The final portion of the Newport Knights football practice on Aug. 17 epitomized the intensity and culture of the program.
Newport offensive coordinator Eric Peterson led his team through sled drills, where multiple players simultaneously hit and drive a heavy piece of equipment as hard as possible all over the field. The Knights hit the sled 18 times, driving it close to 55 yards on the final exercise of practice. The effort and will required to hit the sled time and time again with Peterson shouting words of encouragement is a microcosm of how Newport football operates. The Knights pride themselves on running the football and played hard-nosed defense.
Newport fifth year head coach Drew Oliver thoroughly enjoys watching his players push themselves on sled exercises.
“We call it the power mesh. They’re enthusiastic about it. It is based on the clock and the number of plays we can get in a certain amount of time. We’re tracking and trying to set a goal every day and beat it,” Oliver said. “We do it to develop an identity. Those are the things that we come back to during the season when things get tough. We think about the power mesh and think about we’ve done in the past. There is a sense of pride around it.”
The Knights football program will be led by senior quarterback Tre Louis in 2018. Newport also returns key offensive/defensive linemen Sean An and Logan Richards.
“They are both stalwarts and have been starting for us for a couple of years now,” Oliver said of Richards and An.
While winning as many football games as possible is always the goal of any team, Oliver believes leading a football program is about much more than what transpires on the scoreboard.
“We’re on the 20-year plan. Some of my coaching mentors always talked about the bigger picture. Wins and losses are going to take care of themselves. The players on the team are going to learn so much from this opportunity and this experience. You can’t recreate that,” Oliver said of being part of a football team. “We’re trying to grow great young men. Accountability is huge. We want to compete our tails off in everything we do.”
Aug. 31 INTERLAKE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 at Bellevue, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 at Mercer Island 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 SKYLINE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 at Issaquah, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 INGLEMOOR, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 EASTLAKE, 7 p.m.