Prep football preview: Prairie Falcons set to take flight

Prairie plans on being a pass-first football team

By Matt Calkins, Columbian Sports Reporter

Published:

 

Colin Seitz has a vague idea of what it’s like to be a contestant on “The Bachelor.”

Not because he is in search of a spouse, or because he lives his life in front of the camera — but because the kid has choices.

Prairie Falcons

Coach: Terry Hyde

2010: 4-5, 2-4 3A GSHL.

Key players: Colin Seitz, sr., qb-lb; Jesse Zalk, sr., wr-db; Tyler Vea, sr., wr-db; Ansel Cecil, sr., wr-db; David Taylor, sr., wr-db; Colton Prestwich jr., wr-db; Aaron Jacques so., ol-dl; Zach Poulin, jr., ol-dl; Kody Michaelson sr., ol-lb.

Season outlook: The Falcons won’t have a problem putting points on the board, the question is whether they can stop opponents from doing the same. Despite Prairie’s potent offense, there is still work to be done if the school wants to creep into the top three in the league and make the playoffs. Is it possible? Sure. But until then, the burden of proof is on the Falcons.

2011 SCHEDULE

Sept. 2 Lakewood

Sept. 9 at Hockinson

Sept. 16 at Mountain View

Sept. 23 Fort Vancouver

Sept. 30 at Camas

Oct. 7 at Columbia River

Oct. 14 Hudson’s Bay

Oct. 21 Kelso

Oct. 28 at Battle Ground

Home games played

at District Stadium

Kelso Hilanders

Key players: Slate Miller, sr., rb-db; Taylor Radcliffe, jr., rb-db; A.J. Golden, jr., wr-db; John Gustin, sr., te-dl.

Season outlook: Miller, who has speed to contend with Vancouver’s athletes, is the go-to guy in Kelso’s offense, according to The Daily News. He also is the only experienced player on the offense. The rest of the team must gel quickly to compete for a playoff spot.

The Prairie quarterback is surrounded by a receiving corps that gives virtually every pass the potential to become six points.

The only thing Seitz can’t seem to do with these wideouts is pick a favorite.

“Oh, I couldn’t say who it would be,” Seitz said with a grin. “It’s definitely a privilege. We have some of the best receivers on any team.”

The core of the corps is composed of seniors Jesse Zalk, Tyler Vea and Ansel Cecil, a trio that may force opposing secondaries to watch a few extra plays on film.

Falcons coach Terry Hyde said it is the most talented group of receivers he has had the opportunity to coach, and that about two-thirds of his team’s offensive plays will go through the air.

“Normally if you substitute the No. 1 guy out, you put in the No. 2, but with us, it’s more like No. 1A,” Hyde said. “(Opponents) may be able to take one or even two guys out, but they’re not going be able to get No. 3.”

Hyde added that his receiving group really goes about six players deep, emphasizing that his second-unit players are still potent threats.

And when the team is led by a senior quarterback who has had the chance to perfect Prairie’s spread offense for the past few years, the Falcons become particularly threatening.

“Colin is just intelligent,” Hyde said. “He just really has a grasp of the offense. When he was in the eighth grade, he was able to understand parts of the offense that a senior quarterback could not.”

Seitz insists that he does not have a particular number in mind when asked about lighting up the scoreboard — that the team is primarily focused on improving on last year’s 4-5 record and leaping into the top three spots in the Class 3A Greater St. Helen’s League.

As for Zalk? He has a slightly more specific objective.

“I’m going for four touchdowns per game,” he said.