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Arlington reverts to ground game in quest for success
Coach Tramp undecided on starters
Last years Arlington Eagle football squad had plenty of offensive firepower. Departed quarterback Trevor Milless stacked up an impressive resume throwing the football. His leadership and cannon arm gave Arlington a wide-open approach to the offense.
This year, with a different set of talented youngsters, coach Tim Tramp sees the running game as the foundation for a successful fall football season.
Quarterback Brandon Gunter will add a run/pass element to the game that the team missed out on last year.
He is a dual threat, said Tramp. Hes got good speed at the quarterback position.
Behind Gunter in the backfield will be halfbacks Michael Keating and Marcus Dolan.
Right now Im thinking they will rotate the position, said Tramp. Dolan is the fastest kid on the team and Keating started last year. Both are darn good running backs.
Another holdover from last year who will still be expected to produce at a high level is wide receiver Jared Barber. Barber was first team all-league last season as both a receiver and a cornerback and should still find his nitch in the run-first offense.
Jared is quick, with outstanding hands, said Coach Tramp. He improved his overall speed in the offseason. Hes going to be a major threat this year.
It appears Travis Doggett will get the nod as the starting tight-end. Doggett has excellent size at 63, 220 lbs.
He is one of our best overall athletes, said Tramp. He is versatile and has great talent to run, catch and block for us.
In the trenches will be Jurrell Frank, the stout center who will anchor the offensive line. Frank started last year as well and coach Tramp believes he is on the cusp of stardom.
Jurrell is a good leader who works well in communicating, said Frank, He is the quarterback of the offensive line and a good hitter. Hes also our most veteran lineman.
Defensively Coach Tramp has yet to decide on his entire starting unit. While the defensive line and secondary remain in intense competitions for spots, the linebacking crew has three known commodities.
Greg Holsworth will be the starting middle linebacker. He is an outstanding tackler and loves to hit people.
Travis Doggett will get first crack at the weak side linebacker position in addition to his tight-end duties. Brad McPherson is a returning starter on the strong side.
McPherson is probably the smartest player on the team, said Tramp, Hes certainly the most enthusiastic. He really learns his assignments.
Tramp wants to employ an aggressive, attacking style of defense, not content to sit back on their heels and allow offenses to pick them apart. Offensively Tramp intends the Eagles to use a hybrid West-Coast offense with short high percentage passes and an emphasis on the running game.
Ideally wed like to take what opponents give us and put points on the board. Weve taken the talents that we have and tweaked the offense to highlight their strengths. Were a better running team than last year so that will be our focus.
Coach Tramp isnt backing down from high expectations either. He and his staff have firm belief that this group of boys can compete at the highest level.
Weve got most of our team back from last year. If they perform up to their ability well be a tough team to beat, said Tramp, The sky is the limit for this group. If we dont make mistakes or turn the ball over we have a chance to have a tremendous season.
Arlingtons first game will be Aug. 31 at Wenatchee High School in Wenatchee, Wash.