North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Bulldogs pummel Grizzlies 56-6

 

Andrew Hines

Arlington's Junior Wells throws the strong stiff arm against the Bulldog defender and gains a few extra yards at Arlington High School on July 16.

The is the first year that the Arlington Grizzlies, a semi-professional football team, took to the field for the Western Washington Athletic Conference. With the team being so young they have had to deal with a lot of growing pains throughout the season.

At Arlington High School on July 16, they faced the Bellingham Bulldogs and struggled to find their identity on both sides of the ball. After a long four quarters, and a number of unfortunate injuries, the Grizzlies fell to the Bulldogs by a score of 56-6.

"We had a couple of suspensions this week. Not necessarily did that hurt us, but the numbers definitely hurt us. Our quarterback went out with a shoulder injury, then one of our main lineman went out with a shoulder injury as well. We got rid of some people that hurt the team on the mental side of football. Today is a win for us because we showed we could put some points on the board and hang on certain levels. It gives these guys a little insight into next year because these players are young, young men and we're growing," said Head Coach Mark Knapp.

After a rough start, including a season-ending injury to starting quarterback Shayne Noriega, the Grizzlies needed a spark to get the team ready for the rest of the game. That spark came with a big run by Ryley Caldwell late in the second quarter, from over 20 yards out, as he punched in the first and only score of the game for Arlington.

On the defensive side of the ball, Caldwell could be found flying all over the field making some key tackles throughout the game. Dominique Mangini and Shay Quick also contributed on the defense by each grabbing a fumble recovery, and in turn instilling some hope into the Grizzlies.

Looking forward to next year Coach Knapp is already laying out the steps he needs to take in order to make this team play at a higher level. With the Grizzlies first full offseason ahead of them, there looks to be a lot of positivity among the coaching staff. With the last game of the season behind them, Arlington finished the season with an overall record of 2-6.

Andrew Hines

Coty Walker runs past a Bellingham defender on the kick return at Arlington High School on July 16.

"We're changing our offensive scheme for next year. Depth will be there. This year we took all comers, anyone that came and wanted to play we just put them on the team, and that's how we ended up with a 55-man roster. Next year we will pick per position, we will have a combine and cuts. We are already getting a lot of positive attention. I am only going to take so many quarterbacks, so many receivers. At one point we had 25 running backs, but fortunately running backs make good linebackers. The organization is a huge part and at all positions we will be set, and if they don't fit in that then they will be playing on the practice squad," said Head Coach Knapp.

If you are looking to try out for the Grizzlies or want to contribute in another way, all the information you may need can be found at http://wwfa.sportngin.com/.

 

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