By all accounts, Sequim’s Wolves are ready to put the 2013 season behind them. The way head coach Erik Wiker sees it, they have the speed and experience to do it.
After posting their first winless campaign since 2000, Sequim’s football squad brings back all but two of their starters to challenge for the Olympic League crowd they grew accustomed to winning in the 2000s.
“We’ve tried to adapt to emphasize our strengths,” Wiker said.
That strength? Speed, and plenty of it. While their 2014 lineup isn’t replete with hulking linemen as in years past, the Wolves boast deep rotations at running back and wide receiver.
“That (lack of size) is what experience will help with,” Wiker said. “We’ll try to use speed in the running and passing game.”
To that end, the Wolves’ offense will take the form of a wing-T with more of a true tight end than in years past who can double as a running back.
Wiker expects to use more plays using pulling linemen to take advantage of — you guessed it — team speed.
Leading the offense is Miguel Moroles, who’s going into his fourth year of varsity play and second as full-time quarterback.
“That’s really nice to have,” Wiker said of Moroles’ experience.
Behind Moroles are running backs Ty Jones and Chris Whitaker among five strong running backs, a running crew Wiker calls the deepest the Wolves have ever had.
Whitaker, Sequim’s MVP last year from the middle linebacker position, anchors a defense that looks to shore up some things after giving up 40.8 points per contest in 2013.
Jones patrols the defensive backfield from his free safety spot while Matthew Schock leads the Wolves’ defensive line.
Wiker and coaches have switched Sequim’s defense a 3-4 formation, dropping one defensive linemen in favor of a fourth linebacker to utilize (once again) team speed.
Sequim sees three non-league games against teams it doesn’t traditionally play, from Chimacum (haven’t played since 2007) to Centralia (only once have they met, a playoff game in 2008) and Coupeville (they’ve not played since 1930).
The Wolves had a good showing during the offseason, Wiker said, particularly at a camp at Central Washington — “That really helped us; we looked really good” — where 30-plus Sequim players took the field, along with a jamboree in Port Townsend on Aug. 29.
“We should compete in every game we have scheduled,” Wiker said.
SHS football adds athletic trainer
Included in the Sequim School District’s budget for 2014-2015 is a 3,000 stipend for an athletic trainer.
Dave Ditlefsen, Sequim High School’s athletic director, said the position is just for football this season.
“We are one of the few schools in the league without a certified athletic trainer and we’re working toward that direction,” he said. “Ultimately, we’d like to have a class and teach students to become teachers.”
Ditlefsen added, “We feel for the safety of our kids and we want to provide for proper safety. We’ll have the position at least for football until we can offer it across the spectrum.”
As of last week, Ditlefsen said the district has not filled the position and that the district is seeking qualified applicants.
Sequim High football 2014 season preview
Head coach: Erik Wiker (11th year)
2012 record: 0-10 overall (0-7 in Olympic League)
Top returners: Miguel Moroles (QB, CB), Josiah Anastasi (WR, OLB), Ty Jones (RB, FS), Chris Whittaker (RB, MLB), Nate Nelson (MLB), Matthew Shock (T, DE), Dylan Lott (QB, WR, CB), Nathan Henning (CB), Ben Hughes (WR, OLB), Bailey Early (WR, CB), Adrian Espinoza (K, WR), Nathan Allison (T, DE), Ian Dennis (WR), Ethan Richmond (WR, OLB), Kane Stoddard (WR, CB)
Sept. 5 — Chimacum at Sequim, 7 p.m.
Notes: Teams last played in 2007 (Sequim won, 35-13) … the 1A Cowboys were 1-8 last season … Wolves lead season series 35-9, with first game played in 1928
Sept. 12 — Sequim at Coupeville, 5:30 p.m.
Notes: Both teams boast Wolves for mascots … Coupeville was 4-5 in 2013 … renewing of rivalry: the teams have played just twice, in 1929 and 1930
Sept. 19 — Kingston at Sequim, 7 p.m.
Notes: Bucs topped Sequim 52-7 last year and 47-28 in 2012. Sequim won previous five meetings by combined score of 239-54 … Kingston was 6-1 in Olympic League last fall (second) and was 1-1 in playoffs, falling to Lynden (2A state champs)
Sept. 26 — Sequim at North Kitsap, 7 p.m.
Notes: Vikings are defending league champs (7-0) … beat Sequim 31-14 in Poulsbo last season and 40-17 in Sequim in 2012 … NK leads series 32-11 with two ties … Vikes fell to Orting in district playoff in 2013
Oct. 3 — Centralia at Sequim, 7 p.m.
Notes: Tigers went 0-7 in league and 2-9 overall in 2013, losing their final seven games … teams have played just once, with Centralia beating Sequim 21-14 on last-second score in 2A state playoffs in 2008
Oct. 10 — Sequim at North Mason, 7 p.m.
Notes: Bulldogs topped Wolves 69-46 last season in highest-scoring game in SHS history … Belfair school was 5-2 in league, 7-3 overall in 2013 … Sequim beat NM 12 straight times between 2001-2012 … Sequim has series advantage at 23-9 with one tie
Oct. 17 — Sequim at Port Angeles, 7 p.m.
Notes: Roughriders won at Sequim 37-21 last year, snapping five-game SHS streak and taking back Rainshadow Rumble trophy … P.A. has advantage in all-time series, with 51 wins, 20 losses and six ties … only Port Townsend (88 games) has played more games against Sequim than the Riders (77)
Oct. 24 — Sequim at Olympic, 7 p.m.
Notes: Trojans were 5-5 last year, 4-3 in league … Oly beat Sequim 28-12 last season and own 13-3 mark since series started in 1979
Oct. 31 — Bremerton at Sequim, 7 p.m.
Notes: Knights won a shootout in Sequim 41-35, nearly losing 34-0 halftime lead. It was Bremerton’s only league win … Knights own 8-6 all-time series lead
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.