Shaun Scott, staff photo Newport Knights running back Justin Baker, right, turns up the field after catching a pass in the flat during the third day of spring football practice on June 16 at Newport High School in Factoria.

Knights are disciplined on the football field

Being disciplined and accountable is the mantra of the Newport Knights football program.

Newport head coach Drew Oliver, who is in his fourth season as head coach, wholeheartedly believes leading a football program is about much more than just what transpires on the scoreboard.

“It is about more than what happens between the white lines on the field,” Oliver said. “I can’t say enough about how proud I am of these guys and how much they’ve bought into our program. It is a testament to them and we will continue to be disciplined, focus on the details and make sure nothing slips through the cracks.”

Oliver said this year’s senior class were freshman the first time he set foot on campus as head coach in 2014.

“We got a great group of seniors that have been in our program since the beginning. They are great character kids. I’m proud of how they act in school and the approach they have. Watching those guys coaching up their younger teammates and helping them get better is great. It is a fun place to be,” Oliver said.

The focus of spring practices is to get back to the basics of the game.

“Every year is a new year. It’s reconnecting this thing and getting back to these familiar faces back in the fold and getting the new guys caught up,” Oliver said. “We are starting to lay that foundation right now.”

The Knights, who had an overall record of 1-9 during the 2016 season, are looking to rebound this season.

“Obviously, we are in the toughest league (KingCo 4A Conference) in the state. We respect all of our opponents. We got to concentrate on our execution and who we are and what we do. The rest is going to take care of itself,” he said.

The Knights are the kind of football program who believe in having a proficient rushing attack.

“We have an identity and we stick with our identity. We don’t deviate from who we are. We are going to continue to evolve and use the talent and personnel that we have to best fit them. We started working on some wrinkles last year and we are going to continue that,” he said.

Oliver said his team’s top returners on the gridiron this fall will be quarterback Brandon Steinberg, safety/receiver Marcus Fukutomi, offensive/defensive lineman Charlie Baumman and Justin Anderson.