- About Us
Kirkland's Juanita Rebels look to take next step with balanced attack in 2013 | Football Preview
Balance is key in all aspects of life. In football it is essential to winning.
Juanita High School head football coach Shaun Tarantola is convinced the Rebels have the most balance he has seen in his tenure.
“In 2010 our strength was among our linebackers and linemen,” Tarantola said about what he considers his best team since coaching the Rebels. “This year we have balance throughout the team.”
Balance is most key on offense. Being able to run and pass the ball keeps opposing defenses on their toes. The Rebels not only have balance between the run and pass, they also have talent.
“Offensively we will be able to do anything the defense gives us,” Tarantola said. “The skill guys are young but they are super talented. Our receivers, running backs and quarterbacks are better than we have seen [as a group] in a long time.”
Leading the way on offense will be co-captain and senior wide receiver Landyn Milburn and quarterback Tavin Montgomery.
“He knows how to run the offense and all of our wide receivers know how to get open to make big plays,” said Milburn. “We also have a lot of young talent being looked at by colleges.”
Colleges are already scouting freshman running back Salvon Ahmed and ESPN has ranked Thomas Toki in the top 40 nationally for linemen. That youth will give the Rebels another element of balance with strong depth.
“We are able to do a lot of rotating because of our depth, which will keep all of our guys fresh,” said Milburn.
Everything on offense and defense starts at the line of scrimmage. Tarantola said this year’s linemen are the biggest and most physical he has seen and all have varsity game experience.
“We have a lot of veteran depth this year and the line group is huge,” said senior lineman and co-captain Blake Peterson.
The defense also boasts the same balance but will have to be on their toes to take on powerhouse teams such as Bellevue and Mount Si.
“We only lost to Bellevue 21-14 last year and we get them at home again,” said Milburn. This could be the year.”
Bellevue is the perennial state power at the 3A level and will be a tough test for the Rebels if they want to make some noise in KingCo. But the Rebels also want some payback against Mount Si, which gave them one of their three losses last year.
“We owe them one,” Peterson said.
“They both beat us very badly last year and we feel like we have improved since then,” said Tarantola. “How we play against those teams will be a great way to measure how much we have grown as a team in a year.”
Despite the two regular season losses last year, the Rebels made the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, eventually losing to Kelso as the No. 3 seed from KingCo.
The 3A KingCo division is one of the most competitive in the state year-in and year-out.
“[Making the playoffs] is a normal thing for these guys,” said Tarantola about his program. “They are used to making the post-season. But we want to take the next step and our motto is ‘good to great.’”
Rebels’ football schedule
Sept. 6 at Inglemoor 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 Monroe at home 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 Mount Si at home 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 at Liberty 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 Bellevue at home 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Mercer Island 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Sammamish 7 p.m.
Oct. 25 Lake Washington at home 7 p.m.
Nov. 1 Interlake at home 7 p.m.
Nov. 8 Crossover or playoff TBD
All home games played at Juanita High School.
For more information on the Rebels visit www.juanitafootball.com.