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Week 1: King’s Way Christian encouraged even in defeat

Another new start for the Knights, who are hungry to improve

It goes down as a loss, but King’s Way Christian still feels like a winner after Week 1 of the 2018 high school football season.

“It was my first game as a head coach. The kids’ first game in a new system, again. And they were just really hungry to get better every rep. Didn’t matter what the score was. They wanted to get better every rep,” Brian Rodriguez said.

Gage Koenders led King’s Way Christian in rushing and never came off the field, playing every play on offense and defense. Photo by Mike Schultz
Gage Koenders led King’s Way Christian in rushing and never came off the field, playing every play on offense and defense. Photo by Mike Schultz

King’s Way Christian Knights (0-1)

Week 1: Elma 48, King’s Way Christian 14

Next: at Tenino, 7 p.m.

As a refresher, Rodriguez is the fourth head coach in four seasons. Oh, and King’s Way Christian is starting freshmen on varsity.

Sure, the score got away from the Knights in a 48-14 loss to Elma. The will to succeed remained, though.

“Elma is very physical, but we were fighting back,” Rodriguez said. “Our boys never gave up. To come out that first game against a very big opponent, I was really proud.”

Offensively, the Knights were led by Gage Koenders, who rushed for close to 100 yards. He also played every down on defense.

“He did a great job in the offseason, working on conditioning and lifting to get himself in position to do that,” Rodriguez said. “He did a great job. Didn’t want to come off the field.”

The coach also noted the play of freshman Bryson Metz. Every time he gets the ball, it’s just a special moment waiting to happen.

On defense, Dylan Scott played well at middle linebacker, but also did everything else a leader is supposed to do.

“He was very encouraging to the underclassmen,” the coach said.

Scott also never came off the field, playing offensive line, too.

Freshman Ty Snider was credited for his open-field tackling from his defensive back position.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia

Paul Valencia joins after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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