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Football | Mercer Island fall sports previews
COACH: Brett Ogata
NUMBER OF ATHLETES: 109
LAST SEASON: The Islanders earned their first state win since 1988, beating Ferndale last November. The team finished 8-3 overall and was 6-1 in KingCo.
STRENGTHS: “The offensive line is really good. We have a lot of returning guys, and I’m really, really happy with what we’re seeing,” said head coach Brett Ogata.
FOCUS: “Fundamentals,” said Ogata. “Making sure we know the plays and the routes.”
“We haven’t had a bad practice yet, so that’s a very good thing,” said captain Risley Lesko.
CAPTAINS: Brian Rauzi, Risley Lesko, Brian Higgins, Alex Emanuels, Sean Pyne and Matt Hassall.
GAME TO WATCH: “We’re ready to play everyone and do a better job of building on our success,” said Ogata. “Our game in Idaho will be the first time ever a football team has played out of state, so we hope to play well and compete. Couer d’Alene is two-time defending 6A state champions, so it’s a great experience for the kids. In the playoffs you don’t always get to play somewhere familiar.”
The captains agreed their top two games to watch this season will be against Mount Si and Bellevue.
“We’re excited to be the first team at Mercer Island to play a game out of state,” said quarterback Higgins.