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North Marion 2019 4A Special District 2 League Champs!

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North Marion 2019 4A Special District 2  League Champs!

How big was Friday night for The North Marion Huskies? Well let’s start with the first outright league Football title, in at least 60 years. 

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You are here: Home Football Menu / Archives Football News Rangers Hungry For 4A Championship This Fall

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Rangers Hungry For 4A Championship This Fall

After a blow to North Bend in the Semi-Finals last year, junior Nick Keller and senior Jared Weaver look to carry Estacada to a title


ESTACADA, OR - On a cool August morning, Head Coach Andy Mott has only one thing on his mind, “Practice makes perfect.” The players are repeating the same play over and over again until it’s second nature. It’s time for football season in Estacada and the rumors are flying high around the town on the team.


With the departure of quarterback Andy Avants, wide receiver Sam Blankenship, running back Doug Kirchoffer, and several others, the players know they have to step up their game. “All the older kids have been playing varsity minutes from their sophomore year, so there’s a good consistency there”, said Mott in a phone interview about the upcoming year. “I think the biggest thing is getting the younger guys up to speed so they will be prepared. We have some new faces that didn’t even play for us last year that are stepping in for us on varsity.”


IMG 6388
Estacada's Head Coach Andy Mott laughing with the team during practice



Taking over the role of quarterback this year will be junior Nick Keller, who is making the transition from being on the receiving end of the ball. “It’s a little different moving from running back to quarterback,” said Keller. “The biggest difficulty right now is reading the tackles, but I think I can handle it.”


IMG 6434Junior Nick Keller (1) throwing during practice


Senior Wyatt Riddell will help lead the offense doing exactly what he did last year, running the ball. “I feel confident in myself and my team.” said Riddell.  “When we went up to camp, we did really well against some bigger schools. I have full confidence in my team and they have full confidence in me.”


IMG 6447Senior Wyatt Riddell (44) catches a hand off from Keller (1) during practice.


We will all miss the power of Kirchoffer behind the ball. Filling the big shoes of Kirchoffer will be senior Jared Weaver. When asked about the big shoes to fill, he stated, “It’s going to be big shoes to fill, but I’m ready to take on that challenge. I’ll do the best I can and do just as well as he can. My biggest strength will be my power up the middle.”


The running back position is going to be stacked, with the addition of senior Brandon Thornhill joining Riddell and Weaver in the backfield. “It’s a big move going from receiver to running back.” stated Thornhill. “A lot different, you see the ball a lot more, but I’m picking it up pretty well. I’m really understanding what to do when I get the ball. My blocking will allow me to get those extra yards.”


IMG 6408Running back Gabriel Marinez (green shorts) taking a handoff from backup quarterback Josh Ellinger (orange)


The opponents on the schedule this season are tough, even in the pre-season jamboree. “Cascade, who was in the semi-finals last year, Dallas was in the 5A semi-finals last year as well.” remarked Mott. “On top of that, Banks was a quarter-final team from last year, so you’re talking about 3 really tough, quality Oregon programs right there.”


The regular season is nothing to be sneezed at either, as the Rangers will have to fight for every win. “Stayton will be tough, they have a new coach but they have a couple really tough kids.” Mott remarked about the opponents. “Scio will also be tough, they beat us last year and they always bring a physical style of play. It’s a tough early season matchup for sure.”


Estacada starts off the regular season at Stayton on September 1st at 7pm. Their first home game will be versus Scio on September 8th at 7pm. Make sure to follow me on twitter, @lanejensenpdx for any Ranger updates.

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