The team has been hard at work this summer with two-a-day practices. Coach Nadrece Robinson (front right) looks on as football player Jack Deal (front left) practices his defense maneuvers. Coach Marcus Johnson (back right) works with Isaac Floresca.
Optimism high for coming season of BHS football
Beaver fans, get ready. The new season is fast approaching.
At the Ballard High School football team's practice on Tuesday, Aug. 21, anticipation and optimism for the coming year of football was on high.
"We're very excited," BHS Head Coach Joey Thomas said. "We definitely have a lot of good players."
In the first game on Aug. 31, 5 p.m., titled "Battle for Ballard," the Beavers will go up against the Blanchet Braves on their home turf. Thomas believes that the two teams are well matched and that the game will be an exciting one.
Thomas believes the BHS team has plenty of talent this year, some of which has carried on from last year. He expects for the starting quarterback, senior Johnny Verduin, and running back senior Dominic King both to have a big year. Last year Verduin received honorable mention as a quarterback at the Kingco All Conference.
Verduin is also excited for the new year.
"I'm really excited, we got lots of talent," Verduin said of the team. "I think it'll be a pretty special year."
More than for just themselves, Thomas said they want to play and win for the people watching them.
"We're looking forward to making the community proud," Thomas said. "The least we can do is go out there and give them a brand and style of football that they can appreciate."
The team has been hard at work this summer, having two practices a day and plugging away on both offense and defense. Thomas said the most difficult part of summer practice was learning how to compete from within the circle and to create an intensity to match when they will go up against opponents from other schools.
"First you learn how to fight," he said. "Then you learn how to fight wisely"
Thomas seemed confident that they have achieved a good level of competition and said that they are solid on both sides of the ball. Most importantly, though, the team is tight-knit and everyone works closely to one another.
"We're a family. We play as a family, we eat as a family, we do things as a family."
It'll be the second year as head coach at BHS for Thomas, who came to the school after a decorated career in high school and college athletics and was a player in the NFL until he dropped out due to injury. He said he has learned a lot from year one to year two, and that he will surely learn even more from year two to year three. "It's been a tremendous experience," he said.
Though they're excited for the coming year, both Thomas and Verduin were modest about saying how far they will actually go.
"We'll see how it plays out," Verduin said, with a slight smirk.