Kardinals have many big shoes to fill

To defend state title, Kenai must find way to replace 2,184 yards of total offense

Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2006

 

 

Six all-state first-teamers. The state’s small-schools offensive and defensive players of the year. The state’s lineman of the year. 2,184 yards of total offense. 195 points.

All gone.

When Kenai Central capped its fourth consecutive Alaska small-schools football title last fall with a 42-10 thrashing of Eielson, they did it behind the strength of a monster senior class of athletes who bulldozed their way through the division and were the class of the peninsula.

But with 18 seniors from that team departed, Kenai head coach Jim Beeson says he fully expects this year’s squad to face plenty of challenges in its bid to continue Kenai’s unprecedented run of titles.

“It’s going to be a dogfight with everybody,” Beeson said prior to the Kards’ season-opening loss against Juneau-Douglas in Kenai.

Beeson said that if he had to pick a favorite in this year’s race, he said he’d choose Soldotna, which features a strong senior class led by speedy players at the skill positions.

But although Kenai lost a lot of its power to graduation, the 2006 Kardinals are far from punchless.

Beeson, in his 17th year, and Jim Dawson, last year’s small-schools assistant coach of the year, are experienced at getting the most out of teams.

This year’s squad will be led by one of the state’s premier returning players in junior running back/cornerback Bill Chimphalee.

And Beeson said he’s making no secret of his plans for the versatile back, who scored 10 touchdowns last season on an array of receptions, rushes and returns.

“We’ll try to move him around a little bit,” Beeson said. “We’re going to try to get him the football as much as we can.”

For Chimphalee to succeed, however, he’ll need the help of an untested offensive line that has decent size but little experience in varsity play.

Senior Michael Dormady is the only returning starter on the o-line. Beeson said Jaron Dambacher also will play a key role for the Kenai ground attack. Also getting time up front will be Wes Quade, Michael Creighton, Hayln Lipps, Kyle Gregg, Jake Malanaphy, Devin Boyle and Will Manuel.

Beeson said either senior Dusty Ward or junior Daniel Gustkey will start at quarterback. Ward saw limited action last season backing up Tyler Chappell, while Gustkey played for the junior varsity.

Beeson said junior Jeremy Narlock and senior Stuart Stretch will likely carry the ball when it’s not finding its way to Chimphalee.

Stretch and Dormady will make up the strength of Kenai’s defense, its linebacking corps. Both players started at middle linebacker last season, and Beeson said he expects the duo to clean up a lot of tackles this season.

“If the line can just keep people off Michael and Stuart we’ll be OK,” he said.

Junior Travis Pierce also will be counted on to make plays from his spot at outside linebacker.

In the defensive backfield, Chimphalee is a returning all-state player, and senior Josh Werba has seen extensive varsity time as well.

Although this year’s group of Kardinals is short on recognizable names, Beeson said he believes his group has a lot of potential.

“We have some talent, but we’re not the most talented team,” he said.

How much better remains to be seen. But with a solid core of players with the potential to step forward and contribute, Beeson said he believes Kenai will be in contention to make a run for the playoffs.

“We’re going to get better,” he said.

KENAI CENTRAL KARDINALS

COLORS: Red and black

2005 REGULAR SEASON RECORD: 6-2 (4-0 Northern Lights Conference)

HEAD COACH: Jim Beeson (17th year)

ASSISTANTS: Jim Dawson, Al Hull, Jim Montgomery, Dakota Craig, Michael Scheffert

CAPTAINS: No captains named yet

2006 VARSITY SCHEDULE

Aug. 19 KETCHIKAN 2 p.m.

Aug. 26 at Seward 2 p.m.

Sept. 2 at Houston 3 p.m.

Sept. 9 KODIAK 3 p.m.

Sept. 16 SKYVIEW 2 p.m.

Sept. 23 at Homer 2 p.m.

Sept. 30 at Soldotna 2 p.m.

Home games in CAPS

Kenai Central Varsity Roster

No.

Player

Yr

Ht.

Wt.

Pos.

3

Charlie Foglia

12

5-9

150

WR/DB

7

Dusty Ward

12

5-10

150

QB/DB

10

Daniel Gustkey

11

5-10

140

QB/DB

11

Justin Hensler

11

5-10

150

TE/DB

21

Cody Graham

11

5-10

170

RB/LB

22

Bill Chimphalee

11

5-10

165

RB/DB

23

Stuart Stretch

12

5-9

170

RB/LB

25

Billy Kiefer

9

5-8

130

QB/DB

33

Jeremy Narlock

11

5-8

150

RB/DB

34

Tyler Smith

12

5-10

150

WR/DB

40

Cody Booth

11

5-7

160

RB/DB

42

Travis Pierce

11

5-11

175

TE/LB

54

Wes Quade

11

5-10

160

OL/DL

57

Jason Dambacher

11

5-9

160

OL/LB

66

Michael Creighton

12

5-9

160

OL/DL

68

Michael Dormady

12

5-7

150

OL/LB

69

Hayln Lipps

11

6-0

195

OL/DL

74

Kyle Gregg

11

6-2

230

OL/DL

75

Jake Malanaphy

11

5-11

160

OL/DL

78

Devin Boyle

11

5-10

160

OL/LB

79

Will Manuel

12

5-9

200

OL/DL

81

Greg Aho

12

5-9

160

DB/WR

82

Josh Werba

12

5-9

145

WR/DB

84

Kirk Louthan

12

5-10

145

WR/LB



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