Knights football program focuses on the fundamentals

Drew Oliver is an old-school kind of coach on gridiron.

Wins are important but they don’t mean everything to Newport Knights head football coach Drew Oliver.

Oliver, who will be in his sixth season leading the football program this fall, focuses on the 20-year plan as opposed to the four-year plan.

“Football will end at some point for everybody. Our goal is for everybody to keep going for as long as they want, but our 20-year plan is how they develop and what they learn about life is far greater,” Oliver said. “I think we have a role and responsibility as coaches to do that. If we’re not taking advantage of that opportunity, then we’re not doing it right. it is big to me and big to all of our coaches that we take advantage of the captive audience that we have. We all love this game and we use the hook of the game to focus on the bigger picture in life.”

The Knights went through three weeks of spring practices in preparation for the spring game, which took place on June 15.

“That is something for our guys to build toward and get excited about,” Oliver said before a spring practice on June 10. “It gives us a little bit of a different feeling for the spring having that game at the end. We get to test ourselves.”

The Knights will rely on the playmaking ability of junior quarterback/defensive back Nirun Turner on both sides of the ball this fall.

“He has worked really hard in the offseason. We’re expecting good things from him. He is an athlete and we’re going to utilize that wherever we can,” Oliver said.

Oliver, who moved to the Eastgate section of Bellevue in the summer of 2018, is thrilled to be just minutes from the Newport High School campus on a daily basis. Oliver is a teacher at the Big Picture School in Bellevue. Big Picture School is less than four miles Newport High School in Factoria.

“My new house is just about five minutes from everything, which is great,” Oliver said.