Mercer Island senior running back Jack Clayville (pictured) has been one of the most prolific players on offense for his team throughout the 2018 season thus far. The Islanders have compiled an overall record of 5-0 in early season action. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

Mercer Island senior running back Jack Clayville (pictured) has been one of the most prolific players on offense for his team throughout the 2018 season thus far. The Islanders have compiled an overall record of 5-0 in early season action. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

Keeping their eyes on the prize

Formidable schedule awaits Mercer Island football team toward the end of the season.

Pure domination has been on display for the Mercer Island Islanders football program in early season action on the gridiron.

Throughout the first five games of the 2018 season, the Islanders have rattled off five consecutive victories against Mountlake Terrace, Issaquah, Newport, Burlington-Edison and Interlake. Mercer Island has outscored its opponents 128-57 in those five contests.

The Islanders, who advanced to the first round of the 3A state playoffs in 2017, possess a bevy of talented players on the 2018 roster. Mercer Island senior running back Jack Clayville has been the team’s go-to player on the ground. The 5-foot, 11-inch, 175-pound senior is known for his all-out effort in between the tackles and ability to battle for extra yards after contact. Sophomore left-handed quarterback Clay Dippold, who is in first season as the Islanders’ signal caller, is an accurate passer who gets the ball out of his hands quickly to his playmakers. Islander senior wide receiver/safety Cole Miller is not only one of the best athletes on the team, he is one of the best athletes in the 2A/3A KingCo Division. Miller is a ballhawk in the secondary and has a keen sense of where to be at the right time. Islanders’ senior linebacker Will Mulflur has emerged as one of the top players on the roster. Mercer Island linebacker Owen Baebler is adept at stopping the opposing team’s running game as well.

Despite all of the success thus far, the Islanders remain humble and hungry between the white lines.

“I feel that it’s extremely important that we keep that chip on our shoulder,” Mercer Island junior defensive tackle/offensive guard Bryce Fitzwilson said. “As our coaches have been saying, the weight of our schedule is right in front of us. If we are going to have a chance to beat teams like Liberty or Bellevue, we have to keep getting better in practice and pull it all together. That is what it takes to be a championship team.”

The Islanders will close out the regular season against the Liberty Patriots (Oct. 19) and the Bellevue Wolverines (Oct. 26). As of press time, the Wolverines are currently undefeated and Liberty has just one loss on the season. The matchup against the Wolverines is the game I’m personally looking forward to watching the most. The two teams, which are separated by less than five miles, are the epitome of rivals. The game could very well have playoff and postseason implications riding on the outcome.

More in Sports

Mercer Island Islanders senior Grant Stading (No. 19) hustles down the first-base line after hitting a grounder against the Capital Cougars. Capital defeated Mercer Island, 7-1, in the first round of the 3A state playoffs. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Cougars conquer Mercer Island in loser-out playoff game on diamond

Islanders finish the 2019 season with 13 victories.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls lacrosse team hoists the state championship trophy following its 10-9 win against Bainbridge Island on May 17. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Pure Jubilation!!

Mercer Island girls lacrosse team captures a state title.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls golf team captured third place as a team at the 2019 3A Sea-King girls district golf tournament on May 13. The third place finish ensured the Islanders varsity golf team a berth at the Class 3A state tournament. Islanders’ golfers pictured in the above photo are Gihoe Seo, Annelise Rorem, Katelyn Travis, Yumi Baston, Grace Shaddle and Lilly Pruchno. Mercer Island coaches Don Papasedero and Tim Okamura are pictured on the right. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Islanders golf team earns third place at districts

Mercer Island golfer Gihoe Seo earned second place individually

Mercer Island junior Maya Virdell (pictured) captured first place in the 300 hurdles at the 3A KingCo track meet at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Virdell cruises to a first place finish in 300 hurdles

Mercer Island junior continues to dominate in her best event.

Mercer Island senior Maggie Baker (No. 5) captured first place in the 400 at the 3A KingCo track meet at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Baker registers first place finish in the 400

Mercer Island senior takes the top spot.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls 1600 relay team consisting of athletes Maggie Baker, Maya Virdell, Gretchen Blohm and Ashley Rudd, earned first place with a time of 4:07.66 at the 3A KingCo track championships in Kirkland. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Islanders’ quartet finishes in first place in 1600 relay

Mercer Island captures first place by a significant margin.

Mercer Island senior Matthew Capone, left, dribbles the ball up field while being guarded by Juanita sophomore Andrew Taylor in a game on April 11. Juanita defeated Mercer Island, 2-1, in a loser-out, 3A KingCo playoff game on May 7 at Mercer Island High School. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Rebels defeat Islanders in overtime

Mercer Island finishes the 2019 season with eight victories.

Simply sensational!

Tiger Woods’ improbable victory resonates across America.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls golf team currently has an overall record of 3-2 in early season play on the links. The Islanders golf program, which is its 22nd year of existence, has won three state titles, seven KingCo titles and 10 district championships over the past two decades. The 2019 team is led by captains Annelise Rorem and Katelyn Travis. The Islanders registered their 200th career victory as a program earlier this season. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Islanders girls golf team is striving for excellence

The Mercer Island Islanders girls golf team currently has an overall record… Continue reading

Mercer Island junior midfielder Luca Mtskhetadze, left, celebrates with teammate Jonah Hyman, right, after scoring on a header in the 87th minute of play, giving his team a 2-1 lead in overtime. Mercer Island held on for a 2-1 victory against the Juanita Rebels on April 11. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders register comeback victory against Rebels

Mercer Island prevails in overtime against Juanita.

Mercer Island senior outfielder Cole Miller will continue his baseball career with the Huskies next year. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Miller patrols the outfield with passion for the Islanders

Mercer Island senior will continue his baseball career at the University of Washington.

Mercer Island Islanders senior lacrosse player Stew Vassau will continue his lacrosse career at the University of Utah next season. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Vassau wants to lead Mercer Island to a state crown

Islanders are aiming for the pinnacle on the lacrosse field.