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Bucs seek to clip Eagles’ wings
KINGSTON — The Kingston High School Buccaneers football team needs to set the tempo of each game if it plans to make it to the playoffs again this season.
Setting the tempo should be no problem tonight as the Bucs face the Klahowya Eagles at 7 at Buc Stadium, for the conclusion of KHS’ weeklong homecoming celebration.
“It’s just another thing you can add to the game that gets the team pumped up,” Buccaneer quarterback Sam Byers said Wednesday during practice.
The Bucs are 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Olympic League. The Eagles are 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the League, coming off a 63-21 loss to the North Kitsap Vikings on Sept. 23.
The Bucs faced the Eagles October 2010, winning 49-13.
A win last season does not mean a repeat this season, as team’s change every year.
As a team, the Bucs need to become more physical on the field, Byers said. That includes owning the line of scrimmage and working on the pass-to-run ration. The Bucs currently have 747 total rushing yards and 435 total passing yards; Chandler Setterlund leads with 302 yards.
“We’ve strayed from what our program is made of,” Byers said, adjusting his chest guard before stepping onto the field for practice. “That means pounding the ball and getting back to the fundamentals and basics.”
The Eagles have a total of 397 rushing yards this season and 404 passing yards.
Top receivers for the Bucs are Richie Sander with 181 yards, George Marinan with 142 yards and Bobby Reece with 76 yards.
Eagles’ top receivers are Clark Rose with 153 yards, Jacob Sheets with 88 yards and Robbie Campos with 86 yards.
Though the Buccaneer team has already matched its 2010-11 season win record, Coach Dan Novick said the team needs to play with consistent effort and intensity. Like Byers, Novick said controlling the line of scrimmage is a necessary change in the way the team plays right now. Controlling the line would also give the quarterback more time in the pocket.
When it comes to whether to pass or run the ball, Novick makes the call he thinks will bring in another score. Establishing a running game has helped the Bucs take at least one of the wins this season.
The two games the Bucs lost — Port Angeles Sept. 23 (34-14) and Bainbridge Sept. 16 (35-7) — it was a strong attack by the opposing defense which caused them to fall.
As a team overall, Byers said this season the players are prepared to go farther when it comes to the postseason.
The Bucs football program struggled its first few years, winning two games between the 2007-08 season and 2009-10 season. The program surpassed everything it had done the first few years during the 2010-11 season after going 5-2 in League play and making it to the first round of the playoffs.
Now, Byers said the players all have a winning mindset. Making the playoffs this season, may not be enough for the team.
“Now that we know our program is on the winning side, we don’t want to lose anymore,” Byers said. “We’re a good group — a hard-nosed group — and we can knock off any team in the League.”