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Home arrow Opinion arrow Ready for kickoff

Ready for kickoff

West coach Sean McNabb, right, watches his players run through plays Wednesday during practice at Eastern Oregon University. The West has won three straight Shrine games entering Saturday’s contest. (Casey Kellas/The Observer)
West coach Sean McNabb, right, watches his players run through plays Wednesday during practice at Eastern Oregon University. The West has won three straight Shrine games entering Saturday’s contest. (Casey Kellas/The Observer)
 

East, West players prepared for 61st Shrine game 

The West will try for a fourth straight victory Saturday when the East-West Shrine game kicks off for the 61st time.

Fans can expect two fast, explosive teams clashing on the field in Baker City.

“We have a lot of speed,” said Logan Hara of Oakland, who will represent the West on Saturday. “We have a good-sized line and we have a lot of athletes on the field.”

West coach Sean McNabb of Scappoose said the West will run an up-tempo, spread attack to try and wear down the East’s defense.

“We’re running a lot of no-huddle stuff,” McNabb said. “It’s wide open, spread (offense). I’ve been impressed with how the players have been picking it up.”

McNabb said he has four quarterbacks that he is looking to use in the game. He hopes that his quarterbacks can get the ball to the various playmakers all over the field.

“All four quarterbacks throw the ball really well,” McNabb said. “I like the skill level we have at wide receiver. We want to try and create some mismatches and get those fast guys out on the perimeter and let them work.”

Hamilton Mateski of North Bend, Jeramy Poyer of Astoria, Grant Schroeder of Santiam Christian and Ryan Lockwood of Hosanna Christian are the listed quarterbacks for the West team.

The West has a mixture of players from a lot of different backgrounds, but some of the players are used to the up-tempo approach.

“That’s kind of our bread and butter,” Schroeder said. 

Teammate Jared White of Dayton also comes from a spread-minded team.

“We have the same kind of fast, hit-them-hard, lightning-type of offense,” White said. 

McNabb, who helped coach the Shrine game in 2000, has tried to keep things as simple as possible. But that’s not always easy for a football coach to do.

“I have a tendency to get a little carried away with stuff,” McNabb said. “I have to scope back a little bit and make sure we’re doing a few things really well.”

The West also has size. 

Trevon Daniels of Douglas and Justin Outslay of Salem Academy are listed at 295 and 290 pounds, respectively. 

Cole Weisz of St. Paul is listed at 260 pounds.

But the East squad has their own group of big uglies and playmakers.

Nick Pease of Weston-McEwen is listed at 290 pounds, the heaviest player who will suit up for the East. 

Imbler’s Rowdy Graves is 260 pounds.

Baker’s Braden Phillips and Dane Bachman will both add some athleticism, as will Powder Valley’s Colton Eubanks, Enterprise’s Blu Risseeuw and Ontario’s Trampis Waite.

But don’t expect either team to be too caught off guard come Saturday.

“I think we’re as familiar with them as they are with us,” East coach Todd Willaman said. “This is kind of our livelihood. So, we pay attention to what’s going on around the state. I think there will be some surprises. But that’ll be the same for both sides.”

But the one thing all the coaches are keeping in mind entering this game, is that it’s full of the best players in Oregon.

“Here’s the deal,” Willaman said. “You know that everybody on the field is going to be pretty darn good. 

“They’re all-stars. You don’t need to hide anybody. It’s not one of those things where you pick someone out and can pick on them. We just want to turn them loose and let them play.”

The East leads the all-time series 29-28-3 over the West. 

 
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