WARRENTON, Ore. - Ilwaco won the overall skills competition among 12 teams at the annual football camp at Camp Rilea last week, and defeated Napavine 6-0 as part of the "super scrimmage" for coach Kevin McNulty, to boot.
"We pulled the game out," McNulty said of his team's victory over the Tigers. "They had the ball inside the five-yard line and fumbled once and we stopped them another time inside the five." McNulty, who had "about an hour-long meeting" to prepare his charges for their first scrimmage, took an 11-year hiatus from coaching the Fishermen, but will return to the helm this fall.
"The camp was more about me getting familiar with the players and coaches and them becoming familiar with me. It was all about keeping it positive and trying to instill a winning attitude to not dwell on the bad when bad things happen," he stressed.
Running back Eddie Knick, who hopes to gain over 1,000 yards for his fourth straight season, won the overall strength, running, and agility skills competition for backs and Nick Morrison of Ilwaco did the same for the linemen. McNulty praised the quarterbacking and leadership contributions of Jake Nesbitt and said of Steven Hylton, diminutive Fishermen nose guard, "He made things happen when Steven was in there."
Veteran scorekeeper Rod Anderson noted that Rey Sanchez, Matt Kaino, Jordan DeSimone and Justin Short each caught passes from Nesbitt in the super scrum, with Short's being the only touchdown of the game. Adna, in class 2B, appeared to be the most powerful squad in the 12-team camp, as they dominated Pacific B favorite South Bend 18-0 and their JV team downed Portland Christian 6-0.
Ilwaco finished second in their six-team pool in the seven-on-seven passing league and lost the cross-over game for third place in the camp. The linemen were third in their pool and claimed fifth overall.
"We had lots of scrimmage time and we installed some of the basics of the offense and defense. I was able to evaluate personnel and I believe we made a positive start toward becoming a cohesive team."
The Fishermen will begin practice Aug. 15 and their first game will be at Cathlamet against the Mules Aug. 31, a team they defeated in an early scrimmage Tuesday at camp. There were about 20 athletes who participated at Camp Rilea for Ilwaco. The scrimmages consisted of 16 plays on offense and 16 on defense, with each squad beginning with the football on the 40 yard line. A turnover or not gaining 10 yards in four downs moved the ball back to the 40 yard line. There were no extra point tries.