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Originally published August 29, 2011 at 8:00 PM | Page modified September 1, 2011 at 1:45 PM

SPSL 4A at a glance

A look at the South Puget Sound League 4A, including coaches' predicted order of finish and team capsules.

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Prime prospects

Joshua Garnett

OL/DL, 6-5, 285, Sr., Puyallup

Five-star recruit has all the tools.

Caleb Smith

TE/DL, 6-6, 245, Sr., Kentridge

Oregon State commit is still blossoming

Jordan Pulu

OL/LB, 6-3, 240, Sr., Federal Way

Washington State gets every coach's dream

Fun fact

Tony Davis picked up his 100th coaching victory at Tahoma in the final SPSL North game of the 2010 season.

Coaches picks

Predicted order of finish in the Sound Puget Sound League 4A, based on a survey of league coaches, with 10 points for first-place vote, nine for second, etc. (first-place votes in parentheses). Coaches not allowed to vote for their own teams.

North Division
School Pts 2010
1. Kentwood (4) 76 10-1
2. Kentlake (4) 72 7-3
3. Auburn (1) 68 9-3
4. Kentridge 60 4-6
5. Tahoma 51 3-7
6. Jefferson 42 3-7
7. Auburn Riverside 38 5-5
8. Kent-Meridian 37 4-6
9 Mount Rainier 24 0-10
South Division
School Pts 2010
1. Bethel (5) 71 6-4
2. Curtis 69 12-1
3. Federal Way (4) 68 4-6
4. Graham-Kapowsin 61 6-5
5. Rogers 58 9-2
6. Puyallup 40 3-7
7. Emerald Ridge 37 2-8
8. Beamer 36 4-6
9. Spanaway Lake 28 3-7

SPSL North team capsules

Auburn Trojans

Location: Auburn

Coach: Gordon Elliott (10th year)

2010: 9-3 overall, 7-1 league

Returning starters (3 offense, 1 defense): OL/DL Cory English, Sr.; HB/DB Lincoln Burt, Sr.; TE/LB Kevin Shelton, Jr.; TE/LB Cameron Gardner, Sr.

Other key returners: QB/DB Tilden Sansom, Sr.; HB/DB Blake Ellison, Sr.; TE/FS T.J. Muao, Jr.; RB/LB Cyrus Laumatia, Sr.

Impact newcomers: QB/DB Josh McCoy, Sr.; OL Louis Henson, Sr.

Outlook: Even with less experience than usual, the Trojans are expected to be in the mix for the division title again. Sansom and McCoy could share time at QB, at least early, and both can throw the ball. But the running game is key as always, with English opening holes for Burt and Ellison.

Auburn Riverside Ravens

Location: Auburn

Coach: Bob Morgan (5th year)

2010: 5-5, 4-4

Returning starters (5 offense, 3 defense): OL/DL Joe Miles, Jr.; OL/LB Drew Standish, Sr.; RB/LB Jaray Bates, Sr.; WR/DB Andrew Zadneprovsky, Sr.; OL/LB Kevin Mast, Sr.

Other key returners: LB Aaron Holloway, Sr.; QB Josh Lattat, Sr.; WR/DB Kameron Boardway, Sr.; RB/LB Evert Chung, Sr.

Impact newcomers: OL/DL Larkin Williams, So.; OL/DL Shawn Meehan, So.; OL/DL Skyler Harris, Jr.; OL/DL Dylan Ghetian, Jr.; OL/DL/P/K Joe Miles, Jr.

Outlook: The Ravens have several holes to fill after earning a playoff spot (in a pigtail game) for the first time since 2007, when they were in 3A. They are young and a bit undersized on the line, but have some experience at the skill positions. Latta got a couple of starts at QB last year and appears ready for full-time duty.

