Falcons kick off fall sports season with football

Falcon coach Andy Davis talks to his players after the close of a practice  session last week. The Falcons were set to start the season on Friday against Bellingham. - Brian Kelly / The Record
Falcon coach Andy Davis talks to his players after the close of a practice session last week. The Falcons were set to start the season on Friday against Bellingham.
— image credit: Brian Kelly / The Record

School starts next week. But the fall sports season started two weeks ago.

Before students fill the halls of South Whidbey High School, student-athletes fill the fields, courts and courses.

Falcon football finished fourth in the Cascade Conference with a 4-6 record. This season began in transition from last season’s co-head-coach system with Mark Hodson and Andy Davis into a single head coach in Davis.

As reported last issue, Hodson called the transition “seamless.”

“I don’t think there is going to be any transition at all,” Hodson said in reference to leaving the program.

Football opens with two weeks of home games, Sept. 3 against Bellingham and Sept. 10 against Concrete. Bellingham was 2-8 last season and Concrete was 5-5.

Riley Newman champions the boy’s tennis team and looks to return to the state 2A championship. The bar was set high for Newman, who reached the championship match the past two years and won in 2009.

“The expectation is for Riley to win at state,” said Tom Kramer, boy’s tennis coach.

“I don’t see [Riley] losing during the regular season. Van [Morgen] too,” said Kramer of his top two singles players.

Kramer paired juniors Zach Comfort and Harrison Price to be the top doubles team. He worked to turn them from singles-minded players to a doubles team. Kramer explained coaching them through the repetition of serve, return and volley, and said he would like to see their serves improve.

“They’re becoming more offensive-minded,” Kramer said. “The trick for them is to play aggressive in practice, too.”

Kramer claimed Anacortes, Bellingham and Burlington-Edison are the teams to beat for the season.

“We’re certainly going to be competitive in all our matches,” Kramer said.

Last season, volleyball head coach Mandy Jones led the team to the district playoffs, where they opened with a loss in five games, beat Granite Falls to advance, but lost to Lynden. Brittany Wood, a junior, returns with varsity experience at districts, where she had 10 digs in the loss to Lynden.

After the season ended, Jones turned her attention to preparing her next group of players, the incoming freshmen. Three freshmen will see varsity action on a team loaded with upperclassmen. Four seniors lead the team anchored by six juniors.

“They’re just really positive,” said Mackenzie Hezel, a freshman on the varsity team, of the upperclassmen.

The season kicks off at home 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9 against Granite Falls.

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