Football squad full of young talent

 

Last updated 8/22/2023 at 10:09am



A handful of returning players, including Dustin DeSmet, Scott Henderson, Triston Madron, Tony Gonzalez, Ethan Eby, Kalvin Parker, Hudson Beckwith, and Dolon Pool bring varsity experience on both sides of the ball, and will lead this year’s young and inexperienced Outlaws football squad.

Although the team is young, Coach Gary Thorson told The Nugget that they will bring a lot of talent to the field.

Several players are competing for the quarterback position, including junior Kale Gardner, and sophomores Hunter Bronson, Trent Gordon, and Reid Woodson. Gardner is an aggressive athlete who will help the Outlaws out at wide receiver, tight end, and will also compete for time as a defensive back. Woodson, Gordon, and Bronson will also have time on the field as defensive backs.

Several players will see time at the running back position, including seniors DeSmet and Gonzalez, juniors Beckwith, Kolbi Cotner, and Kale Mock, and sophomores Eby, Reese Moore, and Jace Owens.

DeSmet is a returning All-League and All-State player at both the running back and defensive back positions, and is a great leader on the field. Gonzalez and Eby are both very physical runners offensively, and will play linebacker on defense.

Beckwith will compete for time at the running back position and is a returning starter as a defensive back. Mock also runs and catches the ball well, and will see time at both running back and defensive back. Cotner is expected to contribute good things from the safety position, and could also be a huge assist at special teams, as well as sophomores Eby, Moore, and Owens. Cotner, Moore, and Owens will also see time at the defensive back position.

Seniors Chance Hamlington, Scott Henderson, and Jayden Vogt will all see time as both offensive and defensive linemen. Antonio Guzman (junior), and sophomores Kody Cassano, Jozua Miller, and Kalvin Parker will also play on both sides of the ball. All of these linemen will be key in the team’s success this year.

Henderson and Pool are both athletic at the guard position, and, according to Thorson, they pull and run very well.

Returning senior Triston Madron contributed last year at defensive back and also on special teams, and is expected to do the same again this year. Junior Dawson Roberson will play at wide receiver and at the defensive back positions, and is one of several receivers competing for playing time. Thorson said that Roberson is an explosive athlete with great potential. Joe Souza (junior) is expected to contribute from the safety position and could also be a huge asset in special teams play.

Junior Garrett Sager is back with the program after being away a year, and will be a force at tight end. He is also competing for time at the linebacker position.

The team has had solid senior leadership through their daily double practices, and according to Thorson the team has been very focused.

“Despite spending so much time in the gym due to the smoke issues, we are progressing well and the attitude and effort of the team has been fantastic!” said Thorson. “The team has some very good depth at most of the skill positions, so there is good competition for playing time, and we will be a much stronger team because of it.”

The Outlaws’ goal this year is to improve each week, and Thorson told The Nugget he believes they will do that.

“We have a staff and team that is excited about football and it shows in their enthusiasm at practice,” said Thorson. “I see this team having good success both on and off the field, and we are going to have some fun in the process.”

Assistant coaches this year include Hayden Hudson, Dave DeSmet, Jordan Wilkins, Jim Gurney, Eli Gurney, Joe Gordon, and Eric Beckwith.

The Outlaws will kick off their season with a jamboree at Santiam High School on Friday, August 25, with a 5 p.m. start time. The following week, Friday, September 1, they will play at home against Burns in a non-league contest. Kickoff is set for

7 p.m.

 

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