But Coach Lewman believes Putnam will compete in the NWOC

Putnam has a very youthful and inexperienced varsity football team this fall, but Putnam coach Brad Lewman is hopeful his Kingsmen will be able to figure things before they get too deep into the league season. Putnam begins its Northwest Oregon Conference season this Friday, when the Kingsmen travel to Sandy to take on the Pioneers.

The Pioneers are off to a 2-0 start to the season, with wins over Hood River (47-21) and Wilson (14-6).

Putnam is 0-2, with losses to Hermiston (48-7) and Crescent Valley (63-35).

“We’re younger and less experienced [than we were last year],” Lewman said. “And we’re not as big. We’ve only got 15 or 16 seniors and most of them were jayvee last year.”

Still, Lewman is optimistic.

“What I love about this group is they all believe in one another and they believe in the coaches and what we’re trying to do,” the Kingsmen grid boss said. “They’re still learning how to practice and how to compete at this level. But they’re getting there.”

And Lewman says he likes his charges’ chances in the Northwest Oregon Conference.

“Sherwood and Wilsonville will be the top teams [in the league],” Lewman said. “After that, I think it will be wide open. I think it will be between us, Milwaukie, Sandy and Parkrose for that third spot. The key for us will be staying healthy, because we don’t have a lot of depth.”

The Kingsmen coach says he has eight players who saw a good deal of action last year returning to varsity: seniors Nick Edwards (5-9, 200) at center and linebacker, Brandon McCuin (5-10, 230) at defensive tackle, Austin Snyder (6-2, 280) at offensive tackle, Corey Wells (5-9, 165) at cornerback, Tyler Strauss (6-0, 180) at wide receiver and Bella Geist (5-9, 140) at kicker; and juniors Juan Hernandez (5-0, 215) at guard and Brandon Culp (6-0, 190) at linebacker.

Edwards, Wells, Snyder and McCuin all received conference all-star recognition a year ago, when the Kingsmen went 4-3 in the NWOC.

Geist is money for the Kingsmen at kicker. This is her third season kicking for Putnam’s varsity. She has gone 62-for-68 on PAT attempts over the past two seasons, missing only three attempts each year.

Lewman says that Richie Seratt, a 6-0, 195-pound transfer from Oregon City, is likely to see a great deal of action at running back this fall.

He says he likes the maturity he’s seen from last year’s jayvee quarterback, Josie Swain. The 5-10, 180-pound junior rushed 10 times for 115 yards and a touchdown and passed for 95 yards and a touchdown in last Friday’s loss to Crescent Valley. Sophomore Cedric Brooks (5-10, 175) split time with Swain in the Crescent Valley game and completed 6-of-10 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Brooks was quarterback for Putnam’s freshmen team last year.

Lewman says he also likes what he’s seen from junior wide receiver/linebacker Tristan Smith (6-0, 185), who played jayvee ball a year ago.

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