Totems are focused on details on the gridiron

Blocking and tackling are undoubtedly two of the most important aspects of the game of football.

Sammamish Totems’ head football coach Rylen Akana, who will be in his first season leading the program after being hired this past February, made sure his players were focused on those two key aspects during spring football practice sessions in June. Totems’ sophomore Victor Tobias, who is slated to be the starting center on the offensive line this fall, is enjoying Akana and his staff’s coaching style.

“It is a great feeling. I honestly think with this team we have a new spirit about us. It means a lot,” Tobias said. “We’re a new team that is growing and we’re going to take it one step at a time.”

Akana said spring practice sessions are predicated upon learning as much as about the sport as possible. There were close to 40 players in attendance for the first week of spring practices.

“It is strictly about fundamentals. We are instilling a little bit of our offense and our defense but it isn’t too intricate right now,” Akana said. “We are going back to the basics. We are learning to be in position and get our feet in good spots. That is what spring is about. The guys are getting after it. We are trying to change the culture and it’s looking good so far.”

Akana’s son, Coby, will play quarterback for the Totems. The junior signal caller is optimistic about his team’s chances for success in 2017.

“We’re a young team right now so we’re still developing. It all starts with how we act as a team together,” Coby explained. “We’ll continue to get better as the season goes along.”

The Totems have one player who has already caught the eye of college scouts. Senior outside linebacker/wide receiver Tao McClinton will be one of the top players in the KingCo 3A/2A Division.

“He is going to be huge for us on offense and defense. He is already being recruited by a couple of D-1 schools. Coaches have already came here to look at him. There is no doubt Tao is going to be huge for us,” Akana said.