With an exceptionally large turnout this year, Forks High School head football coach Mark Feasel is expecting big things for his Spartans.
“I’m jacked about this year,” Feasel said.
Though his varsity squad lost three players who are now in the college ranks, Feasel hopes the 54 students who turned out for the Spartans’ early practices will give him a pool to replace that talent.
“Those are big losses,” Feasel said of Braden Decker, Mark Jacobson and Shane White-Eagle who are all playing in college this fall.
With a rotation of senior Brett Pederson and juniors Dmitri Sampson and Miguel Morales at running back though, Feasel said the Spartans should be able to pound out a powerful ground game.
Senior tight end Leo Gonzales was all-camp on offense and at defensive end and should be a key part of this year’s squad.
Two guns are aiming to start the season under center, as junior Javier Contreras, an all-league shortstop, and sophomore Reese Moody are looking to split time. Feasel said Contreras’ athleticism should allow the Spartans to show an option look, while Moody’s size and savvy will provide a change-up.
The Spartans open Friday against Charles Wright Academy in Aberdeen, after Chimacum cancelled the scheduled opener with low turnout.
In middle school play, both Forks and Chimacum are part of a brand new WIAA experiment this season.
The two teams will now be allowed to field freshmen on squads to bump up numbers for the middle school teams.
Feasel said allowing freshmen to play instead of watching junior varsity games will raise their experience against competition like Sequim and Port Angeles.