The success of the King’s football team isn’t necessarily a surprise, but it wasn’t necessarily expected, either.
“My team’s exceeding my expectations this year,” coach Jim Shapiro said.
After graduating a group of talented seniors that helped lead the team to an 11-1 record last season, Shapiro wasn’t sure what he was going to get with his next group.
Shapiro said graduating a senior class like they did and then to have the next generation picking up where they left off makes him proud. It’s the direction he wants to see his program going in.
With a new crop of go-to guys, King’s is running the ball more than they did in the past.
Shapiro said he’d be remiss not to mention his three core running backs in giving credit for the wins.
Chris Yand, Karl Sather and Laka Wilkins all got a nod from their coach for their work on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, Yand has scored five touchdowns, Sather has scored two and Wilkins has contributed four.
As a smaller school – King’s is 1A – they don’t get a ton of players trying out for football. Because of that, Shapiro said there’s a need to play their best kids on both sides of the ball.
So defensively, all three are utilized, as well – Yand and Wilkins at linebacker, and Sather at safety.
This Friday, King’s hosts Sultan at 7 p.m., and the next generation of Knights well be at it again.
Quick notes –
-Starting quarterback Koa Wilkins is only a sophomore, but that’s not new to Shapiro. The coach said this is the fifth time he’s had a starting sophomore quarterback. Shapiro described Wilkins as a competitor, and said that although he sometimes makes sophomore decisions, he always bounces back. He’s also garnered the respect of the upperclassman with his leadership and playmaking ability.
-The only loss for King’s so far this season was to Lynden – the team that won the 2A state title last season – in week 1. Shapiro said he loved that matchup early on because Lynden brings the highest caliber of competition.