Senior slotback Quinn Ogan turns upfield during South Kitsap football practice. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Senior slotback Quinn Ogan turns upfield during South Kitsap football practice. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

South Kitsap Football | Fall Sports Preview

PORT ORCHARD — Players casually amble on to the turf field at South Kitsap High School on a quintessential late-summer day, congregating at the south end zone before practice begins.

But then a whistle blows and the players snap into focus. As they rotate through various defensive drills, there is plenty of encouragement, upbeat patter and shouts of praise as a player correctly performs the assigned task.

“We all love each other,” explained senior quarterback Garrison Glisson.

“We have spent a lot more time together working in the offseason than we have in years past. We’re definitely closer than we’ve ever been.”

With a new coach in the driver’s seat and the promise of a new season looming ahead, optimism abounds at the South Puget Sound League school on Mitchell Avenue. And for new head coach Cory Vartanian, part of that is leaving the past in the rearview mirror.

South Kitsap, which has not had a winning football season since 2012, went 2-8 last year playing in the newly formed SPSL 4A, one of the toughest leagues in the state.

“One of our primary goals is to not talk about the past,” Vartanian said.

“The only thing that will help this program move forward is to get better each and every day, and rather than go backwards, take steps forward, holding each other accountable along the way.”

The focus is squarely on the future — in 2017, the Wolves only return 10 starters, but they are, fortunately, all at key positions. Vartanian also has a number of returning players with game experience who filled in on the field at various times last year.

There is plenty of speed and skill to go around on offense, with Glisson commanding a unit that features senior wide receiver Quinn Ogan, senior running back Izaiah Davis and junior wide receiver Dajshon Keel. Sophomore running back Deyondre Davis has also impressed in camp and should have an impact.

With plenty of contributors, Vartanian expects to spread the ball around and to not focus the offense on one particular player.

“I think we’ll be fast, moving up and down the field a lot,” Ogan said.

“Garrison does a good job in control of the offense, so we want to play at a fast pace and hopefully score a lot of points.”

On defense, senior defensive tackle Deandre Matanane and senior middle linebacker Norman Pedronas anchor the front seven for the Wolves, along with senior Nathan Marin and junior Matthew Burns at outside linebacker. Junior Angelyko Lund is expected to start at safety.

This group will be put to the test right away. Playing in the SPSL 4A, there are no breaks in the schedule. South Kitsap gets started against three highly ranked schools — Graham-Kapowsin will visit Port Orchard on Sept. 1, then the Wolves will travel to Sumner on Sept. 8 before returning home against Ferndale on Sept. 15.

It’s a daunting schedule, but the players believe they are prepared to play to their potential and lead the program out of the woods and back into prominence.

“I think we’re prepared,” Ogan said.

“I feel like we’re more disciplined than last year. A lot of guys got into the weight room over the summer, (so) we have worked harder than before.”

South Kitsap Football | Fall Sports Preview

More in Sports

Sky Henderson (29) rushes to congratulate teammate Avery Pujolar after scoring her third goal of the game in a 5-0 win over Bremerton. (Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review photos)
Pujolar’s hat trick sparks Bainbridge to victory

Bainbridge sophomore Avery Pujolar was flying down the left sideline at full… Continue reading

South Kitsap junior Anna Harvey drops a shot past the Kingston defense. The Wolves defeated the Bucs three sets to two Monday night. (Mark Krulish/North Kitsap Herald photos)
SK comes back to defeat Kingston in 5 sets

South Kitsap was trailing two sets to one late in the fourth… Continue reading

Josh Smith, along with partner Drake Jones, are the top doubles pair for North Kitsap and led the way in Thursday’s match against Bainbridge, winning 6-0, 6-1. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BI wins singles, NK doubles and match

North Kitsap’s seniors are hoping to make the most of their final… Continue reading

Kingston senior Marion Stejer is one of the volleyball team’s top returning players after being named an Olympic League MVP in the spring. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Fall sports preview: Kingston

Volleyball 2021 record: 11-2 Head coach: Mikaela Strutz Key players: Marion Stejer,… Continue reading

Kingston lineman Hugo Hall goes head-to-head with a teammate during a blocking drill at a preseason practice. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Coach finally has time to teach new system

It’s fair to say that few football coaches had a tougher first… Continue reading

Bainbridge running back Matt LeDorze crashes through the line in the Spartans’ opening night game against Garfield. (Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review)
Young Bainbridge blown out in opener

It was a baptismal by fire for Bainbridge’s young gridders on opening… Continue reading

Sophomore running back/wide receiver Jorden Lee should be one of the team’s featured ball carriers this year. (Mark Krulish | Kitsap News Group)
Young Wolves football team is hungry for a full season

PORT ORCHARD — South Kitsap’s football team will feature a mostly “new-look”… Continue reading

Hailey Deese leads the rush upfield during last year’s match against Bremerton. South Kitsap has a number of returners from last spring’s varsity team. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Sports previews: South Kitsap

Girls Soccer 2021 record: 8-2-1 Head coach: Hailey Parker Key players: Rosamaria… Continue reading

Colton Bower was a 2A All-State selection in the spring and he leads an experienced North Kitsap team this season. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
All-State QB leads N. Kitsap this fall

Editor’s note: A preview on Kingston football will run in next week’s… Continue reading

Most Read