Published September 02, 2010
Highclimbers learn lessons from past 2 seasonsMEG WOCHNICK; Staff writer
SHELTON - Walking through the hallways has been rough the past two years for Shelton High School football players. Senior quarterback Ryan Adams called it “almost embarrassing.” “A lot of (the students) didn’t realize how hard we were working,” Adams said. The Highclimbers have endured some tough times, going winless in 2008 and 1-9 last season. Current seniors were put into starting roles as sophomores because of a lack of upperclassmen. Now, the experience of having the majority of seniors being three-year starters is a bright spot for the Highclimbers. “We’ve got a lot of experience,” Shelton coach Matt Hinkle said. “The kids have been in the mix for two to three years now. They’ve been hardened and toughened up. We’re excited about that.” Shelton returns the most starters of any South Sound team – 17. Adams has been the quarterback since his sophomore season, and his speed should cause problems for opponents. He was a state placer in the 100- and 200-meters in May’s Class 4A state track and field meet. “He can throw really well, but we hope to solidify the run game,” Hinkle said. “We want to run the ball first.” Expect a powerful running game from the Highclimbers, led by senior Jacob Barrett. Barrett, who saw varsity time as a freshman in Shelton’s last winning season in 2007, sat out his junior year after having back surgery to repair a herniated disk. Another strength for the Highclimbers is the size of the line. Kyle Biswell, Dale Fontaine, Cameron Dayton, Joey Wuolle and Cody Tarver average 240 pounds. Some of the seniors were a part of Shelton’s last winning season in 2007, when they finished second in the now-defunct 3A Western Cascade Conference. They’re now eager to put the past two seasons behind them. “I think we can get over the edge,” Barrett said. “If you get your first win, you’re confident what to do next. You know how it feels to win. We know what losing feels like. We want to get over that.” Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org HEAD COACH: Matt Hinkle, 17th season COORDINATORS, SETS O: Ron DuPree, I formation D: Mike Sobotka, 4-4 TOP PLAYERS: QB Ryan Adams, sr., 5-11, 170; RB/LB Jacob Barrett, sr., 6-0, 200; OL/DL Kyle Biswell, sr., 6-4, 235; WR/DB Tre Fisher, sr., 6-0, 180; OL/DL Dale Fontaine, sr., 6-1, 260; WR Justin Putvin, sr., 6-2, 185; WR/DB Aaron Roaf, sr., 5-11, 180; WR/DB Alex Spencer, sr., 5-11, 180; DB Chris Westerman, sr., 5-9, 165; OL/DL Joey Wuolle, sr., 6-3, 280; OL/DL Cameron Dayton, jr., 6-1, 220; RB/LB Zac Fennel, jr., 5-11, 205; OL/LB Cody Tarver, jr., 6-2, 200. OUTLOOK This could be the season the tide turns for the Highclimbers. After two miserable seasons with a combined record of 1-19, Hinkle is optimistic about what lies ahead with 17 starters returning – many of them starting since they were sophomores. “If the level of play from summer camps is an indicator, (it) should be a very good year,” Hinkle said. With a strong backfield led by Barrett, Shelton’s strength will be its running game. Barrett did not play his junior year because of offseason back surgery.