It’s finally sinking in. After four years of pushing his plan, Foster football coach Jim Sutrick feels like this year’s group gets it.
“We’re optimistic, that’s for sure,” Sutrick said. “After four years of teaching a more mental than physical game, they are finally understanding the game plans.”
Sutrick said that while this team is practicing better and playing better as a unit, it might not have better overall skill because it is so inexperienced.
The Bulldogs lost their leading passer, top two leading rushers and top three leading receivers from a year ago.
Sutrick said because of that, the defense will have to carry the team early. Leading that group is senior Micah Breland. Breland plays linebacker and tight end. He’s being recruited by several colleges.
“He’s a physical specimen,” Sutrick said. “He has great speed side to side. He’s the best player we’ve seen a long time.”
Breland intercepted four passes last year and returned two of them for touchdowns. He already has an interception and two fumble recoveries this season.
Senior Cody Anderson takes over at quarterback this season.
“He’s worked really hard,” Sutrick said. “At first he struggled to meet the expectations I had, but he’s working really hard and I’m really excited about him.”
Junior running back Devin Brown will likely be the team’s biggest playmaker on offense. Brown rushed for 230 yards and two touchdowns on 47 attempts last season. Junior wide receiver Justice Mona is also a big play threat.
“Both are explosive, very fast, and run through some tackles” Sutrick said. “Devin is a guy who will take it to the house.”
Brown already has touchdown runs of 74 and 9 yards through two games this year. He’s rushed for 284 yards on 40 carries overall and looked dominant in the team’s opener against Bremerton when he rushed for 222 yards.
Other key players are Phillip Saau and Pensimani Kaea on the line. Jalyn Combs will play wide receiver and defensive back. Sophomore Cameron Myers is a talented new player who will play tight end and linebacker.
“We will run the ball a little more this year since our experience is on the line,” Sutrick said. “We want to dictate the game early.”