Football runs a marathon, not a sprint

Dec 3, 2022


Jackie Su (she/her)

Juniors Brian Alcaraz and Theo Groshong tackle Mariner High School’s running back on Nov. 4.

Last year, the football program decided to switch from Kingco 4A to an independent schedule starting in the 2022 season. This new schedule consisted of opponent teams mostly from the 3A standing. This decision came after the significant difference in both the number and physical size of Inglemoor’s players versus the players from the other Kingco 4A schools, which caused a number of serious injuries. The switch to an independent schedule meant that the team would no longer be able to play their district rivals: Woodinville, North Creek and Bothell. In addition to the change in standing, Coach Marcus Carr took over for Steve Hannan as the new head coach.

Sophomore quarterback Gavin Krambrink (he/him) said the independent schedule has given the team the opportunity to play more fair games.

“It’s better for our team to see how we compare to other teams. Before, we were just seen as terrible because we were losing and not scoring,” said Krambrink.

Senior Mathayus Macaraeg (he/him), who plays nose tackle, said it’s disappointing that the team doesn’t play the other schools in the Northshore School District, but he understands that it’ll be helpful long-term.

“Maybe we’re not there yet,” said Macaraeg. “So I feel like it is good to test the waters and play against the other teams and not be limited to playing three games that we know just aren’t going to be fair.”

Macaraeg said he thinks the team has definitely improved this season, but the student body doesn’t see the improvements unless they win games.

Junior Matteus Senna runs past his opponent and carries the ball across the 30 yard line during a kick-off return on Nov. 4. (Jackie Su (she/her))

He added that the team could improve upon mental preparation and taking things seriously. According to Macaraeg, communication within the offense is also an issue, as a lack of offensive coaches has taken a toll on the receivers. 

Krambrink agreed that the offense struggled this year, and attributed it to the fact that they had to adjust to new offensive plays this year. In previous years, the team has focused more heavily on running the ball rather than throwing it. 

“We’re actually throwing the ball, which is something we had to get used to, and [there are] a lot of changes in the offense on who’s playing and who’s not,” said Krambrink. “Injuries affect our offense.”

Krambrink said he hasn’t necessarily noticed a decrease in injuries since the switch to an independent schedule.

“We’re just as injured because we’re still playing good teams. There’s definitely about the same amount of injuries, if not more this year,” said Krambrink. “I think it’s just all about how we play. But we can’t really avoid the injuries. It’s just a part of it.”

Macaraeg said that players easily get worn out or tired because the team does not have enough players to replace them on the field. Moreover, many players continue to play while suffering injuries considered minor, which over time, exacerbates the injury. 

Senior Kaloni Yong (he/him) said that although there are a similar amount of injuries compared to last season, the injuries are far less severe this year. 

Last year, just in the three games against the 4A high schools in NSD, there was one fractured clavicle, two fractured legs, a fractured wrist and one ACL tear. 

Macaraeg said this year, the team’s chemistry has improved, which has made it easier to make calls in the field and communicate. He said the biggest improvement he’s seen is the team’s willingness to show up, especially the seniors on the team, who are great leaders for the team.

“It might just be because we’re seniors, but we really feel like this is an important season so we’re taking this kind of seriously,” said Macaraeg. “That’s what I feel like is an underrated improvement.”

Krambrink agreed that the team’s chemistry has improved, and said he’s become closer to a lot of the players this year. 

Krambrink credited Carr for bringing the team together by implementing more team-building initiatives. 

“He also works to make sure everyone’s understanding what they’re doing. And if they don’t understand, they’re not going to play— whereas last year, everyone was getting to play,” said Krambrink. 

Macaraeg said that this year, players don’t get to play just because they’re seniors. 

“The people who deserve to be on the field are actually on the field,” he said.

Senior Jesus Enriquez, junior Christian Solomona and senior Jack Detmon hold back Mariner
High School’s offensive line on Nov. 4. (Jackie Su (she/her))

Krambrink credited seniors Detric Riley (he/him), Jack Detmon (he/him) and CJ Ugokwoli (he/him), and juniors Christian Solomona (he/him) and Theo Groshong (he/him), for maintaining a strong defense. 

Macaraeg praised the team’s defense and said that their strength isn’t reflected on the scoreboard because of some offensive mistakes that have put the defense in difficult positions.

“Our defense definitely is our bright spot because we have a lot of playmakers and our linebackers are really good. We have linebackers who want to be there and they like to get physical.” 

Macaraeg said that he believes the team’s biggest strength, however, is the culture fostered between the players. 

“We genuinely love each other and stuff like that. And we really want to play for each other. We don’t play for ourselves. We play for the people beside us,” said Macaraeg.

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