Kang Hudson Jones, middle, displays his toughness during practice on Aug. 23. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

Kang Hudson Jones, middle, displays his toughness during practice on Aug. 23. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

‘Always Rising’: Lake Washington football ready for action

Arena begins his second year as head coach.

As Lake Washington High head coach Andy Arena shuffled through some players’ paperwork before practice, the motto “Always Rising” emblazoned on the pages stuck out like a stellar pass spiraling down field toward the welcoming hands of a wide receiver.

The Kangs’ LW clearly dominated part of the message and Arena noted that former head coach AJ Parnell devised the positive slogan.

The Kangs finished 7-4 overall last season with a 3-2 mark in 3A KingCo. The squad’s season ended with a 27-10 loss to Mountain View in the 3A district playoffs at McKenzie Stadium in Vancouver. They’ll kick off this year on the road at 7 p.m. Aug. 31 at Steilacoom.

Arena believes his players are executing at a higher level since this is the second consecutive season LW has run the RPO — run-pass option — pistol-type offense.

“We’re gonna try and keep teams honest. If they pack the box, we’ll throw it, and if they don’t, we’ll try and run it,” Arena said of his no-huddle formation.

Senior Zeke Pelluer (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) will lead the way at quarterback and is a solid athlete, said Arena, noting that his signal caller threw a touchdown pass, caught a touchdown pass as a wide receiver and played some defense in the Kangs’ spring scrimmage against Monroe.

Other top players include senior inside linebacker/running back Brady Gockel (6-0, 200); senior Nick Anderson (5-11, 185) at outside linebacker-safety/halfback; senior Taylor Rickels (6-0, 160) at slot receiver and cornerback; senior Levani Eneliko (6-1, 245), a first-team defensive lineman last season who will also play offensive line; and senior Hudson Jones (6-4, 190), a wide receiver who had 13 catches in his first two games last year before sustaining a season-ending broken foot.

Former Seattle Seahawks and Redmond High offensive-line coach Bill Laveroni will fill that position at LW this season and two of his top players are juniors David Dean (6-2, 235) and Ryan Thomson (6-2, 230), both of whom started last year.

Arena feels comfortable in his spot for the second year and is impressed with the LW football culture.

“Our kids have learned to lead each other and care about each other,” said Arena, noting that while the social media world is so me-focused, “I told our guys let’s try to learn how to be unselfish, let’s try to learn how to give to our teammates and help them.”

LAKE WASHINGTON

Schedule

Aug. 31: at Steilacoom, 7 p.m.

Sept. 7: EASTLAKE, 7 p.m.

Sept. 14: at Redmond, 7 p.m.

Sept. 21: at Marysville Pilchuck (Quil Ceda Stadium), 7 p.m.

Sept. 28: BELLEVUE, 7 p.m.

Oct. 5: at Liberty, 7 p.m.

Oct. 12: MERCER ISLAND, 7 p.m.

Oct. 19: at Interlake, 7 p.m.

Oct. 26: JUANITA, 7 p.m.

Lake Washington High quarterback Zeke Pelluer looks down field for a receiver on June 7. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

Lake Washington High quarterback Zeke Pelluer looks down field for a receiver on June 7. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

More in Sports

Blasting through the pool, racking up victories

Lake Washington swim and dive team shines in KingCo.

Kangs defeat Rebels in girls hoops showdown

Lake Washington and Juanita players battle for the ball in a 2A/3A… Continue reading

Lake Washington defeats Juanita in boys hoops; local girls squads face off tonight

Torin Montgomery amassed 15 points and 17 rebounds to lead Lake Washington… Continue reading

Intong leads tight-knit Juanita team to success

Rebel senior jumps into her fourth year on the squad.

Liesse helps lead LW to hot hoops start

Kang sophomore possesses an all-around game.

Amberly Melendez: Walking the long road

Northwest University graduate shines on the world racewalking scene

Registration now open for Kirkland Little League 2019 season

Registration for the spring 2019 season for both Kirkland American (south Kirkland)… Continue reading

Juanita battles Bellevue in hoops action

Juanita’s Tyler King reaches for the ball while Rebel Jake Hohu provides… Continue reading

Kirkland athletes are ready to row in college

Kelly, Laukaitis compete for Sammamish Rowing Association.

Lake Washington, Juanita football players earn all-league honors

A plethora of Lake Washington and Juanita football players earned 2A/3A KingCo… Continue reading

Kirkland-based adult tennis squad takes second at nationals

Mixed doubles squad travels to Florida for tourney.