Kards need new leaders to step up

Posted: Friday, August 19, 2005

 

 

Kenai Central coach Jim Beeson is not worried so much about replacing the yards, touchdowns, tackles and blocks of 2005 graduates like Dakota Craig and Michael Scheffert.

Beeson is more concerned with replacing their leadership.

“Dakota and Michael were on varsity four years and were state champs for the last three years,” Beeson said. “They never had to be told what to do.”

As the Kardinals gear up to make a run at a fourth consecutive small-schools state championship, they have 18 seniors to replace the 11 seniors who graduated last year.

Beeson said he has an extremely physical team with talent at the skill positions, but the one thing that worries him is leadership.

“We have a large group of seniors that had a chance to see what leadership is supposed to be, but they never had to be leaders,” Beeson said. “Now we need some of them to step up and be leaders of this group.”

Beeson said that for the last couple of years, there would have had to have been a major catastrophe to keep his team out of the playoffs. The Kardinals haven’t lost a Northern Lights Conference game in two years.

This year, however, Beeson said improvement elsewhere in the conference means a playoff spot is no longer assured.

“The gap has closed considerably,” Beeson said. “We can’t take the playoffs for granted anymore. Look at who we’ve lost.”

What the Kardinals haven’t lost is the huge target on their backs. Beeson said the team attended a camp in the state of Washington, and even there teams got pumped up to face three-time state champs.

“Everybody will be ready to play us,” Beeson said. “Nobody will be nice to us, that’s for sure.”

Besides losing quality players, Beeson said the Kardinals also have lost a lot of depth. Last season, Kenai only had to play three or four players both ways, a rarity in small-schools football. This season, the Kardinals will have the more normal nine or 10 players going both ways.

On offense, Beeson said the Kardinals may spread the field a little more than last year. Beeson said senior quarterback Tyler Chappell is athletic enough to make plays in the open field and senior running back Brandon Miles also should be good in the open field.

The fullbacks will be senior Isaia Faumui and senior Stuart Stretch.

Senior Austin McLeod will play tight end, while receiving duties will be handled by sophomore Bill Chimphalee and seniors Andrew Gourley, Luke Oliver and James Gough.

Beeson is expecting the line, led by senior Papapa Nicholas, to be a strength for the offense.

“This is a group of seniors that have definitely figured out that it pays to get in the weight room,” Beeson said. “Papapa can bench the house.”

Beeson said Nicholas and fellow seniors Clint Keener and Les Krusen and junior Michael Dormady can bench more than 300 pounds. Those four will be part of the offensive line, while seniors Mackenzie Boyle and Dustin Stelljes also will be a part of the unit.

On defense, many of the offensive starters also will see time. Beeson said that means the team must stay healthy in nonconference games against Juneau-Douglas, Palmer and Service.

Even though most of the defense will be doing double duty, Beeson expects a solid unit. He said it will all start with Nicholas, who is 6-foot-3 and 315 pounds, creating havoc up front. Nicholas was first-team all-small-schools state at interior line last year.

“Papapa has to be a force on the defensive side,” Beeson said. “There isn’t anybody that should be able to block him if he puts his mind to it.”

Joining Nicholas on the defensive line will be Keener, Stelljes and Boyle.

Stretch, who has been starting at middle linebacker since he was a sophomore, will team with Dormady to firm up that area of the field. Faumui and Krusen will play outside linebacker.

Miles has been starting for two years in the secondary and will be back to head up that unit. Gough, Chimphalee and Chap-pell can play cornerback, al-though Beeson does not want to have his quarterback playing defense if he can help it.

Ju Kim, the first team all-NLC kicker last year, also returns for the Kardinals.

KENAI CENTRAL KARDINALS

COLORS: Red and black

2004 REGULAR SEASON RECORD: 7-1 (4-0 Northern Lights Conference)

HEAD COACH: Jim Beeson (16th year)

ASSISTANTS: Jim Dawson, Al Hull, Ken Roser, Chris Hayes, Jim Montgomery

CAPTAINS: Tyler Chappell, Papapa Nicholas, Les Krusen

2005 VARSITY SCHEDULE

Aug. 13 at Juneau 8 p.m.

Aug. 20 PALMER 2 p.m.

Aug. 27 SEWARD 2 p.m.

Sept. 3 at Kodiak TBA

Sept. 9 at Skyview 6 p.m.

Sept. 17 at Service (AFS) 3 p.m.

Sept. 24 HOMER 2 p.m.

Oct. 1 SOLDOTNA 2 p.m.

Home games in CAPS

Kenai Central Varsity Roster

No.

Player

Grade

Ht

Wt

Pos

3

Ju Kim

12

6-0

160

K

7

Luke Oliver

12

5-10

150

QB/DB

11

Tyler Chappell

12

5-10

150

QB/DB

21

Dusty Ward

11

5-10

150

QB/LB

22

Bill Chimphalee

10

5-10

165

RB/DB

23

Stuart Stretch

11

5-9

170

RB/LB

30

Isaia Faumui

12

5-9

170

RB/LB

32

Travis Pierce

10

5-11

175

RB/LB

33

McKenan Steinbeck

10

6-0

160

RB/LB

34

Tyler Smith

11

5-10

150

TE/DB

40

Brandon Miles

12

5-8

160

RB/DB

42

Austin McLeod

12

6-1

170

TE/DL

44

Chad Moore

11

5-9

150

WR/DB

54

Les Krusen

12

5-9

165

OL/DL

56

Rik Galley

11

6-0

180

OL/DL

57

Jaron Dambacher

10

5-9

160

OL/LB

58

Lane Koester

12

6-0

170

OL/DL

61

Mackenzie Boyle

12

6-1

175

OL/DL

66

Michael Creighton

11

5-9

160

OL/DL

68

Michael Dormandy

11

5-7

150

OL/LB

69

Haylen Lipps

10

6-0

195

OL/DL

70

Clint Keener

12

6-1

220

OL/DL

72

Joe Foglia

12

5-9

170

OL/DL

74

Kyle Gregg

10

6-1

230

OL/DL

75

Dustin Stelljes

12

5-9

180

OL/DL

77

Papapa Nicholas

12

6-2

240

OL/DL

78

Malachi Hopper

12

5-10

160

OL/DL

79

Will Manuel

11

5-9

200

OL/DL

80

Josh Werba

11

5-9

145

WR/DB

81

James Gough

12

5-11

140

WR/DB

82

Andrew Gourley

12

5-10

150

WR/DB

84

Kirk Louthan

11

5-10

170

WR/DB

85

Marcus Mena

12

5-10

170

OL/DL

86

Naythen Hansen

11

5-9

145

WR/DB

88

Kelvin Blanning

12

5-9

140

WR/DB



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