Sports

Shape of things to come: Mount Si football reloads for spring preview, jamboree | Slideshow

Practice had ended, but Harrison Danna wasn’t ready to go home. The Chief Kanim Middle Schooler’s arm cocked back and then whipped the football toward a waiting swarm of fellow players, all future freshmen at Mount Si High School.

It was their first opportunity in 2012 to play together as a team, and the boys were excited, growing skills and making friends from elsewhere in the Valley.

“It’s good to come together—all three schools,” said Danna.

That experience was part of Mount Si’s spring training week, June 4 to 8, capped by a varsity and junior varsity jamboree on Saturday, June 9.

Mount Si players did well at Saturday’s jamboree. The varsity Wildcats had five touchdowns in 30 snaps, 10 apiece against Interlake, Inglemoor and O’Dea.

Spring preview

At the opposite end of the field, Mount Si’s varsity and JV players drilled, with the older, bigger boys breaking through on offense.

“Nice, nice!” A pleased Mount Si varsity head coach Charlie Kinnune was getting good looks from his strong crop of returners—more than 20 of them seniors this fall. About 100 players took the field.

Mount Si has a full inventory of strong incoming seniors, returning starters and lettermen.

Offensively, the Wildcat line will benefit from first-team-honored tight end Griffin McLain and guard Stephen Nnabue, and Blake Herman and Mitch Rorem will hold down center/tackle positions, rounded out by Tyler Rutherford and Keenan McVein.

Junior-to-be Nick Mitchell, brother to past ‘Cats Josh and Taylor, made phenomenal strides in the offseason, and looks to soon be a Wildcat quarterback.

Kalon Williams and Riley Reed both had injury-marked junior years, but showed flashes of greatness, Kinune said. Trent Riley, likewise, will be coming back from a knee injury this fall. He scored a number of touchdowns as a sophomore.

League second-team receiver Tyler Button scored seven last year as a junior. He’s back, as is receiver Jimbo Davis, and Hunter Malberg, a returning first-team safety. Then there’s Mount Si’s kicker, senior-to-be Cameron Van Winkle, the team’s biggest scorer in 2011, going 18 for 21 field goals, shattering records.

Van Winkle’s game-changing skills may be balanced by other aspects of the program.

“We’re a different team this year,” Kinnune said. much this year.”

The big turnout for spring camp is phenomenal, the head coach said.

“We’re lucky to have these numbers,” Kinnune said. It has to do with the growing popularity of the sport. Kids come to Mount Si and want to play—they played in middle school and little league, and so they’re excited.”

“We support multi-sport athletes,” he added. “They know they can play other sports,” so they’re willing to try football.

Many of these players have been lifting or competing for most of the school year, so spring camp is about mental training.

“We can do more teaching, slow things down a little,” said Kinnune.

“We should do real well,” said Malberg. For him, the week was about developing depth in the program. He’s looking forward to his senior season.

“I’ve been playing with these kids for seven years,” he said. “It’s sad that it’s our last season, but we’re going to make it count.”

• Mount Si football next holds its speed camp and Junior Wildcat program, starting July 9. Learn more at http://mtsihsfootball.com/

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