Central Valley Conference Football Preview2012
West Salem Titans
Head Coach: Shawn Stanley (eighth year)
2011: 4-1 (7-4); First Place (Tie)- CVC
Lost to Lake Oswego 49-28 in second round of 6A playoffs
For the 2012 season, West Salem Football Coach Shawn Stanley finds his team in an unfamiliar position--not favored for the Central Valley Conference championship.
Stanley could start as many as ten new players on offense, and has just four returnees on the defensive side of the ball--a formula that could translate into early mistakes and a steep learning curve in initial games.
Still, West Salem will be far from a doormat. Up front, they return a pair of senior lineman: first team all-CVC tackle Matt Sommer (6-4 290) and Carter Franz-Geddes (6-0 225). Added into the mix is senior William VanSmoorenburg (6-4 265), a transfer from Blanchet Catholic.
The receiving crew also boasts some experienced talent. Senior Cody Oden (5-10 175) was an honorable mention all-conference pick in 2011. Other seniors with playing time last season include Riley Rdiger (6-0 185), Eli Howe (5-10 180) and Matt Brand (5-9 175). Also figuring into the mix are junior Brady Rediger (5-9 175) and sophomore Keegan Hlad (6-3 180).
At running back, senior Nate Henkel (5-10 170) was honorable mention all-conference. He will split time with fellow seniors Ambrose Soh (5-10 175) and Jalen Jones-Haines (5-11 175).
The quarterback position has three candidates. Senior Riley Newman (6-2 175) has sharp intellect and a strong arm, but will face stiff competition from sophomores Cade Smith (6-1 180) and Doug Clem (6-1 180). Stanley says Clem may have the strongest arm of any quarterback he has coached at West, while Smith--younger brother of Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith--is their best dual threat signal caller.
Defensively, Sommer (first team all-CVC) and Carter Geddes will anchor the interior, but will receive plenty of assistance from fellow seniors Jacob Roberson (6-2 270) and Jocaob Goree (6-4 215).
At linebacker, seniors Jacob Riddell (5-8 175), and Kris Bjornson (5-10 175) are back inside. Senior Brendan Chapman (5-10 225) is moving to linebacker from the d-line, and junior Connor Mattison (5-10 200) will see extensive varsity playing time.
At the outside linebacking spots, Soh, Henkel and Brandon Manus (6-0 180) will be joined by Trevor Harboldt (6-0 180), who saw limited playing time in 2011 due to injury.
In the defensive backfield, Riley Rediger returns at free safety. Oden, Brand, Howe and Brady Rediger are back to play cornerback.
West Salem also returns two very good kickers and punters. Junior Anthony Brainard (5-10 175) was first team all-CVC last year, but Stanley says senior Jordan Ward (5-10 170) also has a good leg and will also receive opportunities during the season.
West begins its season at home on August 31, hosting South Medford.
Projected finish in CVC Coaches Poll: Third