Call them the “Hungry, Hungry Hyaks.” The North Beach High squad and new head coach Jamie Moodenbaugh are determined to make the 2019 season the year the team turns things around.
After building to a Pacific 2B league power under former coach Todd Bridge (a Don James player who is now at the helm in Aberdeen), the Hyaks went 2-7 in 2017 and were winless last year, with Moodenbaugh being the Hyaks’ third rookie head coach in three years.
A 1990 Wishkah Valley graduate with BA and MA degrees from Central Washington, he was defensive coordinator at Montesano HS for eight years, then took a break from coaching to watch his two sons participate in sports at Hoquiam. A rare combination of a coach who is also an art teacher, the 47-year-old Moodenbaugh spent the last four years supporting the development of 6-12 program in Napavine and working the varsity staff in that district.
The Hyaks will run “a spread offense, with some wing-T touches,” and a little play action from senior QB/RB Garrett Armbruster and sophomore QB Matt Roland.
“Garrett has really shown some leadership,” Moodenbaugh said. “(He is) hungry to play, asks a lot of questions … wants to get better every day.”
The coach credits Roland and senior lineman Matt Smith, “a great leader,” as the two Hyaks who spent nearly every day all summer in the weight room.
A small but quick defense (only two linemen are over 200 lbs.) will run a 3-5 scheme.
Moodenbaugh said three more players to watch are sophomore lineman Josh Armstrong, who is one of the building blocks of the program according to Moodenbaugh, junior lineman Takwitaano Estavillo, who as the new coach puts it has a “great personality in the locker room,” and sophomore TE/SS, Westin Fruh, who the coach dubbed a “manchild.”
Moodenbaugh and new staff feel four wins is an achievable goal this season. Though admittedly the Hyaks realize it is a rebuilding year, Moodenbaugh said his players are entering the season believing in what they are doing.
“These kids see it very positive,” he said. “They’re lifting each other up and buying into a structured program that is going to hold them accountable.”