Wolverines run through drills at their first official practice. Benjamin Olson/ staff photo

Wolverines run through drills at their first official practice. Benjamin Olson/ staff photo

Wolverines are a well-run machine

Young Bellevue team looks to meet high expectations.

The players may change from year to year, but expectations for the Bellevue Wolverines football team remains the same — to win a championship.

Second-year head coach Michael Kneip is familiar with the expectations that come with suiting up for the Wolverines. Kneip won four state titles as a lineman for the Wolverines before playing with the University of Washington.

“At a program like this, it’s state championship or bust,” Kneip said. “That’s always the standard you want in anything in life.”

Bellevue’s offense is renowned for its running game. Kneip said they will have some different looks offensively this year, but at the end of the day they are going to be true to themselves.

“We’re not going to change,” Kneip said. “We’re gonna run the ball. We have six offensive line coaches for a reason.”

One of the keys to the running game will be junior running back Alex Reid, who is poised for a big year. Kneip said Reid had a great season last year, even though it was overshadowed at times by running back Drew Fowler, who graduated last year.

“I think Alex Reid is the best football player in the state,” Kneip said. The Wolverines will be relying on their returning players like Reid, but there will be plenty of young players ready to step up this year.

“There’s so many new faces,” Kneip said. “You lose so many seniors from last year and you can’t really teach that game experience.”

The Wolverines will have sophomores playing at some key positions this fall, including Peter Netelenbos, a 5-11, 230-pound junior center.

“You go from playing freshman football to varsity and you play against guys like defensive end J.T. (Tuimoloaus from Eastside Catholic),” Kneip said. “You gotta grow up fast.”

The difficult schedule, beginning with Central Valley, will require the young Wolverines to step into their new roles quickly.

“Central Valley is a really good opponent,” Kneip said. “They’re big, strong, fast and really well coached. Everyone in KingCo is good, it’s really evened out. I think all the other teams see these next couple years as an opportunity to get after us a little bit.”

BELLEVUE Schedule

Sept. 7 home vs. Central Valley, 1 p.m.

Sept. 13 at Newport, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 home vs. Garfield, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 home vs. Camas, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 home vs. Lake Washington, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Interlake, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 home vs. Liberty, 7 p.m.

Oct. 25 at Juanita, 7 p.m.

Nov. 1 home vs. Mercer Island, 7 p.m.

* Check next week’s issue for football previews on Sammamish High and Bellevue Christian.


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.

Bellevue players prepare to practice their run-heavy offense. Benjamin Olson/ staff photo

Bellevue players prepare to practice their run-heavy offense. Benjamin Olson/ staff photo

More in Sports

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

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.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.

Vikings earn all-league honors on the basketball court

Both boys and girls Bellevue Christian basketball teams were well represented on… Continue reading

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.