Milwaukie football ready for playoff run in 2021
The Milwaukie football team wants to go to the promised land.
And in high school football, that means the state playoffs.
That might not seem like such a lofty goal, but at Milwaukie, the Mustangs have been to the second season just once in the past 15 years. Nevertheless, first-year head coach Tim Price believes his team will indeed reach the playoffs.
"Our goal is to get to the playoffs," Price said. "We're not trying to rebuild. It's not a rebuilding season. I'm telling you, we're going to the playoffs."
The 2021 Mustangs feature a couple of great linemen, a couple of strong running backs, a couple of top-notch receivers, and a solid quarterback in junior Kaden Harris (6-foot, 175 pounds). The rest of that group includes senior tackle Jake Cooper (6-5, 260), junior guard Marquies A'au (5-10, 290), senior running back Zane Garvey (5-11, 195), sophomore running back Larenzo Dukes (6-2, 195), senior wide receiver Sean Lachapelle (6-4, 185) and senior wide receiver Brody Thompson (6-0, 175).
Cooper "is probably one of the best in the state. He is a powerful kid. We run behind him as much as possible," Price said, adding that Garvey "is running powerful. He's one of our strong runners, and he's doing a great job for us."
And when Harris goes to the air, he's got Lachapelle and Thompson to track down his throws.
"We're looking for (Lachapelle) to do some great things. He's got great hands, good speed — he's going to show a lot of conferences what he can do," Price said, adding that Thompson "is a good wide receiver, (defensive back) and kick returner."
As to what will key his offense's success, Price didn't hesitate.
"The key is our quarterback. How well he plays is far we go," Price said. "If we can pass the ball successfully … we should be pretty good. If we can pass the ball successfully and move the ball down the field, we're going to be a very good football team this year."
Head coach:Â Tim Price
2020-21 record:Â 1-3 in Cowapa League play, 1-5 overall
2021 outlook: "Our goal is to get to the playoffs. We're not trying to rebuild. It's not a rebuilding season. I'm telling you, we're going to the playoffs." — Tim Price
League contenders:Â Banks, Seaside, Tillamook
On defense, Cooper and A'au will lead the Mustangs' line, Cooper at defensive end and A'au at tackle, while Dukes will also go at end and Garvey at linebacker.
"(A'au is) terrorizing people out there right now with his strength and power," Price said, adding that Garvey is "a great linebacker — he played in the Shrine Bowl last year."
Lachapelle will lead the way at safety, while Brody is the team's top cornerback — "They're going to be real good," Price said.
As a whole, Price said that his defense has a chance to be very good if it plays assignment football every game.
"The key is jelling together, kids not making mental mistakes," he said. "We play hard, we get after it — we've just got to understand the responsibilities that we have and use our athletic ability to make plays."
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