Here is an inside look at the 2019 Kamiakin Braves football team.
2018 IN REVIEW
6-5 overall, 5-3 in the Mid Columbia Conference (first place of 3A teams; third overall); Lost to O’Dea in the first round of the 3A state playoffs, 49-7.
Scott Biglin, 11th season
Offense – 7. Defense – 6.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
RB Tuna Altahir jr. 6-1, 215, jr.
WR Messiah Jones 6-6, 220, jr.
OL Tanner Sullins 6-2, 225, sr.
QB Henry Mercado 5-10, 150, soph.
QB Lucas Castilleja 5-7, 165, sr.
WR Niko Wiltz 6-3, 185, sr.
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
DL Tanner Sullins 6-2, 225, sr.
DB Tuna Altahir jr. 5-11, 170, jr.
LB Gibby Marquez 5-8, 190, jr.
LB Luis Salgado 5-7, 185, soph.
LB EJ Hawkins 6-2, 205, soph.
DB/DE Messiah Jones 6-6, 220, jr.
THREE TO SEE
Tuna Altahir, running back
Power back who will run through defenses. Among the league’s most imposing skill position players. Second team all-MCC selection as a sophomore. Put on 15 pounds from last season.
Messiah Jones, receiver
First team all-MCC selection at receiver as a sophomore. Had a breakout season as a sophomore in a season that ended with him being carted off in an ambulance in a playoff game. But he’s back.
Tanner Sullins, lineman
Multi-year starter on offense and defense. Undersized D-lineman. First team all-MCC defensive lineman as a junior. “Tremendous person, he’s done everything right,” Scott Biglin said. “I hope colleges take notice. When he speaks, kids know to listen”
Questions still need answering as Kamiakin shores up its green offensive line and parses out a quarterback battle, but regardless, one thing remains certain: The Braves have talent. Lots of it.
Will that be enough to carry them through a deep league, and past the likes of senior-heavy squads such as Kennewick?
Key youngsters return from a Kamiakin team that made the 3A state playoffs a year ago, where it was beat by O’Dea in the first round. The Braves were young last year, but after four rotation seniors decided not to come out for football, the team will be even younger with just eight total seniors.
Kamiakin also replaces four of five starters on the line for the second consecutive season.
“We’re not big, but we run around pretty well, pretty athletic,” head coach Scott Biglin, who enters his 11th year at the helm, said. “Sometimes in high school football being athletic is better than being big.”
The Braves will have the biggest receiving corps in the league in 6-foot-6 Messiah Jones and 6-3 Niko Wiltz. In the backfield, the team has perhaps the top running back in the league, too, in 215-pound power back Tuna Altahir. As for its young line, Biglin has faith in his offensive line coach Gilbert Marquez, who he calls the “best O-line coach in the state.”
Sept 5: West Valley (Yakima), 7 p.m.
Sept. 13: at Southridge, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19: Hanford, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27: at Kennewick, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4: at Pasco, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11: at Walla Walla, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18: Richland, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: at Chiawana, 7 p.m.
Nov. 1: Hermiston (Ore.), 7 p.m.
*home games in bold