Jefferson Raiders

Location: Auburn (Federal Way School District)

Coach: Dean Peck (5th year)

2010: 3-7, 2-6

Returning starters (6 offense, 7 defense): QB/DB K.W. Williams, Sr.; TE/DE Tim Luafatasaga, Sr.; OL Troy Wiggins, Sr.; OL A.J. Breland, Sr.; OL/DL Jefferson Aumua, Sr.; RB/LB Ian Tougher, Sr.; WR/LB Gunner Sonnenfeld, Sr.; WR/DB Marcus DeQuereco, Sr.

Other key returners: RB/QB/DB Niko DeLaCruzco, So.; WR/QB//DB Kyle Dougherty, Jr.; WR/DB Rhithvik Lagisetti, Sr.

Impact newcomers: OL Michael Burt, Jr.; WR/DB Cesar Reyes, Sr.; WR Dorian James, Jr.

Outlook: Peck believes this is the best team he's had and has the potential to be one of the best in TJ history. Williams is an athletic third-year starter who makes things happen and the Raiders have multiple RB options, led by Tougher and DeLaCruz. Tough early schedule (Tahoma, Kentwood, Auburn, Kentlake) will tell the story.

Kent-Meridian Royals

Location: Kent

Coach: Brett Allen (2nd year)

2010: 4-6, 3-5

Returning starters (7 offense, 4 defense): RB/DB B.J. Phillips, Sr.; WR R.J. Franada, Sr.; OL Timmy Cordova, Jr.; OL Thomas Kemp, Jr.; OL Ronald Fa'aagi, Sr.; OL Alex Hawkins, Sr.; OL Apriles "Boogie" Yuhashi, Sr.

Other key returners: WR/DB Michael Banks, Sr.; WR/DB Cartez Green, Jr.; OL/LB Teddy Garcia, Sr.; WR/DB Randall Cooper, Jr.; OL/DL Austin Brenner, Jr.; OL/DE Jayob Kuhman, Jr.

Impact newcomers: WR/DB Jarey Suiter, Sr.; WR/DB Abu Kamara, Jr.; WR/DB Christopher Wright, Jr.; WB/DB Quincy Carter, So.

Outlook: The Royals' three league wins were their most since 1995 and largely due to do-it-all QB David Jones, who led the league in scoring and is now at Portland State. They must now create a new identity with Carter at the controls. He has an experienced line in front of him. Look for another solid season from Phillips.

Kentlake Falcons

Location: Kent

Coach: Chris Paulson (2nd year)

2010: 7-3, 6-2

Returning starters (10 offense, 8 defense): WR/DB Austin Pernell, Sr.; QB/LB Caleb Saulo, Sr.; OL/DL Kile Minnis, Sr.; OL/DL Zac Cowan, Sr.; RB/DB Caleb Mathena, Jr.; RB/LB Nu'u Viafale, Jr.; RB/DB Stephon Vaifale, Sr.; OL/DL Nolan Jones, Sr.; OL/DL Tyler Deskins, Jr.; RB/DB Trevor Baldwin, Sr.; OL/DL Conney Powell, Sr.; RB/LB Tanner Lucas, Sr.

Other key returner: WR/DB Breton Medina, WR/DB, Sr.

Impact newcomers: OL/DL Mason Johnson, So.; OL/DL Jaron Engstrom, So.; OL/DL Jake Bailey, Jr.; QB/LB Stefin Church, Jr.; RB/DB Darryl Parker, Sr.

Outlook: Loaded with talent and experience, Kentlake is favored by many to win what would be only its second division title (the other was in 2003) and make a much deeper playoff run than last season. Pernell and Saulo are big-time players and difference-makers, and the Falcons have plenty of other weapons as well. Kentwood and Auburn loom as possible stumbling blocks.

Kentridge Chargers

Location: Kent

Coach: Marty Osborn (21st year)

2010: 4-6, 4-4

Returning starters (6 offense, 6 defense): TE/DL Caleb Smith, Sr.; FB/LB Jeff Seid, Sr.; WR/DB Kaid Tipton, Sr.; DB Jimmie Davis, Jr.; OL Terry Areta, Sr.; OL Andrew Weitzel, Sr.; DB Jake Zylstra, Sr.; WR/LB Reggie Collins, Sr.; RB/DB Justin Cordova, Sr.; RB/LB Alec McKenzie, Sr.; OL/DL Tyler Bailey, Jr.; TE/LB Travis McGuire, Jr.

