Despite a limited number of returning players and the loss of last year’s quarterback Tyler Brudevold to graduation, Edmonds-Woodway High School football coach John Gradwohl is upbeat about this year’s squad. Gradwohl, in his 12th year with the Warriors, shares his thoughts about the upcoming season during the Warrior Radio pregame show with Keith Nealey, which airs Friday night at 4:47 p.m. before the Warriors take on Monroe.
“It’s interesting,” Gradwohl says. “We have four quarterbacks this year, and all four really worked hard so I feel really good about our QB position and our depth.” And as for the receiving core? Gradwohl doesn’t expect any weak spots there, either.
“We lost some big receivers (last year), but we had a bunch fill in,” he adds. “We actually have a lot of depth at those spots, so we’re pretty excited about what we have at the skill positions. A lot of kids worked hard in the offseason.”
A 6-4 overall record kept the Warriors out of the state tournament in 2010, but the especially heavy competition of the WesCo South division keeps teams on their toes.
“In a five-team league, you play four league games. Our league is incredibly tough, if you lose two games you’re out, you’re done,” explains the Warrior coach. “If you lose one you could be out, so it’s going to be tough. If you only play four, there’s no room for error.”
Edmonds-Woodway managed to survive the rigors of playing in the WesCo South in 2010, losing just one league game to Mariner on Sept. 24. The Warriors squeezed out a clutch 52-51 victory in overtime against Jackson on Oct. 1, and matchups against heavyweight teams like Mariner and Jackson in 2011 will be just as difficult.
“Mariner’s got KeiVarae Russell back, and they’re going to be strong,” Gradwohl tells Nealey. “Kamiak is going to be strong. Jackson’s got their team back, and they’re going to be strong too.”
So, what’s the one thing that Edmonds-Woodway opponents won’t have in 2011? Gradwohl cites the support of the loyal Warrior fanbase that kept them undefeated at home last year.
“It’s huge, that’s been the nice thing. Our fans come out and support us and we’ve got them behind us,” Gradwohl adds. “I think when the kids are normally feeling tired, they’re not as tired at home. If things aren’t going well, sometimes they turn around quicker at home. That’s home field advantage.”
For the complete interview with Gradwohl and Warriors team captain Matt Cuzzetto, listen to the Warrior Radio Pregame Show sponsored by Waldron Chiropractic. To connect, click on http://myedmondsnews.com/warrior-radio/