After years of futility on the gridiron, the Mountlake Terrace football team seems to have turned its fortunes around, with four winning regular season records over the past five years.
In each of those four seasons — 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 — the team also qualified for a state playoff game.
But 11th-year head coach Tony Umayam isn’t content with this recent team success.
“We hope to put together another winning regular season, which would be the first time in school history for three years in a row, and be in contention for the playoffs again,” Umayam said.
The Hawks begin their quest for Mountlake Terrace history on Friday, Sept. 5, with a season-opening match-up against the Mariner Marauders at Goddard Stadium in south Everett. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
After going 5-4 the past two seasons, the Hawks could be hard-pressed to repeat another winning season and trip to postseason action as they field a team that lost a number of starters from last year to graduation and find themselves in a Wesco South 3A/2A division made tougher with new additions Lynnwood and Edmonds-Woodway.
But for Umayam, the formula for reaching team goals boils down to two main points: “It is possible provided we improve as the season goes on and stay healthy.
The Hawk defense will have to find their way this year without 2013 key players Brett Potter, Jevin Pahinui and Kaleb Davis. “We lost quite a bit of talent in our defensive front seven,” Umayam said. “Austin Bates and new linebackers Gabe Brady, Mikey Jenson and Tanner Munnis will be counted on to replace last year’s players.”
On offense Mountlake Terrace will continue to push their running game. Chance Ragsdale, who had a huge 2013 season, has graduated so the Hawks will rely on seniors Malcolm Johnson and Ryan Lacasse to carry the pigskin this year. Starting quarterback Justin Hopkins returns from last year’s squad, and has shown the ability to also rush for yardage when passing options breakdown.
The Hawks road to a postseason playoff game will be more difficult this year due to stronger 3A competition in the Wesco League. Both Lynnwood and Edmonds-Woodway dropped from their previous 4A level and are expected to challenge for a 3A playoff spot. The Hawks have always faced off against their Edmonds School District rivals on the football field, but this year’s games against the Royals and the Warriors could have more meaning as they battle for the same postseason berth.
Previous Wesco League 3A opponent Shorecrest remains on the Hawks’ schedule this fall, but the Scots drop to 2A for the postseason.
At least five of the Hawks’ nine regular season games will be streamed live on the Sound Live Sports Network on MLTnews.com, beginning with the Sept. 12 match-up against Meadowdale.
By Doug Petrowski
MTHS Hawks 2014 regular season schedule
Friday, Sept. 5 — vs. Mariner, 7 p.m. at Goddard Stadium
Friday, Sept. 12 — vs. Meadowdale, 8 p.m. at Edmonds District Stadium
Friday, Sept. 19 — vs. Shorewood, 5 p.m. at Edmonds District Stadium
Friday, Sept. 26 — vs. Edmonds-Woodway, 8 p.m. at Edmonds District Stadium
Friday, Oct. 3 — vs. Shorecrest, 7 p.m. at Shoreline Stadium
Friday, Oct. 10 — vs. Glacier Peak, 5 p.m. at Edmonds District Stadium
Friday, Oct. 17 — vs. Lynnwood, 5 p.m. at Edmonds District Stadium
Friday, Oct. 24 — vs. Kingston, 7 p.m. at Kingston High School
Friday, Oct. 31 — vs. opponent-to-be-named (Wesco 3A seeding game)
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