Things are looking big in Sherwood
SHERWOOD — Don't look now, but there's plenty of excitement out in Sherwood.
There's a plethora of high hopes and loads and loads of optimism.
That's because the Sherwood High School football team is looking for big things in the 2019 season.
"I'm really excited and optimistic about this team," Sherwood coach Greg Lawrence said. "We've got the right pieces, and we've got high expectations. We're way ahead of where we were at this time last year, and I think we're going to show that we're a team to be reckoned with."
The Bowmen have a strong, and big, group of returnees from last year's team that tied for second place in the final Pacific Conference standings at 3-1, while going 5-6 on the season, and reaching the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs, where Sherwood threw a second-half scare into eventual state runner-up Sheldon.
"We're looking to cut down on our turnovers this year," Lawrence said. "If we stop the turnovers, we'll be a really good football team."
For the Bowmen, a lot of their offensive success will depend on a strong, deep offensive line.
"We've got good leadership, and we're really deep on the offensive line," Lawrence said.
Sherwood returns both starters at tackle this year, in junior Noah Culbertson (6-foot-2, 240 pounds), who was a second-team all-Pacific Conference selection last year, and senior Nick Severson (6-1, 300), who was an honorable-mention pick. Senior Daniel Matzinger (5-11, 280), senior Zhayan Perez (6-0, 245) and junior Austin Genz (6-4, 255) will also see action at tackle.
At guard, the Bowmen return senior Ian Glenn (5-11, 190) and junior Bryan Cuthbertson (6-1, 240), who were both honorable-mention all-conference picks. Senior Logan Carr (5-10, 255) and junior Jeffrey Manning (6-0, 180) will both also play at guard.
At center, Sherwood will start junior Ashton Sarono-Ramos (5-10, 200).
"He's gotten really strong," Lawrence said. "He's got strength and grit."
Junior Sam Shayegi (6-1, 230) will also see action at center.
As usual, Sherwood looks to be talented, and deep, at running back.
"We're Running Back U.," Lawrence said.
Sherwood will have plenty of speed at running back with senior Caleb Hagen (5-9, 150). Last spring, Hagen ran to victory in both the 100 and 200-meter dash at the Class 6A state track and field championships.
The Bowmen also return senior Jamison Guerra (5-11, 175), who was a second-team all-conference pick. Junior Clay Peden (6-1, 180) and junior Jack Causey (5-10, 195) also return at running back.
At fullback, Sherwood will have senior Brody Stevens (5-9, 165).
"He's going to be a big surprise," Lawrence said. "He's been working really hard, and he's a lot stronger."
Senior Lucas Voss (5-4, 175) will also see action at fullback.
Senior Manny Jimenez (5-8, 140) leads Sherwood's group of receivers.
"He's quick and he can catch," Lawrence said.
The Bowmen's other receivers include junior Jacob Pollock (6-0, 185), junior Jackson Hughes (6-0, 175), senior Tyler McCleskey (6-0, 165) and senior Blake Schafer (5-10, 160).
At tight end, Sherwood will have senior Blake Jensen (6-6, 190).
"He's got great hands, and he's a good target," Lawrence said.
Junior John Henry (6-2, 205) and Jacob Williams (6-2, 210) will also play at tight end.
Senior Gavin Evans (5-11, 170) starts the season as Sherwood's quarterback.
"He's a hard-working kid with a good arm," Lawrence said.
Junior Jackson Hannan (6-1, 165) will also play at quarterback.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bowmen aren't going to let their youth slow them down.
"We're young, inexperienced and green," Sherwood defensive coordinator Rich Hannan said. "But we have tremendous athletes and we have a lot of depth."
Severson, who was a first-team all-conference pick at linebacker a year ago, moves to the defensive line this year. The line also includes Jensen, who was a second-team pick last year, Henry and Culbertson.
At inside linebacker, the Bowmen return Carr, who was a first-team all-conference selection, and Cuthbertson, who was an honorable-mention pick.
Causey will be at one outside linebacker spot.
"He's a physical specimen," Hannan said.
Williams will be at the other outside linebacker position.
Guerra and Jackson Hannan will play at free safety. Steven and Peden will be at strong safety. Hughes and Pollock will be at the cornerback spots.
"We want to be a read-and-react defense," Rich Hannan said. "These kids now have a year under their belt, and we're going to be more aggressive."
Sherwood has another weapon in senior kicker Kaedin Steindorf (6-2, 165), who was a first-team all-conference pick a year ago. Steindorf will also handle the punting duties this year.
Cuthbertson, Severson, Carr and Guerra will serve as Sherwood's team captains this season.
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