It’s not the band AFI, but a host of Juanita High football players who are proudly rocking their mantra — which stands for “accountability, family, integrity” — on T-shirts as the season approaches.
Last season, Juanita took a hit on its roster with a plethora of injuries to some starters and lost some close games late in the contests. The Rebels finished with one win, but they were just a few plays away from notching several more, head coach Lele Te’o said during spring workouts.
Juanita is firmly focused on moving forward from 2017 and making an impact in the Rebels’ 3A KingCo and nonleague battles this season.
“I’m excited with the effort, I think there’s a good energy out there,” Te’o said on Aug. 20 following training in the school gym due to poor air quality. “These guys, they showed us what they’re about in the summer. A lot of these guys are multi-sport athletes, so they put in the work this offseason.”
Te’o praised the players’ selflessness and Snap to Whistle mentality (another of the team’s credos) to ensure a robust effort the whole way.
Tops on the returner front, according to Te’o, are hard-working senior quarterback and leader Jake Hohu (6 feet, 175 pounds), who has three years of Rebel experience under his belt and displays a calm and collected demeanor; senior running back/safety Isaiah Eubanks (5-11, 195), who is a hard-nosed player; senior wingback/cornerback Jake Languein (5-11, 175), who the Rebels are glad to have back in the fold after tearing an ACL at the end of last year; senior offensive and defensive tackle Sebastian Garcia (6-2, 330); and senior defensive end/tight end Romeon Greve (6-1, 205).
Garcia is a two-time all-KingCo first-teamer, Eubanks was a first-teamer last year and Greve and Languein were honorable mentions in 2017.
Other players to watch are junior guard Blake VanWyk; junior wide receiver/defensive back George Suzuki, who provides a vital presence in the weight room and in the community; and sophomore center Zubin Gupta.
Whether the Rebels are practicing inside or outside or dealing with whatever stands in their way, Te’o said: “Whatever it is we’re doing in life, whether it’s football practice, whether it’s work — we’re not gonna let any circumstances dictate the level of effort or level of energy that we put into anything.”
Aug. 31: BALLARD, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7: MOUNTAIN VIEW, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14: INGLEMOOR, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21: LYNNWOOD, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28: LIBERTY, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5: at Mercer Island, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12: INTERLAKE, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19: at Bellevue, 7 p.m.