Originally published August 12, 2017 at midnight, updated August 12, 2017 at midnight
Before the start of every football season, the incoming senior players get together to come up with a motto unique to that group and this year it’s simple, said senior defensive lineman Adrian Ramirez: “Prove them wrong.”
After a winless 2016 season, there’s a feeling looming over this program that people are already counting them out because of their 0-9 record, but that’s just adding fuel to the fire in these players to be and do better this upcoming season.
“We want to compete this year and prove people wrong,” said Ramirez. “That’s why we’re all out here working hard for each other to make this year different.”
The HRVHS football team was back on the practice field this week and things are already looking different from last year.
Longtime coach with the Eagle football program Bruce Burton steps away from the field this year, relieving his offensive coordinator duties to head coach Caleb Sperry.
With Sperry now controlling the offensive side of the ball, there will be a new man in charge of the defense.
Aaron Hildebrandt, who last year became a teacher at HRVHS, coached the freshmen team at Lake Oswego before his new job as the Eagle’s defensive coordinator.
These are the few, but prominent changes made to this HRVHS varsity football staff.
With the Blue and Gold game coming up Aug. 18, it’s time to get to know a few players to watch out for during the 2017 campaign.
Patrick Estes, a senior at HRVHS, returns to the field after what was an outstanding junior year for him that earned him All-League honors at the linebacker position.
Staying on the defensive side of the ball, senior lineman Adrian Ramirez will be a player to watch out for as he’s a returning starter.
Before last year, senior running back Michael Jones was an honorable mention All-State running back his sophomore season, but in his junior year was tough for him as the injury bug caught him. This year, however, Jones is healthy and hopes to pick up where he left off two years ago as a focal part of this offense.
Then there’s the hybrid, Tanner Wells. Wells possess both wide receiver and defensive back abilities that are crucial to this team’s success. Not only will he have to go out and play his game every Friday night, but he’s also going to have to act as a mentor for this receiving and secondary core that’s young if this offense wants to provide the quarterback with more weapons.
Which leads us to the second year starting quarterback, Caden Leiblein. Leiblein is a junior at HRVHS and now has one full year under his belt as the starting varsity quarterback. Heading into the season knowing who was going to be under center for a while now is a big advantage for this team as chemistry issues on offense may be at a minimal, if at all any.
But don’t let this list of players distract you from the other 70 players out there contributing to this team “We’ve got a great group of hardworking guys to get behind and they won’t give up,” said coach Sperry. “It will be an exciting group of guys to come watch and be a part of. I am looking forward to this season and so should everyone else.”
After the Blue and Gold game this upcoming Friday, Aug. 18, the team will have two weeks, including a week of daily doubles, to prepare for their season opener at St. Helens on Sept. 1.