The North Beach Hyaks kick off their 2018 high school football campaign with a game at the Winlock Cardinals at 7 p.m. this Friday.
(All games broadcast live on KOSW-91.3 FM)
The season opener for both teams is a non-league game that pits a pair of squads that both posted 2-7 records last season in Class 2B competition.
The Hyaks return only four seniors, so “it’s definitely a rebuilding year,” according to rookie North Beach head coach Ric Dycus.
With nine freshmen and 10 sophomores, “we’re going to be the youngest team in the league, but one of the fastest teams as well,” he said. The Hyaks will also be one of the smaller teams, with 15 players at 5’7” or shorter and only four topping 200 lbs.
Those four though, could come up big in helping to create some interesting possibilities for the Hyaks offense. With senior center Matt Rowling, at 240, next to junior guard Gauge Mealy, 245, along with senior tackle Korrey Housel, 200, and freshman tight end Daniel Castaneda, 215, the offensive line will be looking to offer opportunities for the backs.
The coach said seniors Marcus Pope and Patrick Heyd are the workhorses to watch. “Marcus is a downhill runner on both sides of the ball – he just gets faster and faster,” Dycus observed. “Patrick has an extra gear. When he gets loose, he can be really hard to catch.” Sophomore quarterback Kyle Fry will lead what Dycus described as a base double wing offense.
“Kyle’s young, but he’s cerebral – he grasps everything we teach him. And he comes from a family of leaders,” Dycus said. The offense is geared to a small but quick team, with a lot of misdirection and disguised plays.
And, the coach is encouraged by his belief that “we have the most talented freshman class in the (Pacific 2B Coastal) league. “I’ve been coaching them for the last two years in junior high; they’re an extremely coachable group, and they are really pushing our older players to be better. That’s something you don’t normally see.”
Dycus said he is waiting to watch how the first game goes before making any predictions for the season.
“I know they’re a much better, bigger team than we are,” he said of Winlock. “They’re playing in a tougher league. Strength of schedule at the top of Central 2B is much more brutal than ours.”
In the Pacific 2B Coastal league, Dycus sees Raymond as “the clear favorite. After that, who knows?” He said the Hyaks making the playoffs, although a long shot, is not impossible.
Area fans can find encouragement in their new coach’s experience with young athletes who have been amazing overachievers. As coach, his North Beach Powerlifting teams have won three state team championships, and in May they won this year’s AAU Powerlifting National Championship. They’ll notch another Hyaks first when they compete in the World Championships in Laughlin, NV, September 28-29.