What’s better than winning a state championship? Winning two in the same year.
Better than winning two? Winning three.
Better than winning three in one year? Doing it all over again.
Granted, it’s an obviously lofty goal. Only one school in the history of the OSAA has been in the position Banks finds itself in today: North Valley (also 4A) in 1985. What did North Valley do that year after in Football? 9-2, with a season ending loss to eventual state runner-up Marist in overtime of the state quarterfinals. A bad omen? Perhaps not.
North Valley won the state championship in football in 1984 with a first year head coach who three years later resigned. Banks is headed up by Cole Linehan, who is heading into his fourth season as a head coach. North Valley had to replace 8 first team all state players going into their title defense, Banks now only has to replace 4. North Valley had won its first ever state championship, in any sport. Banks as a school has won state championships, though in other sports, as recently as 2015 and 2016. Though obviously defending a triple crown is nowhere near business as usual, Banks is one of the few schools in the state that has the support systems necessary to, hypothetically, do it all over again.
The Braves are returning 12 starters from the title-winning squad last season, Five on offense and 7 on defense. Problem being that the 11 starters Banks lost from last year’s squad were no scrubs. The Braves lost First team all-state QB Hayden Vandehey, Offensive Player of the Year Blake Markham, Defensive Player of the Year Hayden Gobel, and 6 foot 7 athletic superman Blake Gobel, just to name a few. Returning talent is centered around first team all-state Kicker Jacob Slifka, DL Risdon White, Honorable Mention all-state OL Andrew Nichols, and DB Gabe Streblow.
Banks will kick off the season against Gladstone, a team that reached the quarterfinals last season and was the only blemish on the 2018 season for the Braves. Banks will host the Gladiators week one at home, a place that hasn’t seen a Banks loss since 2017.
We predict Banks will achieve anywhere from a 8-0 to 6-2 regular season record, and we expect them to make a deep playoff run. Possible losses are limited to Gladstone and @Marist.
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