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.
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.