Here is an inside look at the 2019 Sumner Spartans football team.
2018 IN REVIEW
7-4 in 4A SPSL (fifth place)
Keith Ross, 18th season
Offense – 5. Defense – 4.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
QB Griffin Clark, 6-2, 170, sr.
WR Mason Donovan, 6-1, 185, sr.
RB Blake Tannehill, 6-0, 180, sr.
OL Niko Skinner, 6-1, 260, sr.
TE Mitchell Wolfe, 6-3, 215, sr.
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
DB Lamar Campbell, 6-1, 185, sr.
DB Deontrea Stoudemire, 5-9, 165, sr.
DB Blake Tannehill, 6-0, 180, sr.
DL Andrew Tillett, 6-2, 290, so.
LB Mitchell Wolfe, 6-3, 215, sr.
THREE TO SEE
Niko Skinner, offensive lineman
Leader and stabilizer of a high-upside unit, he could man both left-side positions
Blake Tannehill, defensive back
Fearless third-year starter at free safety knows Ross’ defense so well, he could coach it
Mitchell Wolfe, linebacker
Big athletes aren’t supposed to move this well, and he has tackling instincts to match
As fate would have it, Sumner’s six-year string of playoff appearances ended last season in a league mini-tiebreaker.
It forced Ross to evaluate what went wrong, and one thing kept coming up — Sumner just did not run the football as much as the coaching staff would have liked.
Guess what? Behind one of their best offensive lines in years, the Spartans plan to get back to running the football 30-40 times a game.
Tannehill will be the workhorse who gets carries in crucial situations. Few running backs hit the hole faster, and he is shifty enough to break away from tacklers. Lito Knight and Jesse Sandretzky will spell him.
This is Ross’ kind of offensive line — bullish and nasty. Ethan Barney, Caden Cross and Skinner are all multiple-year starters. Now, the Spartans have to find the right blocking combination to get the offense rolling again — and the team back into the postseason.
Sept 6: South Kitsap, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13: at Olympia, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20: Puyallup, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27: at Curtis, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4: Rogers of Puyallup, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11: at Camas, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18: at Emerald Ridge, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: Bellarmine Prep, 1 p.m.
Oct. 31: at Graham-Kapowsin, 7 p.m.