Continuity, commitment and dedication to hard work from his players has Erik Wiker expecting a strong season from the Sequim High Wolves.
Entering his 20th season at the helm of the program, Wiker said the Wolves were able to take advantage of some seven-on-seven scrimmages and participated in a spring camp for the first time in three years, taking on a highly-ranked Sumner squad in Fife.
“When the kids are working hard, it’s easy to coach them,” he said.
The Wolves are coming off a 2-7 season that saw them earn a last-minute win over rival Port Angeles and a 13-point win over Kingston the following week.
Sequim lost Aiden Gockerell, an all-Olympic Leaguer on both sides of the ball, to graduation, but see the return of first team all-league lineman Ayden Holland.
They also get back an experienced signal caller in Wiker’s son Lars, who’ll be in his fourth season on varsity.
“We’ve got a good decision-maker on the field,” Erik Wiker said of Lars, likening the senior’s on-field acumen to Riley Cowan — a former four-year starter (2014-2017) and all-Olympic League Offensive MVP.
“We can do a lot of our playbook this year,” he said. “No one else knew what the calls were. [This year] everybody’s on the same page.”
Anchoring the offensive line will be Holland and Braydan White at guard, Paul Burrows and Nehemiah Guzman at tackle and Dylan Bowen at center.
Zeke Schmadeke and Charlie Grider figure to see time at wide receiver, while Tommy Reandeau, Liam Wiker, Adrian Aragon and Miles Garrett will see time in various roles on offense.
On the defensive side of the ball, Bowen and Reandeau look to anchor the defensive end positions, with tackle roles still to be decided as of last week.
Aragon, Patrick Elias and Liam Wiker are slated to anchor the linebacker corps. The secondary will likely see Aragon, Grider and James Mason at cornerback and Schmadeke at free safety.
Sequim opens the 2023 campaign at Forks on Sept. 1. Last season, the Spartans surprised the Wolves in a 32-14 win on the Wolves’ home turf.
“They’re one of the better coached teams,” Erik Wiker said of Forks, noting they had a great scheme to beat the Wolves last year in a non-league match-up.
The Wolves will get an odd off-week when a scheduled match-up with Tenino was canceled. Traditionally the Wolves schedule home-and-aways with schools, and last year fell to the Beavers 52-14 on the road. Wiker said he hasn’t heard why the 2023 match-up was nixed.
“I’ve never had a team do that in all my years of coaching,” he said.
The cancellation means Sequim has five road games and three at home.
The Wolves are at 3A Bainbridge on Sept. 14, looking to avenge a 45-22 defeat in 2022, before hosting rival Port Angeles for their home opener on Sept. 22.
Sequim is at Kingston on Sept. 29 and at Olympic (Silverdale) on Oct. 6 before back-to-back home games against North Mason (Oct. 13) and North Kitsap (Oct. 20). SHS closes the season at Bremerton on Oct. 27.
Fall sports preview: Sequim High School football
Head coach: Erik Wiker (20th season)
2022 record: 2-5 in Olympic League, 2-7 overall
Key returning players: Lars Wiker (QB/DE, sr.), Ayden Holland (OL/DL, sr.), Tommy Reandeau (RB/DE, jr.), Braydan White (OL, jr.), Liam Wiker (RB/LB, so.), Adrian Aragon (RB/CB, so.), James Mason (CB, jr.)
Key newcomers: Paul Burrows (OL, jr.), Miles Garrett (RB, fr.), Nehemiah Guzman (OL/DL, jr.)
SHS football 2023 schedule
Date Opponent Time
Sept. 1 at Forks 7 p.m.
Sept. 8 Tenino CANCELED
Sept. 14 at Bainbridge 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 Port Angeles 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 at Kingston 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 6 at Olympic 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 13 North Mason 7 p.m.
Oct. 20 North Kitsap 7 p.m.