Sammamish Totems quarterback Coby Akana (pictured) will be in his second season as the starting quarterback. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Sammamish Totems quarterback Coby Akana (pictured) will be in his second season as the starting quarterback. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Totems are looking to take the next step

Sammamish will be an experienced squad in 2018.

Experience plays a pivotal factor in success on the gridiron.

Players who have been through battles in the past typically rise to the occasion when adversity hits. The Totems football team, which finished with an overall record of 4-5 last season, have one of the most experienced squads they’ve fielded in years this fall.

“We’re senior heavy this year. A lot of our players back were our main guys last year. They’ve gotten a lot better over the offseason and have gotten a lot stronger. The man thing that we need to do is keep everybody healthy,” Totems head coach Rylen Akana said. Akana’s son Coby will be in his second season as the starting signal caller. Last year Akana didn’t give Coby much freedom at the quarterback spot but said that will change this year.

“I am going to cut him a loose a little bit this year. I kind of was a little cautious last year even though he understood the defenses he was facing. I didn’t let him run much last year but I’m going to give him a little more leeway to take off with the ball if he has the opportunity to do it. He has put in a lot of time during the offseason and is ready to go,” Akana said of Coby.

The Totems have a bevy of key returners, including Brandon Zanders (wide receiver/defensive back), Daniel Sushkin (slot receiver, defensive end), Ryan Hervey (tight end), Tony Oliva (running back), Cameron Arsenian (linebacker) and Aman Anwar (defensive end).

“Harvey is going to add a lot to this offense this year. He has worked hard in the offseason on his speed and strength. Oliva is a really shifty running back. We should be able to put points on the board and move the ball,” Akana said of the offense. “The real surprise on defense last year was Aman Anwar. He was really undersized but was so quick and strong. This year he has put on a lot of weight and has developed his speed. He just gets after it and understands leverage.”

Since Akana accepted the Totems head coaching position in February of 2017, he’s been focused on community involvement with his players just as much as fine tuning their skills on the gridiron. This past July, the Totems volunteered their time at the Lake Hills neighborhood association picnic, where players got to know members of the community.

“We do community service projects during the year. This year we helped at the Lake Hills picnic that was held in July. The guys set up football drills for the kids. It was really great to see them out and really give back to the community. I think the community really appreciated that,” Akana said.

SAMMAMISH

Schedule

Aug. 31 CEDARCREST, 7 p.m.

Sept. 7 at Interlake, 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 at Bellingham, 7 p.m.

Sept. 21 at ROOSEVELT, 7 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Lakeside, 7 p.m.

Oct. 5 CLEVELAND, 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 at Chief Sealth, 7 p.m.

Oct. 19 BALLARD, 7 p.m.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Sammamish Totems head coach Rylen Akana will be in his second season as head coach of the program. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Sammamish Totems head coach Rylen Akana will be in his second season as head coach of the program. Shaun Scott/staff photo

More in Sports

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

Athletic practices and competitions cancelled through April 24 due to coronavirus outbreak

By Andy Nystrom and Benjamin Olson Gov. Jay Inslee announced on March… Continue reading

Local basketball standouts receive KingCo all-league honors

Bellevue-area basketball players received KingCo boys and girls all-league honors for the… Continue reading

Vikings end season at the SunDome

The Bellevue Christian boys lose to Meridian in the 1A state basketball tournament in Yakima.

Games are being postponed in response to coronavirus outbreak

In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Eastside schools are taking precautions… Continue reading

Hardwood Classic tips off after coronavirus outbreak

By Benjamin Olson and Andy Nystrom Basketball players took to the court… Continue reading

Relay teams guide Sammamish to boys swim and dive state title

The Totems won the 2A state title for the first time in program history.

Reporter file photo
No changes to state basketball tournament schedules after coronavirus outbreak

State boys and girls basketball Hardwood Classic tournaments in Tacoma, Yakima and… Continue reading

Most school events, including sports practices, on schedule after coronavirus outbreak

All the school districts in the Reporter’s coverage areas — Northshore, Lake… Continue reading

Griswold gives one last performance at state

Sammamish gymnast Sydney Griswold competed at state for the fourth and final time.

Vikings ready to tip off at the SunDome

The Bellevue Christian boys basketball team is competing at the 1A state tournament in Yakima.