Nikiski concentrates on basics, not titles

Bulldogs finally get chance at sanctioned small-schools championship

Posted: Friday, August 18, 2000

It doesn't do much good to make the conference title a goal if a team can't block, tackle or catch.

That's why, even though the Nikiski Bulldogs have won three straight Great Land Conference titles, talk in their practices seldom turns to goals of a repeat.

"Honestly, we focus on ourselves and getting better week to week," said Nikiski head coach Scott Anderson, who enters his seventh year as head man for the Bulldogs. "We don't sit down at the beginning of the season and talk about the playoffs."

This year, getting better will be all the more important at Nikiski thanks to a trend the Bulldogs helped start three seasons ago when they bolted the Northern Lights Conference for the small-schools GLC.

Nikiski then won the next three small-schools state titles, but those titles were not sanctioned by the Alaska School Activities Association.

NIKISKI BULLDOGS

COLORS: Black and silver

1999 RECORD: 5-4 (2-1 in GLC)

HEAD COACH: Scott Anderson (seventh year)

ASSISTANTS: Lee Moore, Tim Johnson, Ted Riddall, Ward Romans, Luke Balash, Lee Chadwick, Pat Reilly

CAPTAINS: Will rotate every two weeks

2000 VARSITY SCHEDULE

Aug. 12 at Houston 2 p.m.

Aug. 19 SITKA 2 p.m.

Aug. 25 at Kenai 7 p.m.

Sept. 1 ACS 5 p.m.

Sept. 8 SKYVIEW 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 15 SERVICE JV 5 p.m.

Sept. 23 at Seward 2 p.m.

Home games in CAPS

This season, the Bulldogs have a sanctioned title to go after.

"I have to admit, there's a lot of excitement about the sanctioned state title," Anderson said.

The Bulldogs will chase that sanctioned title with a young but experienced team. Nikiski has 22 juniors and five seniors on varsity.

"It's weird to think we're so young, yet so experienced," Anderson said. "It's kind of a neat feeling."

Last year, en route to regular season records of 2-1 in the GLC and 4-4 overall, the Bulldogs had the conference's top offense. However, the unit was run-heavy, running for 1,547 yards and passing for just 539.

Anderson said that junior quarterback Josh Reilly, who also started his freshman and sophomore years, will be one of the main cogs in an offense that should be more balanced this year. Reilly was 33 of 76 for 483 yards last season.

"We have a good feeling about our offense this year," Anderson said. "Last year, teams could concentrate on our running game.

"This year, we'll be more balanced and that will make it difficult for them."

Reilly's primary targets should be juniors David Holloway and Chuck Seater.

Reilly also should have no shortage of running backs to hand off to. That list includes juniors Steven Calderwood, Kyle Alexander, Ryan Crumpacker and sophomore Josh Winters.

Anderson also feels good about the time and space his line will give his skill players to execute. The group, which is all over 200 pounds, consists of seniors Seth Tauriainen and Mikel Cox, juniors Gabe Lavingueur and Chris Pepper and sophomore Corey Grimm. Cox was an all-conference performer last season.

At tight end, Anderson also expects decent production from senior Chris Roofe and junior Zach Hall.

Anderson also is expecting his defense to be stout. He said he could have enough depth to keep the players going both ways to a minimum.

"The defense will hopefully be real quick to the ball and real aggressive," the coach said.

One of the players expected to spearhead that aggressiveness is junior linebacker Neil Fucci.

"He likes to hit and he's one of our leaders," Anderson said. "We're hoping we don't have to use him on offense so he can go 100 percent on defense."

Anderson also is hoping not to have many of his linemen playing iron man football. Key players on the defensive line should be senior Jake Sanders, junior Nigel Penhale and sophomore Angelo Luma.

In the secondary and at other linebacker positions, many offensive players will be expected to contribute. Junior Jason Gerke also will have a key role in the secondary.

"In my seven years, this group has been the most fun to coach," Anderson said. "They're a great group of kids.

"They do everything you ask and they're excited about playing football."

BYLINE1:By JEFF HELMINIAK

BYLINE2:Peninsula Clarion

It doesn't do much good to make the conference title a goal if a team can't block, tackle or catch.

That's why, even though the Nikiski Bulldogs have won three straight Great Land Conference titles, talk in their practices seldom turns to goals of a repeat.

"Honestly, we focus on ourselves and getting better week to week," said Nikiski head coach Scott Anderson, who enters his seventh year as head man for the Bulldogs. "We don't sit down at the beginning of the season and talk about the playoffs."

This year, getting better will be all the more important at Nikiski thanks to a trend the Bulldogs helped start three seasons ago when they bolted the Northern Lights Conference for the small-schools GLC.

Nikiski then won the next three small-schools state titles, but those titles were not sanctioned by the Alaska School Activities Association.

This season, the Bulldogs have a sanctioned title to go after.

"I have to admit, there's a lot of excitement about the sanctioned state title," Anderson said.

The Bulldogs will chase that sanctioned title with a young but experienced team. Nikiski has 22 juniors and five seniors on varsity.

"It's weird to think we're so young, yet so experienced," Anderson said. "It's kind of a neat feeling."

