Horizon Christian High School is a small school of just over one-hundred students entering its fifth season of existence. But they continue to grow little by little each year and that’s no exception with the football program.
According to Head coach, George Crace, the Hawks have already achieved one of their goals for the 2010 season by increasing their numbers from 27 players a year ago, to 31 this season. But he added there is still room for two more at Horizon Christian. “At the 3A level a team can take 33 players to the playoffs”, said Crace.
Besides the new additions, the Hawks return 15 players to the team, which includes the entire offensive line. Though one of them, senior offensive guard, Andy Karlinger will unfortunately miss the entire season. Karlinger is still rehabbing his shoulder injured last spring in Track.
But Crace is confident in other players who saw some time on the line in 2009, including Josh Holmes and Sophomore Dallas Davies. Senior Tackle Kale Kiaunis is said Davies will step up and help the Hawks this season. “Dallas Davies is really coming into his own now, if he can get some aggression he’s going to be a great player”, stated Kiaunis.
Another returning player for Horizon Christian is junior quarterback, Ryan Sederstrom who started every game a year ago. The Hawks have also added five quarterbacks, creating some needed depth, and competition. Sederstrom is fully aware of this talented crop of quarterbacks and looks forward to sharpening his game.
“As iron sharpens iron; so any man sharpens another”, he said. “That’s what we’re doing out here, competing against each other and bringing out the best in (one another)”. Sederstrom noted that there is a ton of potential at every position in the program.
Kiaunis agrees. “I’m really excited because we have a lot of returning seniors on our line (with) a lot of experience”, Kiaunis said. “This will be the first year that we’ve had a lot core players returning, so that’s looking good”.
So with much potential and experience in the Hawks football family this season, they are looking to achieve another goal this season and that is to make the playoffs for the first time. Coach Crace knows that will be a challenge in the West Valley League.
“That’s a tall order (with) the State Champion Amity Warriors in there, and then Sheridan (has) a tough team coming back featuring First team All League quarterback, Brock Ingram, and Wilamina”, Crace said. “So that’s three teams right there you have to beat”. The Hawks have never beat Willamina in Football and will attempt to end that drought on October 7th at home.
Horizon Christian will practice for the first time in full pads on August 23rd, the first official practice for all Oregon High School fall sports. The season opener for the Hawks is September 3rd at home against Salem Academy with kick-off set for 7pm.