Other key returners: QB/LB Michael Suguro, Sr.; WR/DB Kevin Hall, Jr.; WR/DB Nathan Tabisula, Sr.; OL/DL Michael Pennington, Jr.; OL/LB Riley Poulson, Jr.

Impact newcomers: QB/FS John Hamilton, Sr.; RB/LB Alex McQuire, Sr.; WR/K/P Daniel Allen, Jr.; TE/LB Austin Berry, Jr.; RB/DB Derrick Bell, So.; TE/DE Sam Smith, So.; OL/DL Paulo Taa, So.; QB/LB Jahkari Singh, So.

Outlook: Few will be surprised to see Kentridge back in the playoff mix, thanks to talents like Caleb Smith, who moved from QB to TE last season and became a D-1 prospect (OSU commit). McQuire, who took over at QB, had Tommy John surgery last spring, so transfer John Hamilton gets the nod and looks to amp up the offense. A return to defensive prominence is also key,

Kentwood Conquerors

Location: Covington (Kent School District)

Coach: Rex Norris (8th year)

2010: 10-1, 8-0

Returning starters (8 offense, 5 defense): OL/DL Kevin Bond, Sr.; OL/DL Matt Herrick, Sr.; OL/DL Quincy Davison, Sr.; FB/LB Visa Thach, Sr.; RB/DB Matt Hubbard, Sr.; WR/DB Jerrett Retz, Sr.; QB Dane Manio, Jr.; OL Greg Tulio, Sr.; WR/DB Jesse Lavato, Sr.

Other key returners: OL Charles Gooding, Sr.; LB Anthony Ford, Sr.; LB Joshua Corpus, Sr.; TE Kyle Lutz, Sr.; WR Jonathan Ohashi, Sr.; OL/LB/K Mitchel Cox, Jr.; LB Ryan Dozier, Jr.

Impact newcomers: QB Jackson Huerta, Jr.; LB Chance Kalua-Fuimaono, Jr.; LB Bryan Mills, Jr.; RB Tre Thomas, Jr.; DB Eli Peterson, Sr.; TE Ryan Mahoney, Sr.; LB Kyle Miyahara, Sr.; DB Matt Riddle, Sr.; DL Devin Taylor, Sr.; LB Lucas Kelly, Sr.

Outlook: Manio got thrown into the fire late last season and showed great potential, especially in the passing game. The Conks have good team speed and appear sound on defense, but are unproven in some areas, especially on the line, where depth is also a concern. They ran the table last season and are the slight favorites coming into 2011.

Mount Rainier Rams

Location: Des Moines (Highline School District)

Coach: Scott Leick (1st year)

2010: 0-10, 0-8

Returning starters (7 offense, 4 defense): QB Logan Wagner, Jr.; OL Konner Eliason, Sr.; OL Demitrious Duncan, Sr.; WR/DB Tavess Vontess, Sr.; OL Alofa Loto, Jr.; WR/DB Trey Jackson, Sr.; WR Brian Pritchard, Sr.; LB Amani Brown, So.; LB Hayden Olds, Jr.

Other key returners: OL/LB Zack Crotty, Jr.; WR/LB Josh Rios, Sr.

Impact newcomers: RB/DB Demetrius Locke, Sr.; TE/LB Junior Nuku, Sr.; OL/DL Andrew Buchanan, Jr.

Outlook: Leick, former head coach at Hazen and Tyee, is focusing on the basics with a young team that was outscored 557-28 last season. Wagner is solid at QB, but must get some protection from a line anchored by Duncan. Mount Rainier is now a co-op with Tyee, which didn't field a varsity team last season, and at least a couple Tyee players (Locke and Nuku) will contribute.

