ARLINGTON – Eagles football has been leading the way this season, with the varsity program currently in the playoffs. But an undefeated season has already been attained — by the freshman crew.
"I had a lot of good players," said freshman coach Jeff Gage. "We are very deep for a C team, we have 43 players."
The Eagles played seven games this season, with their first game against Oak Harbor on Sept. 13, being the closest call.
"We were down 12-0 after seven minutes but we were able to come back and win it 29-18," said Gage. "After that game, our scores were 34-0, 48-8, 30-0, 27-7, 21-0. Our last game was against Inglemoor and they have a sophomore team, we beat them 22-7."
The Eagles' opponents found it difficult to put high scores on the board all season. "We are really good on defense," said Gage.
Coaching a freshman team can be tough, because you only get to keep the kids for one year. Gage is proud of his entire crew and had trouble choosing any to applaud specifically.
"The way I look at it, as C team coach I am tryin to get kids ready for Coach [Greg] Dailer's varsity program."
"My quarterback Andrew Kalahar was very steady all season. Tailback Diarmuid Murphy had several yards running for us," said Gage. "My best wide receiver actually got injured, Wyatt Bass. He broke his collar bone in the Lake Stevens game. Him and Kyle Bayer were huge pass catchers for us. We had a great offensive line."
Bass wasn't the only player to be injured during the season. "I lost four great players to injuries," said Gage. "George Spady injured his achilles tendon, which will probably keep him out for around six months."
The team's strong defense included left defensive end, Benicio Madrigal-Ries.
"Beni Ries was a very outstanding player," Gage said. "He's a big guy, 5'11" 230 lbs. You couldn't run over him. Hunter Gardoski was really good for us. He was a versatile player. He was a nose tackle, an inside line backer and an outside line backer."
"All of our players were really good about attitude," said Gage. "These are starters who came to practice early and were really positive, Jared Allen, Jose Zuniga, George Spady were all outstanding. Chase Marx and David Getman were two really great inside linebackers. All of my players were great."
Some members of the freshman crew are anticipated to move up to varsity next season.
"Beni Ries will play varsity because of his girth. Diarmuid Murphy, George Spady, Wyatt Bass, Andrew Kalahar. These are kids who could maybe play varsity as early as next year and certainly as juniors."
Overall, Gage is proud of the outcome of the season for his team this year.
"They may not have been the most physically talented team ever, but in terms of buying into what we needed to do, offensively and defensively. We made very few mental errors on the field, which is very satisfying as a coach," said Gage. "After their second game I told them that the only team that could beat them was themselves."