Prep football preview: Gradwohl leads Warriors into 2021 season

As the final whistle was blown at Edmonds Stadium last April, the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors closed out a dominant five-game, COVID-shortened season with a 27-0 win over the Meadowdale Mavericks. 

John Gradwohl is entering his 26th year as the Warriors’ head coach. Last year’s Warrior team averaged 39.4 points per game and outscored opponents by over 177 points, including three games where they gave up no points.

And this year’s team looks to “always (want to) be in the hunt.” said Gradwhol. 

The 2021 schedule includes games vs. Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood, teams that Edmonds-Woodway  beat 44-0 and 56-7 respectively. But Gradwohl saidut the Warriors aren’t taking any chances “Every week (is) a challenge, (we are) not looking past anybody,” he said.  Beneficial for the Warriors is the fact that their schedule omits both the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats and the Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawks — two teams that are traditionally good Wesco opponents. 

The Warriors open the season this Friday, Sept. 3 against the Arlington Eagles, a home game that the Warriors are looking forward to. But Gradwohl isn’t putting too much stock into any one game. “They all stick out (to us),” he said.

The Warriors’ game strategy is to “play fast on defense, and have a run, pass balance,” the coach said. 

The Warriors return 30 players from last season’s roster, and will carry 22 seniors into the season. Some of the players to watch out for this year, Gradwohl said, are Alec Rust at quarterback, halfback Trey Smith, linebackers Jake Ingram and Ryan Fahey, and defensive lineman Treasure Jordan. 

“It’s a great group of kids,” Gradwohl said.

— Story and photos by Benjamin Eyman


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