Tahoma Bears

Location: Maple Valley

Coach: Tony Davis (18th year)

2010: 3-7, 2-6.

Returning starters (6 offense, 5 defense): OL/DL Dallas Hanes, Jr.; OL/DL/P Barrett Weston, Sr.; WR/DB Jason Smith, Sr.; RB/DL Beau Riggs, Sr.; RB/DL Zach Browne, Sr.; OL/DL Aaron Davis, Sr.; TE/LB Calvin Balliett, Jr.; WR/DB Justin Ross, Sr.

Other key returners: K Davis Stoecker, Sr.; OL/DL Eric Brothers, Jr.; LB Wil Anderson, Sr.; RB/LB Brandon Gutierrez, Sr.; WR/DB Justin Ross, Sr.; WR/DB Patric Ota, Jr.; WR/DB Harold Thordarson, Jr.

Impact newcomers: QB Shane Nelson, So.; LB Elijah Suka, So.; RB Damon Funk, Jr.; TE/DL Denham Patricelli, So.

Outlook: The Bears suffered back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1997-98, their first two years in the league. But many expect them to return to the kind of prominence shown in 2004-06, when they won or shared three straight titles. Nelson is a poised QB who can throw, but the ground game is key. Solid kicking game is a plus and could help close out closes games that got away last season.

SPSL South team capsules

Beamer Titans

Location: Federal Way

Coach: Dave Sundheim (3rd year)

2010: 4-6 overall, 4-4 league

Returning starters (5 offense, 6 defense): WR/DB Willia Roach, Sr.; RB/LB Nick Bod, Sr.; WR/DB Andre Evans, Sr.; OL/DE Milo Loving-Williams, Jr.; FB/DE Marley Liulama, Sr.; RB/DB Shawn Prigget, Sr.; FB/LB Dee Bolden, Sr.

Other key returners: WR/DB K.J. Pickens, Sr.; FB/LB Peter Lee, So.; RB/DB Deshar House, Sr.; OL/DL James Coop, Sr.; OL/DL Zach Taylor, Sr.; OL/DL Jarius McDade, So.; RB/LB Ryan Understeller, Sr.

Impact newcomers: QB Arjun Weherwatthage, Jr.; OL/DL Brandon Zandsoltani, Jr.; FB/LB Luis Hernandez, Sr.

Outlook: The Titans saw playoff action for the first time in school history (joining SPSL in 2004), and Sundheim believes they can contend again, despite key graduation losses (like QB T.J. Esekielu). Weherwatthage steps in under center and has a solid receiving corps, led by Roach. Bod is expected to spark the running game. O-line is big and physical, but inexperienced.

Bethel Braves

Location: Graham

Coach: Gavin Kralik (7th year)

2010: 6-4, 6-2

Returning starters (3 offense, 5 defense): QB Justin Hordyk, Sr.; RB/WR David Fontenette, Sr.; WR Brandon Kirian, Sr.; DL Joel Ragazzo, Sr.; DB Lamar Williams, Sr.; WR/DB John Thompson, Jr.; DB Matt Vaisman, Sr.; DL Rudy Sanchez, Sr.

Other key returners: LB Justin Maxwell, Sr.; OL Eric Gordon, Sr.; OL Bryan Glidden, Sr.; OL Jesus Rivera, Sr.

Impact newcomers: LB Trevor Anderson, Jr.; DB Blake Schwartz, So.; RB Colton Allen, So.; LB Daniel Gonzales, Jr.

Outlook: Hordyk has passed for more than 4,000 yards over the past two seasons with 42 TDs against 14 interceptions, and is the key reason many expect the Braves to end Curtis' reign atop the SPSL South. But he'll be behind five new starters on the O-line, who must gel quickly to give them a legitimate shot. Defense should be much improved.

