Eastside Catholic Crusaders wide receiver Gee Scott Jr. hauls in a deep pass from assistant coach Greg Prator on the second day of practice. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Eastside Catholic Crusaders wide receiver Gee Scott Jr. hauls in a deep pass from assistant coach Greg Prator on the second day of practice. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Crusaders are striving to return to the mountaintop

Eastside Catholic will open season against Oaks Christian at The Honor Bowl.

Throughout the spring practice sessions this past June, a battle for the starting quarterback position at Eastside Catholic commenced between Michael Franklin and Hayden Harris.

Franklin won the job and will be under center for the season opener against Oaks Christian at The Honor Bowl on Sept. 1 in San Diego.

“We’ve chosen Michael. Michael won the job. Hayden is still an integral part of what we’re doing as a team. He is going to start on defense and or wide receiver and will be our backup quarterback,” Crusaders head coach Jeremy Thielbahr said.

The Crusaders will face a formidable test against Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, California) in a showdown between West Coast powerhouses high school football programs.

“High school football is an experience and to be able to give these kids an opportunity to be with each other, hang out on the road and go play a top-10 team in the state of California is a big deal. Oaks Christian has got great talent and is unbelievably well coached,” Thielbahr said.

Thielbahr isn’t only looking forward to the game, he is looking forward to everything The Honor Bowl has to offer.

“We went two years ago and we had a great time. We will honor our veterans and spend some time with our wounded warriors. We’re going to go up to Camp Pendleton (Marine Corps Base Camp) and visit with them (military personnel) and listen to their stories,” Thielbahr said. “It puts a lot of things into perspective for our kids.”

The Crusaders talent is evident at every position group on the field this fall. Gee Scott, Jr. (wide receiver), DJ Rogers (tight end), Sam Adams (running back), Ayden Hector (defensive back) and Jaylahn Tuimoloau (lineman) continue to garner attention from a plethora of collegiate football programs. The Crusaders are aiming to get back to the state title game after being eliminated in the Class 3A state quarterfinals last year and in the in Class 3A state semifinals in 2016.

“They’re hungry. Our motto this year is to prove it. Prove it every day and prove it every down. It’s time for us to prove it,” Thielbahr said.

EASTSIDE CATHOLIC

Schedule

Sept. 1 Oaks Christian (San Diego Honor Bowl), 12 p.m.

Sept. 8 Central Catholic (Seattle Memorial Stadium), 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 RIGBY, 7 p.m.

Sept. 21 RAINIER BEACH, 7 p.m.

Sept. 28 GARFIELD, 7 p.m.

Oct. 5 at O’Dea (Seattle Memorial Stadium), 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 SEATTLE PREP, 7 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Bishop Blanchet, 7 p.m.

Eastside Catholic Crusaders head football coach Jeremy Thielbahr talks with his team before they conduct a team prayer prior to the start of practice on Aug. 16 in Sammamish. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Eastside Catholic Crusaders head football coach Jeremy Thielbahr talks with his team before they conduct a team prayer prior to the start of practice on Aug. 16 in Sammamish. Shaun Scott/staff photo

More in Sports

Grittiness propels Eagles on diamond / Column

Issaquah baseball squad clinches berth in 4A state semifinals.

Issaquah Eagles senior Taiga Crenshaw (No. 10) is surrounded by a bevy of Mount Si Wildcats players in the 4A state quarterfinals on May 18 at Gary Moore Stadium in Issaquah. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Eagles’ comeback rally denied by Wildcats

Mount Si defeats Issaquah, 3-2, in the 4A state soccer quarterfinals.

Issaquah Eagles sophomore hurdler Matt Wilkinson finished in first place in the 300 hurdles at the 4A KingCo track championships with a time of 39.85. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Wilkinson captures first-place finish in 300 hurdles

Sophomore is proving himself on the track.

Issaquah Eagles senior Sam Griffith earned first place in the 800 at 2019 4A KingCo track championships at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Griffith earns first place in the 800

Issaquah senior finishes in top spot.

Issaquah Eagles sophomore Julia David-Smith captured first place at the 2019 KingCo Championships in the 4A girls 3,200 with a time of 10:59.05 on May 8 at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. David-Smith also earned a first-place finish in the 1,600 with a time of 5:00.37. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
David-Smith cruises to first place finishes in the 3,200 and 1,600

Issaquah distance runner continues to dominate.

Knights defeat Eagles in 4A KingCo softball matchup

Newport junior pitcher Hanako Hirai tosses a no-hitter.

Issaquah Eagles senior Sam Griffith (pictured in the center) registered a fourth-place finish in the 1,600-meter run at the Nike Eason Invitational on April 20 in Snohomish. Griffith tallied a time of 4:20.6. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Griffith captures fourth place in the 1,600

Issaquah senior displays excellence against a talented group of athletes.

Issaquah Eagles sophomore Julia David-Smith (pictured on left) captured second place in the 800 meters at the Nike Eason Invitational on April 20 in Snohomish. David-Smith clocked a time of 2:13.01. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
David-Smith earns second place in the 800

Issaquah sophomore clocks a fast time at a formidable meet.

The Sound Rowers race is one of the most sought-after events of the year on Lake Sammamish. The event took place on April 13. Photo courtesy of Michael Aria Lampi/Gig Harbor Paddling Club
Paddling to first-place finishes in the water

Rowers compete in a coveted event.

Simply sensational!

Tiger Woods’ improbable victory resonates across America.

Issaquah Eagles shortstop Tyler Reese, left, and second baseman Joseph DePalo turn a game-saving double play in the top of the sixth inning with the bases loaded. Issaquah defeated Ingelmoor 2-0 on April 12 in Issaquah. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Eagles shut out Vikings on the diamond

Issaquah hurler Tyler Odegard tosses a one-hitter against Inglemoor.