The 2017 TRL season kicks off Friday with four games and a whole lot of grid talent

COURTESY PHOTO: FAITH VARGA - West Linn filled the stands and grabbed another 'W' on Friday, and hope for more of the same in the coming Three Rivers League season.The 2017 Three Rivers League football season kicks off Friday.

But what's it going to look like?

Will West Linn rule again? Will Sherwood, Tigard or Lake Oswego step into the league championship race?

Or will a darkhorse team rise up to surprise the prognosticators?

To be sure, there are more questions than answers at this point of the season, but if you just want to know more, read on. What follows is a collection of links to team previews and early-season results for all eight Three Rivers League football teams.

Click on the the school name below to link to the complete preview for each team.


Cougars looking to rebound from tough '16

For the 2017 football season, longtime head coach Mike Vaught has his eyes set on one thing: getting Canby back into the playoffs. Over the course of his 26-year tenure as coach, the Cougars have made it into the playoffs a staggering 21 times. However, the past two years have seen the team fall on some hard times, failing to make it into the playoffs in back to back seasons. Both years the team finished 2-7 overall.

Week One — To read about the Cougars' 35-14 win over Reynolds, click here.

Week Two — To read about the Cougars' 36-19 loss to Oregon City, click here.


Newberg ready to kick off new era

While the Newberg High School football team graduated a talented senior class in 2016, one that was especially dynamic offensively with do-everything Anthony Adams at quarterback and a stable of quick running backs, the cupboard was left far from bare for first-year coach Kevin Hastin.

The former Portland State player believes he has standout players in just about every position group and will rely heavily on this year's seniors as he installs new offensive and defensive schemes and lays the foundation for the program's culture this fall.

"Overall, I'm pretty impressed," Hastin said. "We've got to keep improving because we have some work in front of us."

Week One — To read about the Tigers' 38-21 win over Barlow, click here.

Week Two — To read about the Tigers' 56-27 win over Centennial, click here.


Lake Oswego football ready to step up in 2017 race

The Lake Oswego football team believes.

The Lakers believe they'll be better in 2017, believe they'll be able to compete with almost any team they play and believe they have a chance to do something special.

But Lake Oswego also knows how tough the Three Rivers League will be, knows that it needs to stay healthy and knows it needs a couple of breaks, too.

"It's a really tough league, but we'll be competitive," said Lake Oswego coach Steve Coury, whose team went 3-4 in TRL play and finished fifth a year ago (5-5 overall). "We'll have a chance to win some games, but then it's just a matter of how the ball bounces."

Week One — To read about the Lakers' 40-0 win over Lincoln, click here.

Week Two — To read about the Lakers' 46-7 win over Beaverton, click here.


Lakeridge football ready for breakout year in Three Rivers League

This may be the year.

The Lakeridge Pacers very much hope that this is the year they break through.

After two tough Three Rivers League seasons that followed the tumultuous end to the Tom Smythe and Chad Carlson era, head coach Elvis Akpla's Pacers believe they are ready to win.

"It's hard to say how we'll do. It could go really well or it go really poorly — it depends on how the kids develop," Akpla said. "But I expect us to be a lot more explosive and I expect us to light up the scoreboard. Our goal is to be 1-0 every week."

Week One — The Pacers' game against Roosevelt was canceled.

Week Two — To read about the Pacers' 55-0 win over Wilson, click here.


Sherwood football team is aiming high again

It's business as usual for the Sherwood High School football team.

That means physical play, a strong running attack, a swarming, hard-hitting defense and, of course, plenty of high hopes.

Once again, the Bowmen have them all.

"I think we have a lot of expectations this year," Sherwood head coach Greg Lawrence said. "The practices are going great, and they're all picking it up well. The guys have some real high expectations this year."

Week One — To read about the Bowmen's 34-12 win over Westview, click here.

Week Two — To read about the Bowmen's 34-12 loss to Camas, click here.


Tigard football team looking to have the right mix

For the Tigard High School football team, it just might be about finding the right mix this season.

And, the Tigers think they have it.

Tigard, with a strong combination of proven veterans, as well as some promising younger newcomers, is looking for everything to click during the 2017 campaign.

"We have a very, very nice mix of good, talented players," Tigard coach Craig Ruecker said. "We're returning quite a few outstanding players from last year, but, at the same time, we graduated 30 seniors. But we're very pleased. The junior class has some outstanding players, and a couple of sophomores have earned starting spots.

"Last year was a senior-dominated team. This year, we have a wonderful blend of sophomores, juniors and seniors."

Week One — To read about the Tigers' 34-28 loss to Jesuit, click here.

Week Two — To read about the Tigers' 48-12 win over Southridge, click here.


Tualatin football team ready to get going

The Tualatin High School football team is ready.

The Timberwolves are ready to battle.

They're ready to fight.

And they're taking high hopes into the 2017 season.

"It's been extremely positive," first-year Tualatin head coach Dan Lever said. "This is a hungry group of kids, and it's a really fun group to coach. They're ready to go."

Week One — To read about the Timberwolves' 55-21 win over Grant, click here.

Week Two — To read about the Timberwolves' 53-0 win over Battle Ground, click here.


West Linn football aiming high again in 2017

You can almost hear the sighs of relief echoing across the Three Rivers League.

"Thank goodness that Tim Tawa finally graduated. We'll never have to play him again.

"And while we're at it, good riddance to Jake Meisen, Alex Forsyth, Elijah Molden, Jake Porter, Seth Long and Mitchell Johnson."

While it's true that those first-team all-state players from West Linn will never threaten TRL opponents again, anyone who thinks their departure marks a downturn for the Lions' football team has got another thing coming.

West Linn returns all-league players at seven positions, all-staters in senior wide receiver Qawi Ntsasa and senior linebacker Zack Huffstutter, and enough talent across the board to strike fear in the Three Rivers League once again.

Week One — To read about the Lions' 42-7 win over Oregon City, click here.

Week Two — To read about the Lions' 21-14 win over South Medford, click here.

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