Lake Roosevelt football began pre-season workouts this month with new Head Coach Steve Files introducing changes he brings to Raider football.
Files was an assistant last year at LR and has coached football since 1984 at his alma mater 4A Newport (Bellevue), Lake Washington, and Bothell High Schools.
Joining Files as assistants are Joe Tynan and Brandon White. Both were assistants last year. Tynan is a paid assistant and White is a volunteer.
“We have the makings of an excellent coaching staff that is knowledgeable and enthusiastic,” Files says, “a positive force for our players.”
The changes Files brings are primarily focused on offense. Last year, the Raiders ran a single wing -- like the 1920s squads of Coach Pop Warner. Files is bringing in the Wishbone Veer like that of Navy, Nebraska under Tom Osborne, and Oregon State under Tom Pettibone. Files says that the wishbone “is an exciting option-based attack featuring a quarterback that can run and throw, multiple formations and deception.”
This is offense has three running backs with a quarterback under center and one receiver split out. The Wishbone is run heavy with a lot of option plays having multiple reads and more than one person to give the ball to, which means the quarterback has to be focused and thinking every play.
On defense, Files plans to continue using the 4-4 LR ran last year. Defensively last year the Raiders were up and down from week to week and did have a hard time defeating a good passing team. Files looks to remedy this with a different instructional focus.
“Our emphasis on defense is physical play, relentless pursuit, and sure tackling,” he says.
Another change for Raider football over the off season is the new classification cycle that places LR in the 2B ranks with only 40 other football playing schools. This could mean when the allotments are set in the fall, 2B football could have only eight playoff spots.
Because of the new classification cycle, the Central Washington 2B League now consists of seven schools: Oroville, Liberty Bell, White Swan, Kittitas, Manson, Bridgeport, and LR.
“I believe our players stack up well with anyone in our league,” Files says. “Football is on the upswing here with a lot of enthusiasm and high expectations. There is no reason that next year's squad will not be extremely competitive in our league.”
That upswing Coach Files is talking about was shown when 25 players showed up for the first day of spring practice. They were introduced to Files’ new offense.
Files looks for the returning upperclassmen to be leaders and contributors this season. Those upperclassmen are all-league lineman Sean Waters, fast-footed Nick Gleason, solid Justus DeWinkler, and experienced Andrew McClure.
In the backfield during spring drills, sophomore Austin Rosenbaum and freshman Chance Garvin impressed Files at the quarterback position. Also impressing Files were the veteran offensive line and the improving play of Octavio Alejandre, Michael Rounds, Trey Nicholson, and Thadius Richardson.
The Raiders are now settling in to summer workouts, which take place in the weight room all summer on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. There, says Files, is where the Raiders will gain the strength and conviction to erase the losses of last season and become playoff contenders.