Warriors adjusting to changes | Football

Team speed should be an asset for E-W
By David Pan | Aug 31, 2017
Photo by: David R Pan Senior Reilly Chappell is Edmonds-Woodway’s new starting quarterback.

The Edmonds-Woodway football team knew that some big changes were coming to the offense in 2017.

Some were expected, especially with the graduation of last season’s starting quarterback Kameron Krall and top receiver Jalen Nash.

But one change the Warriors weren’t expecting was the departure of junior running back/defensive back Cappassio Cherry, who relocated south for family reasons.

“Offensively, he’s a great player,” Edmonds-Woodway coach John Gradwohl said. “Cap is a good defensive player too. When you lose a good player like that you lose two players. So it’s tough.”

Senior quarterback Reilly Chappell said that the Warriors took the loss of Cherry in stride.

“It’s next man up,” Chappell said.

Actually to start out the season, it will be next men up. Gradwohl expects several players to see action in the backfield with Chappell.

“We’ll probably start running back by committee a little bit,” Gradwohl said.

The good news is that Edmonds-Woodway have experienced players ready to go. Seniors Carlos Serrano, Noah Becker, Dominic Lawrence and Kelly Jackson give the Warriors plenty of options.

“They’re all good, hard runners,” Gradwohl said.

Traditionally, the Warriors are known as a team that has a bruising physical running back. This season Edmonds-Woodway instead has the opportunity to showcase its speed.

Seniors Aaron Richardson, Niko Cooper, Salihou Fatty and juniors Bryan Sarnowski and Jaro Rouse are among the wide receivers Chappell plans to target this season.

“We have lots of speed out there, which is nice,” Chappell said. “It’s something that we haven’t had for a while.”

Chappell brings not only confidence and a good grasp of the offense but a different look. He’s a left-handed signal-caller.

“He’s developing and maturing and getting better every day,” Gradwohl said.

The Edmonds-Woodway coach can’t recall ever having a left-handed starting quarterback and that has mean he’s had to make some adjustments in the way he works with Chappell. Of course, the ball spins the opposite way from a right-handed quarterback.

“As long as he gets the ball right, I don’t care how he gets it there,” Gradwohl said.

Chappell comes into 2017 already with a signature win. Last season, Chappell came in relief of an injured Krall and helped engineer two Edmonds-Woodway touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to help the Warriors beat Snohomish 28-26.

“Varsity is a different speed and so the more experience you can get before you’re actually the man under center, the better it is,” Chappell said.

Becker expects Chappell will catch on quick.

“He definitely can read the defenses really well,” Becker said of teammate.

Despite the graduation of three of the team’s top defensive players – lineman Ali Gaye, defensive back Anthony Lindamood and linebacker Abdoulie Jatta – the Warriors’ defense looks solid

“Pretty much everybody is returning. We’re in a pretty good situation and we’re just trying to build some depth behind it,” Gradwohl said.

Lawrence, Richardson and Sarnowski have stepped up their leadership on defense.

The expectation among the Warriors is that the defense will continue to be strong.

“I think we know what our defense is going to give. They’re going to do their job,” Chappell said. “We’ve got to do our job on offense.”

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