Last year, en route to regular season records of 2-1 in the GLC and 4-4 overall, the Bulldogs had the conference's top offense. However, the unit was run-heavy, running for 1,547 yards and passing for just 539.

Anderson said that junior quarterback Josh Reilly, who also started his freshman and sophomore years, will be one of the main cogs in an offense that should be more balanced this year. Reilly was 33 of 76 for 483 yards last season.

"We have a good feeling about our offense this year," Anderson said. "Last year, teams could concentrate on our running game.

"This year, we'll be more balanced and that will make it difficult for them."

Reilly's primary targets should be juniors David Holloway and Chuck Seater.

Reilly also should have no shortage of running backs to hand off to. That list includes juniors Steven Calderwood, Kyle Alexander, Ryan Crumpacker and sophomore Josh Winters.

Anderson also feels good about the time and space his line will give his skill players to execute. The group, which is all over 200 pounds, consists of seniors Seth Tauriainen and Mikel Cox, juniors Gabe Lavingueur and Chris Pepper and sophomore Corey Grimm. Cox was an all-conference performer last season.

At tight end, Anderson also expects decent production from senior Chris Roofe and junior Zach Hall.

Anderson also is expecting his defense to be stout. He said he could have enough depth to keep the players going both ways to a minimum.

"The defense will hopefully be real quick to the ball and real aggressive," the coach said.

One of the players expected to spearhead that aggressiveness is junior linebacker Neil Fucci.

"He likes to hit and he's one of our leaders," Anderson said. "We're hoping we don't have to use him on offense so he can go 100 percent on defense."

Anderson also is hoping not to have many of his linemen playing iron man football. Key players on the defensive line should be senior Jake Sanders, junior Nigel Penhale and sophomore Angelo Luma.

In the secondary and at other linebacker positions, many offensive players will be expected to contribute. Junior Jason Gerke also will have a key role in the secondary.

"In my seven years, this group has been the most fun to coach," Anderson said. "They're a great group of kids.

"They do everything you ask and they're excited about playing football."

'In my seven years, this group has been the most fun to coach. They're a great group of kids. They do everything you ask and they're excited about playing football.'

--Scott Anderson

Nikiski head coach

BYLINE1:By JEFF HELMINIAK

BYLINE2:Peninsula Clarion

It doesn't do much good to make the conference title a goal if a team can't block, tackle or catch.

That's why, even though the Nikiski Bulldogs have won three straight Great Land Conference titles, talk in their practices seldom turns to goals of a repeat.

"Honestly, we focus on ourselves and getting better week to week," said Nikiski head coach Scott Anderson, who enters his seventh year as head man for the Bulldogs. "We don't sit down at the beginning of the season and talk about the playoffs."

This year, getting better will be all the more important at Nikiski thanks to a trend the Bulldogs helped start three seasons ago when they bolted the Northern Lights Conference for the small-schools GLC.

Nikiski then won the next three small-schools state titles, but those titles were not sanctioned by the Alaska School Activities Association.

This season, the Bulldogs have a sanctioned title to go after.

"I have to admit, there's a lot of excitement about the sanctioned state title," Anderson said.

The Bulldogs will chase that sanctioned title with a young but experienced team. Nikiski has 22 juniors and five seniors on varsity.

"It's weird to think we're so young, yet so experienced," Anderson said. "It's kind of a neat feeling."

Last year, en route to regular season records of 2-1 in the GLC and 4-4 overall, the Bulldogs had the conference's top offense. However, the unit was run-heavy, running for 1,547 yards and passing for just 539.

Anderson said that junior quarterback Josh Reilly, who also started his freshman and sophomore years, will be one of the main cogs in an offense that should be more balanced this year. Reilly was 33 of 76 for 483 yards last season.

"We have a good feeling about our offense this year," Anderson said. "Last year, teams could concentrate on our running game.

"This year, we'll be more balanced and that will make it difficult for them."

Reilly's primary targets should be juniors David Holloway and Chuck Seater.

Reilly also should have no shortage of running backs to hand off to. That list includes juniors Steven Calderwood, Kyle Alexander, Ryan Crumpacker and sophomore Josh Winters.

Anderson also feels good about the time and space his line will give his skill players to execute. The group, which is all over 200 pounds, consists of seniors Seth Tauriainen and Mikel Cox, juniors Gabe Lavingueur and Chris Pepper and sophomore Corey Grimm. Cox was an all-conference performer last season.

At tight end, Anderson also expects decent production from senior Chris Roofe and junior Zach Hall.

Anderson also is expecting his defense to be stout. He said he could have enough depth to keep the players going both ways to a minimum.

"The defense will hopefully be real quick to the ball and real aggressive," the coach said.

One of the players expected to spearhead that aggressiveness is junior linebacker Neil Fucci.

"He likes to hit and he's one of our leaders," Anderson said. "We're hoping we don't have to use him on offense so he can go 100 percent on defense."

Anderson also is hoping not to have many of his linemen playing iron man football. Key players on the defensive line should be senior Jake Sanders, junior Nigel Penhale and sophomore Angelo Luma.

In the secondary and at other linebacker positions, many offensive players will be expected to contribute. Junior Jason Gerke also will have a key role in the secondary.

"In my seven years, this group has been the most fun to coach," Anderson said. "They're a great group of kids.

"They do everything you ask and they're excited about playing football."



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