“New faces, tricks open KJH season”

"KINGSTON - The players aren't loud enough for Tony Chisholm. So Chisholm, the head football coach at Kingston Junior High, holds one hand into the air, four fingers aloft, and asks the question again. What do four fingers stand for? He asks, and this time the response comes thundering back: Four quarters! Chisholm smiles at the sea of helmeted athletes in front of him. Chisholm has been with the KJH football program since its creation six years ago. For four years he served as an assistant under head coaches Tom Wiley and Scott McKay. The last two years he has been on his own, and the Cavaliers have tallied 6-1 and 5-2 records in those years. "

“KINGSTON – The players aren’t loud enough for Tony Chisholm. So Chisholm, the head football coach at Kingston Junior High, holds one hand into the air, four fingers aloft, and asks the question again. What do four fingers stand for? He asks, and this time the response comes thundering back: Four quarters! Chisholm smiles at the sea of helmeted athletes in front of him. Chisholm has been with the KJH football program since its creation six years ago. For four years he served as an assistant under head coaches Tom Wiley and Scott McKay. The last two years he has been on his own, and the Cavaliers have tallied 6-1 and 5-2 records in those years. Chisholm has also seen the program grow until it bulges at the seams. Last year, 121 kids walked onto the field the first few days to try out. Eighty-seven stayed until the end of the season. That number, Chisholm said, necessitated a new addition to KJH football: cuts. We’re not trying to be mean, Chisholm said on the morning of his second practice. It’s a safety issue. The program, he explains, needs to keep the number of kids in a range where he and his assistants can safely supervise everything. Plus, he added, sometimes smaller players try out, players not yet physically ready for football. You’ve got to be careful, he said. But Chisholm sees the expanded turnouts as a sign of a program which has seen successful growth. The kids are coming out. You can’t be prouder as a coach, because kids are turning out, he said. The winning is part of that. What kids don’t want to be part of a winning program? Even with that success, Chisholm and his team are looking to improve. They took only two losses last year, but it rankles both coaches and players – We could have been 6-1, Chisholm said. But you know, you break down every now and then. Chisholm patterns much of what he does as a coach after the North Kitsap High School football program – after all, Kingston Junior High feeds that program. But that doesn’t mean opponents should expect his team to lack innovation, Chisholm said. I try to take advantage of the talent I have, Chisholm said. I try to model the high school’s offense, but if I can do other things, why not? I’m looking to add new wrinkles to the offense, add new wrinkles to the defense. And Chisholm has some players in mind to help him carry out those plans. Some of those he names are running back/defensive back Nic Stearns, quarterback Jared Prince, guard Christian Johnson, and Hans Eldridge, center and tight end. Ryan Good, who will play both fullback and linebacker is described as hard-nosed, and Chisholm will be looking to ninth-grader Jeremiah Doehne to provide some leadership. He’s a leader by example, Chisholm said. He hustles. And he’s gotten a lot better from last year – he’s more vocal. Doehne will play some running back this year, a new position. He will also play linebacker, and has taken the snap at quarterback as well. Of all the positions, linebacker is Doehne’s preference. I like defense, he said. It was a difficult position to learn, Doehne said. Mostly (learning) the players on defense, he said. My year on JV we didn’t have a lot plays. But on varsity we had a lot of gaps, a lot of things to remember. He is looking forward to his time at running back. I want to make sure I hit the holes, work pretty hard, and see if I’m good at it, he said. He is still thinking about defense as well. I want to get in on a lot of tackles, he said. While Chisholm is the grizzled veteran of the KJH coaching staff, Tim French is the new guy. French is not new to Kingston Junior High, where he has taught for three years, but this year he steps into a new role: coach of the volleyball team. French has 12 years of coaching experience on the high school level, having manned teams in Quilcene and Lind. He took this job, replacing the departing Tobie Moore, because I couldn’t resist, French said. He said of volleyball, It’s a love of mine. It’s just a great game, and I love to be around it. French will get plenty of work at that game. The first day of practice, 52 students showed up in the gym to try and make the team. I’m impressed by the enthusiasm, French said. He hopes to add his own enthusiasm – and experience – to the KJH volleyball program. Moore was helpful in giving him background, French said, and he now looks to make his own mark on the team. It’ll be nice to come in fresh and take a fresh look at things, he said before practice Thursday. Behind him, several players were already in the gym, batting a volleyball back and forth a half hour before practice began. French hopes the enthusiasm he and assistant Jay DeVries have for the game will rub off on the players. I see it as one of the ultimate team sports, he said. You have to support and rely on your teammates. French added, It’s not so much what the opponents are doing. It’s what you’re doing. “

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