Coach: David Hajek
2018: 5-4, 3-3 2A GSHL
Biggest Offseason News:
The Washougal Panthers are getting healthy. A couple years ago, the team was having a stellar season before injuries took their toll. Then, just after last year’s football season, Jakob Davis blew out a knee in basketball. A wide receiver in a tight end’s body, this physically gifted athlete has been cleared to play football and should be a huge part of the offense. Quarterback Dalton Payne also is getting close to 100 percent after an injury during spring ball. Should the Panthers remaining relatively healthy, this is the program’s best team in years.
At stake in 2019:
The Panthers are trying to set the stage for something special. No one outside of Washougal thinks this team is ready to take down Hockinson, but if there is a team in the 2A GSHL that could do it this year, an argument could be made that it is Washougal. One thing is certain: The Panthers fear no one. Hajek said there were some summer scrimmages in the past, going up against traditional powers, when the Panthers seemed overwhelmed. Not this year. The Panthers went up against some quality teams, bigger teams, and held their own. “We feel like we can compete with anybody,” Hajek said. “Years past, we’d get ran over by those teams. This year we didn’t.”
Spring/Summer standouts and stories:
Brevan Bea did more Brevan Bea things. You know, impressing everyone around him. With Payne injured during the spring and summer drills, it was Bea who stepped in at quarterback. He probably won’t play quarterback this fall, but “he can do anything,” Hajek said.
Peter Boylan put on 25 pounds of muscle in the last nine months, completely dedicated to making this season special. Boylan has been so strong at running back that the coaches decided to move Bea to wide receiver, his natural position on offense. There were plans at Bea becoming the lead running back. This just shows how much talent Washougal has, when they have so many options for their top athletes.
Skill position players of note:
Brevan Bea. He’s a key on offense, and he is simply awesome on defense at linebacker. Hajek said Bea is one of the best players in the county, at any classification. “When you have a guy like that, you have a shot to win a lot of games.”
Dalton Payne. Returning starting quarterback. Another reason the Panthers are so pumped going into this season. They have the athletes, plus they have the leadership with Payne. Look for some big numbers from Payne.
Jakob Davis. Worked so hard to be ready for this football season after the basketball injury. The wide receiver is now 6-3, 225 pounds. He looks huge compared to most cornerbacks. Look for some 50-50 balls to go his way, with the odds changing to 90-10 or so as he uses his strength to outmuscle opponents to make the catch.
Julien Jones. Defensive back brings a bit of swagger to the team, too. Highly intelligent player. Coaches can trust him to do the right thing.
Peter Boylan. Elusive and quick. Even with the extra pounds of muscle. “Now he doesn’t have to run around people. He can run through guys,” Hajek said.
Linemen of note:
Tommy Liston. A smart player who knows what he’s doing because he has had so much experience. This will be his third season as a starter.
Korben Modoc. He started his high school career as a wide receiver. He was behind Jakob Davis on the depth chart, and because he’s big and strong, coaches thought they could turn him into a lineman. The plan worked. He is a guard, and he enjoys being in the middle of the trenches every play.
Wyatt Grindy. He has “farm strength” Hajek said. A returning starter who will play both sides of the line. Only a junior, so expect to hear a lot from him over the next two seasons. Has potential to be one of the best linemen in the league.
“We should be one of the top two teams in our league. I honestly think this might be the best team I’ve had at Washougal.”
Biggest Game on the Schedule:
Washougal does not play the two-time defending state champions until Week 8. The Panthers should know by then who they are, if they are in a position to compete with Hockinson. Two weeks earlier, though, is a big league contest. Columbia River beat Washougal by one point last year, and that cost Washougal a playoff berth.