Music pulsated from the speakers as a drone hovered overhead during a spirited Mount Si Wildcats spring football practice session on June 6 in Snoqualmie.
The Wildcats, who finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 10-2, will be moving into a newly constructed high school with state-of-the-art facilities this fall. For the moment, the Wildcats are perfectly content with making do with what they have during the building-renovation process.
“Right now we don’t have any locker rooms. We are really going old school right now. We’re dressing in the bathrooms, we’re dressing in the concession stand. We know we are going to be moving into a state-of-the-art facility in about nine weeks,” Mount Si head football coach Charlie Kinnune said with a smile. “We’re pretty excited about that. Right now we’re just having a blast.”
Kinnune, as always, was in constant motion throughout the duration of the spring practice on June 6. Kinnune said there were close to 100 players spanning freshman to seniors in attendance at practice sessions this June. Kinnune, who has coached the Wildcats football program since 1992, is undoubtedly a living legend in the Snoqualmie Valley.
“He has been a role model of mine ever since I can remember. I was 5 years old out here doing workouts (camps) with the high schoolers when I was a kid,” Mount Si senior offensive/defensive lineman Gale Kamp said.
The Wildcats graduated two of the best players in school history in June. Quarterback Cale Millen (University of Oregon) and Jonny Barrett (Dartmouth College) will be playing on the college gridiron this fall.
“We went 10-2 last year with 13 seniors. This year we have an even smaller senior class of 10 seniors. We feel like we can make a deep run if we can stay healthy. That being said, I’m very pleased with our depth. Our junior and sophomore classes are talented and are very big,” Kinnune said.
Junior quarterback Clay Millen will lead the Wildcats offense this fall.
“Clay is a Division-1 prospect. He has at least one (D-1) offer and a lot of others knocking on his door,” Kinnune said of Millen.
Millen is stoked to have the opportunity to crack the starting lineup as a junior.
“It is going to be a fun year. We’ve got a good group coming back. We’ve got a lot of guys that I trust. I know that they can ball out,” Millen said of his teammates.
Millen is surrounded by a bevy of players with talent across the board. Wildcats’ wide receiver Colby Botten will be a focal point in the passing game.
“I just feel like I’m very safe having him on the field. Obviously, he is a huge playmaker for us. He is going to be one of our top players. He wants to win on every single play,” Millen said of Botten.
The Wildcats will return experienced running backs Daniel Harrison and Cole Norah to the lineup this fall. Norah, who suffered a torn ACL in January, said he plans to be back on the field in the second or third week of the regular season.
“When he gets back, he is going to be rocking,” Millen said of Norah. “When I got Cole next to me, I know we can either throw it or run it. It will be awesome to have him back.”
Kinnune said the Wildcats return two of their five starters on the offensive line. Kamp (left tackle) and Cooper Mcquay (center) are the two returning starters. Kinnune expects Tom Parker and Ben Entriken to be solid on the line as well. Kamp is the undisputed leader in the trenches.
“We’re looking forward to competing for a state championship and getting a ring. It always has been a dream of mine,” Kamp said.
Playing in the trenches fits Kamp’s personality.
“I don’t think I would rather play anywhere else on the field. It is so personal, aggressive and mean. When the play is over, you talk about where to go to eat afterwards with your teammates,” Kamp said with a smile.