Curtis Vikings

Location: University Place

Coach: Clay Angle (5th year)

2010: 12-1, 8-0

Returning starters (3 offense, 4 defense): OL/DL Zach Budnick, Jr.; OL/DL Chris Coffin, Jr.; OL T.J. Bridgman, Sr.; LB Sam Langford, Sr.; RB/LB, Kadyn Del Toro, Sr.; LB Sam Langford, Sr.

Other key returners: QB Ty Saathoff, Sr.; WR/DB E.J. Deveaux, Jr.; WR/DB Dom Jordan, Jr.; LB Calvin McLain, So.; LB Anthonee Georgette, Sr.; FB/LB Ben Bream, Sr.

Impact newcomers: WR/DB Anthony Davis, Jr.; RB Rashad Carter, Jr.

Outlook: Heavy graduation losses don't seem to faze Angle, whose teams have won 23 consecutive division games (last losing to G-K to start the 2008 season). There's not a lot of high-end talent left, like do-it-all Rahmel Dockery, but the Vikings appear to have more second-tier, blue-collar players who are hungry for their time to shine. May not win what would be a record fourth straight title, but should be a playoff contender again.

Emerald Ridge Jaguars

Location: South Hill

Co-coaches: Troy Halfaday, Brian Anderson, Darren Erath, Adam Schakel, Torey Donovan (2nd year)

2010: 2-8, 1-7

Returning starters (5 offense, 4 defense): QB Jake Sommer, Sr.; OL/DL Cody Erpelding, Sr.; WR/DB Blake Symmons, Sr.; WR/DB Kris Durr, Sr.; OL/DL Joe Stevens, Sr.; QB/LB Kort Skoda, Jr.; RB/DB Andre Frank, Sr.; WR/DE Clay Wilcox, Sr.

Other key returners: K Luke Logan, Sr.; DB Zach Waite, Jr.; RB Brennon Pitigliano, Jr.; RB/WR/LB Drew Livingston, Jr.; OL/DL Matt Thompson Sr.; WR/LB Brandon Lukenbill, Sr.

Impact newcomers: OL/DL Josh Price, Jr.; RB/DB Jordan Laurencio, Jr.

Outlook: The Jags hope to continue their progress (they were winless in 2009 and finally ended a 19-game losing streak), but it's difficult to move up in this tough division. They feature a dynamic offensive line keyed by Erpelding, a potential D-1 prospect. Sommer is seasoned and has a bevy of receivers to choose from, led by Symmons and Durr. New pistol offense seems to suit the personnel.

Federal Way Eagles

Location: Federal Way

Coach: John Meagher (14th year)

2010: 4-6, 3-5

Returning starters (9 offense, 8 defense): OL/LB Jordan Pulu, Sr.; RB/DB D.J. May, Sr.; WR Mike Tate, Jr.; OL/DL Jaauisa Taaua, Sr.; OL/DL Uso Olive, Sr.; OL/LB Albert Havili, Jr.; WR/DB Marcel Morris, Jr.; OL Anthony Whitten, Sr.; FB/LB Rod Jones, Jr.

Other key returners: QB/DB Zeke McNeal, Jr.; WR/LB Tanner Day, Sr.; QB/DB D'Londo Tucker, Jr.; RB/DB Johnny Myles, Jr.; FB/LB Todeci Tuiletufuga, Sr.

Impact newcomers: QB Evan Elliott, Jr.; OL/DL Jay-Tee Tiuli, So.; QB/LB Eric Ahfua, So.; QB/DB Kennan Curran, So.

Outlook: With tons of talent and experience on both sides of the ball, the Eagles are anxious to make amends for a disappointing 2010 season, when they moved from the North Division to the South. Their defensive front six is imposing and the offense has plenty of weapons, although developing a new starting QB (likely Tucker or Elliott) is key. Tough early schedule could tell the tale.

Graham-Kapowsin Eagles

Location: Graham

Coach: Eric Kurle (6th year)

2010: 6-5, 4-4

Returning starters (5 offense, 2 defense): QB Drew Austin, Sr.; WR/DB Kahil Dawson, Jr.; OL Dallas Kramer, Sr.; OL Shayden Flint, Sr.; FB Mike Ramos, Sr.; LB Zack Dwyer, Sr.

