Photo courtesy of Malinda Mizell
When the 2019 Cedarville football season starts, Head Coach, Max Washausen, will be starting his fourth year as the Pirates captain. It’s been a journey that has not only changed his life but many of his players lives as well. In just a few short years, Coach Washausen along with Assistant Coach Jarrod Remer, have taken a down and out football program and given it a complete makeover.
“The program has completely changed,” explains Coach Washausen. “In 2016 we started from the ground level as far as a football program goes. At that time we only had 20 players on the team and the entire 2015 seventh through twelfth grade season, had only won a combined six games. Flash forward to now, and the Junior High has won back to back conference championships in 2017 and 2018 and our Senior High team went 4-6 last season beating a well coached Mansfield team who ended up making it to the playoffs.”
This season, the Cedarville Pirates are bringing more to the table than ever before. “We have more depth than we have ever had in previous years. More and more players are doing what it takes during the summer to turn this into a successful program. The seniors have seen improvement every single year and the tenth and eleventh graders were back to back Jr High conference champs.”
Historically, the Cedarville football program has only had five winning seasons. But if you ask anybody in Pirate territory, this season that’s all going to change. The 3A-1 Cedarville Pirates are sitting in a conference with Booneville, Charleston, Greenland, Lamar, Mansfield, Paris, and West Fork. “If we continue to have good team chemistry and overcome adversity early in the season, I believe we will have one of the best seasons Cedarville football has had in a while.”
The returning senior high team is hoping to achieve success on a few goals that they have set in place for the upcoming season. To beat rivals, the Mountainburg Dragons. To beat Charleston for the first time in senior high history. To go 3-0 against the Mansfield Tigers. To make the playoffs. And to become Conference Champions.
A few Cedarville players you’ll want to keep your eye on this season include sophomore Runningback and Offensive Linebacker, Darryl Kattich, who according to Coach Washausen is “one of the most talented runningbacks I have seen in a long time.” Junior Runningback and Free Safety, Kelin Mitchell who rushed for over 900 yards and 13 touchdowns in his sophomore year.
Three-year starter on the Offensive and Defensive Line, senior Alex Ascencio. Strong-armed senior Quarterback and Linebacker, Calloway Henslee. Sophomore Middle Linebacker and Fullback, Hayden Partain who Coach Washausen says “is very smart, tough, and the ultimate teammate.”
Senior Offensive and Defensive Lineman, Kolbye Beals, “has a great attitude and is always ready to give 100 percent.” Kevin Jones, also a senior Offensive and Defensive Lineman, has great size and strength which helps him stand apart from the crowd. Adding depth in the Quarterback position is junior Nick Moore and sophomore Cody Dickens. And sophomore Bruce Turney and junior Tommy Metcalf are returning as starters on Offense and Defense. In total, Cedarville is returning seven starters on Offense and seven starters on Defense for the upcoming season.
The Cedarville Pirates football program seems to be on the rise and the 2019 season just might be what sends it over the top. Coach Washausen concludes, “I think we need to continue on the path we are headed. In 2015 we literally had 1 or two players willing to do what it takes to be a winning program and now we have the majority of the team doing what it takes. We need a total team commitment to getting better and it’s coming with this group.” Cedarville kicks off their football season on August 30 at 7 p.m. against the Rebels at Westside.