Few things sting like losing a state championship. To do it twice in the span of 4 months is devastating. To do it twice in the span of 4 months to the same team, a league rival nonetheless, is morale busting, momentum killing, soul sucking, and agonizing. Seaside, a football program re-built from an 0-9 campaign in 2011 to state championship game participants in 2018, now feel primed to fall back into the shadows of irrelevance. Wing-T wizzard head coach Jeff Roberts? Retired. All-State backfield tandom of Alex Teubner and Payton Westerholm? Graduated. 1st Team All-State linemen Isias Jantes, Travis Fenton, and Paxson VanNortwick? Graduated. Gonezo. Left the building. Out of town.
How then in this gloom filled perspective future does one find hope?
First and foremost, WR/DB Brayden Johnson. Fast, lengthy, and thicker than the average player at his position, Johnson will head up a team with no returning all-state players, and few all-league players. Payton Westerholm’s understudy Justin Morris will quarterback the Seagulls in 2019, and try and keep the team steady throughout the year.
Seaside will kick off their 2019 campaign on Saturday September 7th at 1pm against the Henley Hornets, a team the Seagulls beat 55-13 last season. The victory was sweet revenge for a Seaside team who were upset by Henley in the 1st Round of the 2017 playoffs, 39-43. Henley, a 2-7 team last year, will give an indication of how much the lost talent will effect Seaside in 2019. The Seagulls schedule quickly goes from 0 to 60, as in week 2 they host Marist Catholic, and that’s where the fun begins. Week 3 will debatably be the biggest game of the season for them, traveling to Gladstone for a rematch of the 2018 OSAA State Semi-Final contest that Seaside won by a score of 23-19.
We predict Seaside will go 5-3 or 4-4 and likely make the first round of the state playoffs, but we believe that the ceiling would be the quarterfinals for this team. Massive turnover in personnel and coaching changes leads us to that conclusion. Some big games and huge rematches should get the underclassmen a lot of experience, which is a silver lining Seaside might have to live with and rebuild off of.
Momentum plays a part in athletics sometimes. If Seaside can right the ship early, they might just stick around.