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Kingco 4A Notebook: Wolves hunt for title at Skyline

Posted Thursday, October 27, 2005 by Gene Dales

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Kingco 4A Notebook: Wolves hunt for title at Skyline

By SHAWN DEVINE
SPECIAL TO THE POST-INTELLIGENCER

SAMMAMISH -- With one game remaining in the regular season, former Skyline High assistant football coach Gene Dales has his new team, Eastlake, on the brink of a KingCo 4A title.

But the Wolves (8-0, 8-0) must get past Skyline (8-0, 8-0), ranked No. 2 in the P-I Super 11, in the regular-season finale battle of unbeatens tonight at Skyline Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

From 2001-04, Dales was the defensive coordinator at Skyline under head coach Steve Gervais. In eight years, Gervais has a 3A state title (2000) and a runner-up finish in the Spartans' first 4A campaign a year ago.

Dales is trying to duplicate the success he experienced at Skyline.

So far, so good.

The Wolves are headed to the district playoffs for just the second time in school history. The winner of this game not only wins the league title but also the No.1 seed into districts.

"Coach Dales has basically revolutionized the way we play football at Eastlake," senior running back Ryan 'Mo' Manougian said. "It's more of a get-after-it attitude. We analyze film more, we practice harder, we run more, we're more unified as a team.

"Try to find a guy on the team that doesn't love playing football for Eastlake. It's amazing how close we are and how much fun we have playing the game. Things have definitely changed at Eastlake."

The Wolves have had to overcome a string of injuries to key players. Manougian was sidelined the first two weeks of the season with a knee injury. In his place, junior Dane Steel gained 238 yards and scored three touchdowns. Starting quarterback Jack Brinck went down with a separated shoulder three weeks ago, and Brinck's replacement, Tanor Johnson, was injured in the Garfield game.

The Wolves continue to win despite the setbacks.

"It's been amazing," Brinck said. "It's just people stepping up left and right. We're a deep team and we have confidence in all of our backups."

Skyline is led by left-handed quarterback Jason Harris. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior has thrown for a league-best 1,691 yards and 19 touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Tony Chidiac is the primary target, with a league-leading 35 catches for 528 yards and five touchdowns.

SOCCER SET: Seeds and pairings are set for the KingCo 4A soccer tournament.

Action begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. with No. 6 Eastlake at No. 3 Redmond and No. 5 Inglemoor vs. No. 4 Garfield at Pop Keeney Stadium. Tuesday at Skyline High, The winners of those games play at 5:30. No. 2 Woodinville and top-seeded Skyline play at 7:30.

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