SILVERDALE — Central Kitsap Coach Mark Keel would be the first to admit that his team has some growing to do in this rebuilding season.
“Last year, I believe, we did what we could with who and what we had,” said Keel. “We need to build off the experience we gained last year, learn from our mistakes and have a more successful season.”
The Cougars went 4-6 in 2016, including a 4-3 mark in district play. Keel expects more.
That improvement will rest largely on the shoulders of some key returning players, including ILB Roque Blas; RB D’Andre Sincere; DBs Tristan Barr, Bradley Dykstra and Alika Sarono; OLs Elijah Sousou, Reece Wood and Thomas Ingles; DL Derrick Lovelace; and QB Tyler Tubbs.
“All of these guys will bring much-needed experience to our team,” said Keel.
With all of that, Keel recognizes that the challenges that CK faces on its way to a winning season and the playoffs.
“This will be a much more competitive league this year,” Keel said. “We are getting four teams coming down for the 3A classification Then there is Peninsula, which is always a tough team. Add that to our old 3A Narrows League, and we will have to be ready to compete every week.”
Keel says he doesn’t see a soft game on the schedule, which opens Saturday night, Sept. 2 and 7 p.m. at Silverdale Stadium.
“We are hoping to be competitive and fast,” he said. “We want to put on a good show and play very disciplined, tough football.”