this season, a campaign that begins on Friday, Sept. 5, with a road game against the Mercer Island Islanders.
“I’m fired up for this year; I’m excited,” Dahlman said. “It’s a big opportunity; hopefully I take advantage of it.”
Dahlman takes over the Hawks’ QB duties from Jesse James Martineau, who graduated from the school last spring. As Martineau’s backup, Dahlman got limited time taking snaps for Terrace, completing seven of 14 pass attempts for 83 yards and throwing two interceptions last season.
Becoming the starting quarterback isn’t the only change for Dahlman this season; the Hawks have a whole new coaching staff as Tony Umayam returns to Mountlake Terrace High School to lead the football program after a four-year absence. The transition back to Umayam, his assistant coaches and a new offensive scheme has gone well, Dahlman said.
“It’s definitely different from last year, but I feel confident with this coaching staff. They all play a part; they’re all on the same page working together to make us better,” Dahlman stated.
The junior is also embracing the opportunity to be a leader of the team, a role that needed to be filled after the Hawks lost a number of key senior players from last year’s squad.
“Playing quarterback, a big part of it is the leadership aspect — making sure everyone’s doing their job,” Dahlman said. “Hopefully everyone is making sure I do my job too.”
“I like being a leader with all my guys around me,” he added.
The Hawks graduated three highly-gifted receivers from last season (Brandon Bach, Layne Zuschin and Dominique Latham), so Dahlman may not be given the chance to throw downfield as much as prior Terrace quarterbacks have. Umayam has hinted that the Terrace offense will be more run-oriented this year behind a senior-heavy offensive line led by 6-foot-6, 250-pound Noah Thompson.
When on the rushing attack, look for running backs Jordan Sims, Seydou Traore, Dylan Breuer, Sam Roldan, Marcos Sanchez, Alex Velasco and Matthew Gesese to share the load for the Hawks.
Traore, Breuer and Velasco will also be a big part of the Terrace defense, in addition to Dylan John and Ethan Dunne. The Hawks held opponents to an average of 16 points per game last year and will look to duplicate that effort in 2019.
Mountlake Terrace has a record of 18-21 over the past four seasons, but in 2014 — the most recent Umayam-coached Terrace squad — the Hawks posted an 8-3 record that included a berth in the WIAA 3A state football championship playoffs. It was the most successful campaign for a Terrace football team in school history — and while no one expects this year’s squad to match those accomplishments, Dahlman is optimistic that the 2019 Hawks can fly high again.
“I think we have a really good chance this season,” Dahlman said. “I just think we are set up for a really good year.”
Mountlake Terrace Hawks 2019 Football
Coach: Tony Umayam (12th year; first since 2014)
2019 first game: versus Mercer Island; Friday, Sept. 6; 7:00 p.m. at Mercer Island High School
2018 record: 4-1 in 2A Northwest Conference Lake Division, 5-4 overall
2019 key players: Elijah Dahlman, junior quarterback; Jordan Sims; junior running back/defensive back; Dylan Breuer, senior running back/linebacker; Seydou Traore, senior running back/linebacker; Ethan Dunne, junior tight end/linebacker; Noah Thompson, senior lineman/kicker
2019 schedule: click www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?pid=0.3.40.1.320
— By Doug Petrowski