High School Sports Buzz: E-W football kicks off season against Monroe tonight

The Edmonds-Woodway High School football team is looking to build off a strong 2009 finish Friday night when they take on Monroe High School.

The Warriors ended the 2009 season winning their last three games, with one of those wins coming against a then-6-1 Cascade High School football team. The Warriors also outscored their last two opponents by a combined 99-6. Tonight, the Warriors hope to capitalize off of last year’s momentum by getting another win.

Head coach John Gradwohl says his team is fired up and ready to play tonight, but he’s not looking ahead or talking about playoffs right now.

“I’m taking it a week at a time,” Gradwohl said.  “We’re concentrating on preparation and not the win.”

Gradwohl has seen the maturation of a team that last year lacked experience, and that took awhile adjusting to position changes.  But with a year under their belts, “they’re better prepared, they’re playing the right position, and they learned a lot during the spring,” Gradwohl said.

This year, the Warriors will start a mix of players, but team’s strength is speed on defense and offensive line, and depth at position. The Warriors return three starters on the offensive line, along with senior running back Zack Berg, who should help take the pressure off their new quarterback, senior Tyler Brudevold, who won the position after an intense battle against
Robbie Willcock, Zach Glover-Smith and Lee Anderson.

Tyler’s consistency put him over the top with the coach. “Tyler is real consistent,” said Gradwohl.  “He’s not a big guy, but has a big arm, runs the ball well and picks up the offense well, and he’s a competitor.

The Warriors also have senior leadership at the wide receiver position, and a home-run threat at running back in Zack Berg who’s listed at 6’2″, 205.

“He runs hard, fast and is explosive,” Gradwohl said.  “Football is important to him. I just think he’s seeing things a whole lot better, and he has a great work ethic.

Gradwohl hopes it pays off tonight against a hard-nosed Monroe team on the Bearcats’ home field, where kick-off time is 7 p.m.

For all the hard work the Warriors put in during the off season, Gradwohl still doesn’t know what he’ll get from his team until they strap up and play a game. But if there’s one thing he wants to see from his players, it’s effort. “I want them to play from snap to whistle,” Gradwohl said.  “Whatever happens, happens.”

– By Michael Johnson, My Edmonds News sports correspondent

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