Other key returners: DE Brian Baker, Sr.; WR/DB Marus VanSoyoc, Sr.

Impact newcomers: LB Micayel Mckechnie, Jr.; RB Kyle Madsen, Jr.; WR/DB Dylan Campbell, So.; RB/LB Teague James, So.; WR/DB Conner McCleod, So.

Outlook: Kurle is excited about this young group and envisions a sixth consecutive playoff run. Austin needs to continue to improve and Dawson can be a game-changer. Turnovers were costly last season and G-K must improve takeaway ratio. Defense is inexperienced, but shows great potential, led by Mckechnie, who sat out last season after transferring from Spanaway Lake.

Puyallup Vikings

Location: Puyallup

Coach: Gary Jeffers (2nd year)

2010: 3-7, 2-6

Returning starters (5 offense, 5 defense): OL/DL Josh Garnett, Sr.; RB/LB Jeremy Missailegalu, Sr.; WR/LB Matt Becker, Sr.; RB/LB Elliot Telling, Sr.; WR/DB Jamie Stidhams, Sr.

Other key returners: WR/DL Nic Wisor, Sr.

Impact newcomers: QB/DB Trevor Lyon, Jr.; QB/WR/DB Rhys Gervais, Jr.

Outlook: The Vikings have suffered back-to-back losing league seasons for the first time since 1981-82, and that doesn't sit well with guys like Garnett, one of the top recruits in the nation. Two transfers (Lyon and Gervais, nephew of former great prep coach Steve Gervais) show skills at QB. Lyon, with the team all summer, should open as the starter. Depth continues to be a concern.

Rogers Rams

Location: South Hill

Coach: Gene Bowen (8th year)

2010: 9-2, 7-1

Returning starters (3 offense, 4 defense): WR/DB Max McIntosh, Sr.; TE/DE Kacey Doty, Sr.; WR/DB Keylin Huddleston, Sr.; QB/DB Stefan Van Horn, Jr.; RB/DB Elijah Celestine, Sr.

Other key returners: RB/DB Andy Nelson, Jr.; RB/LB DeWayne Scott, Jr.; QB/DB Scott Snyder, Sr.; TE/DE Devonte Hailey, Sr.; OL/LB Austin Dinsmore, Sr.

Impact newcomers: WR/DB Christian Jordan, Jr.; DB Damian Jackson, Jr.; RB/DB Austin Hardin, So.; RB/B Garrett Van Sligtenhorst, So.

Outlook: Without much game experience, the young Rams come into the season with plenty of question marks. But they could well have the talent to return to the playoffs. Team speed is a plus. Van Horn and Snyder are quality QB prospects and have prime WR targets in McIntosh and Huddleston, for starters. Line play will be a key, along with staying healthy.

Spanaway Lake Sentinels

Location: Spanaway

Coach: John Robak (17th year)

2010: 3-7, 1-7

Returning starters (2 offense, 3 defense): OL/DL Tyler Evans; OL/LB Alex Young-Salanoa, Jr.; RB/LB R.J. Lewis, Sr.; TE/DE Kyle Pickering, Jr.; RB/DB Marcus Thomas.

Other key returners: RB/LB Ryan Dix, Jr.; RB/LB Dustin Bracy, Jr.; OL/DL Ryan Towe, Jr.; OL/DL Aaron Monzon, Jr.; WR/DB Reuben Siose, Jr.

Impact newcomers: QB/DB Joe Martin, So.; OL/DL J.J. Saili, So.

Outlook: The Sentinels have put together just one winning campaign since 2005, going 6-4 in '09, and might be hard-pressed to move up in the standings with this inexperienced group. But Robak is excited about the potential with Martin at QB. Thomas could open some eyes and should have a solid line in front of him. The Sentinels must minimize mistakes to give themselves a chance.

Sandy Ringer

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