If Bill Beattie had the chance to build his nonleague schedule over again, would he still keep it that rigorous? You bet he would, without hesitation.
The first three games of Olympia High School’s football season have resulted in an 0-3 record for the Bears; they are the only 4A program in the state that hasn’t won a game. This is the first time in Beattie’s 18 seasons as coach of the Bears that his team has started winless through three games.
So, how do the Bears turn things around? It helps that 4A Narrows League play begins for the Bears when they host Stadium at 7 p.m. today at Ingersoll Stadium. The nonleague schedule is over and the Bears are the final 4A Narrows team to begin league play. So now, they’re back at 0-0.
“The sun is going to rise for them,” Beattie said. “One thing that’s held true is our kids are battling each week and gotten better each week. … They can’t wait until (tonight).”
Beattie put together the tough nonleague schedule on purpose, scheduling nationally ranked Lake Oswego from Oregon, the annual Spaghetti Bowl with Capital and, for the first time since 1990, Timberline. But what wasn’t expected was two dozen players missing action thus far.
From injuries to ineligibilities, Olympia has been without 24 players, but on the flip side, more players have gotten experience that might not have played otherwise.
Fourteen of those missing players are now back, which has made for a more familiar lineup during practice this week. But one significant player still out is starting quarterback Gabe Padukiewicz, who suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury in a 19-0 loss to Capital on Sept. 7.
In his place is sophomore Kaden Wilson, who made his first varsity start in last week’s 23-12 loss to Timberline. Wilson, at 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, is the second sophomore in 18 years to start at quarterback for Beattie.
“He has the ability and the drive,” Beattie said. “He’s going to be a good quarterback by the time he leaves here.”
CAPITAL NO. 1
After an impressive stretch of defeating 4A programs three weeks in a row, Capital moved up into the top spot in the state media football rankings. The Cougars were a near-unanimous pick as the top team in 2A, receiving 11 out of 12 first-place votes.
Also in the 2A poll is W.F. West, at 2-1 overall. The Bearcats play host to Columbia River at 7 p.m. today.
QUITE A RETURN
In additon to his speed in the backfield, Tumwater’s Andrew Brown has proven to be a standout return man.
Through three games, the tailback, who is the two-time defending Class 2A 400-meter state champion, has returned two punts, an interception and a kickoff for touchdowns. His longest punt return was 94 yards (in Week 1 against Shelton) and his interception return was for 100 yards (Week 2 against Timberline).
Tenino quarterback Mac Shaw has benefited from his new offensive coordinator, who happens to be his father, Bob.
Mac Shaw, a senior who transferred from Rainier during the offseason, already has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in passing. He has completed 70 percent of his passes (73-for-104) for 1,041 yards and 10 touchdowns.
He has also rushed for another six touchdowns.
His favorite passing target is fellow senior Devante Harris, who has caught 31 passes for 551 yards and seven touchdowns.
MCCLURE TO WSU
Tenino native and W.F. West High School junior Nike McClure, a 6-foot post, gave an oral commitment to the Washington State women’s basketball program last weekend. McClure spent her first two years of high school at Tenino and recently transferred to W.F. West.
As a sophomore at Tenino last season, McClure averaged 14 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks per game, leading the Beavers to the Class 1A state regional tournament. In a 53-41 win over Rochester on Jan. 6, McClure had 23 points, 26 rebounds and 18 blocks.
On the WSU roster is Elma’s Brandi Thomas, a junior who was a two-time 2A EvCo MVP, in 2008-09 and firstname.lastname@example.org 360-754-5473 theolympian.com/southsoundsports @megwochnick