Evergreen preview: Plainsman is Driven By Loss

Foster, who lost his starting job, is now a team leader

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 

Coach: Charles Anthony.

2011 record: 0-9, 0-4 4A GSHL.

Key players: Trent Foster, sr., te/dl; Brody Bagnall, jr., te/dl; Anthony Thomas, sr., qb/wr/rb/db; Colby Eaton, so., QB; Rey Green, fr., qb/db; Lafia Sosense, fr., rb/db; Randy Tran sr., ol/lb; Justin Straup, jr., rb/db; Kyle Aplin, jr., ol/dl; Gabe Darland, jr., ol/dl; Jamaree Jones, sr., rb/lb; Ray Danadle, sr., rb/lb; Hayden Deever, sr., ol/dl; Wyatt Walton, jr., ol/dl; Justice Murphy, so., rb/db; Ala Tulenkun, jr., ol/lb; Jared Marshall, sr., lb.

Season outlook: Last year was difficult. Coach Charles Anthony hopes the Plainsmen will learn from it and improve this year.

“There’s always a blessing in every storm,” he said. “You don’t know the answer to why things happen, but if you keep working hard, good things will happen,. Our kids know how to work hard.”

Evergreen will get to play the first game on the new field at McKenzie Stadium.

2012 SCHEDULE

Aug. 31 Fort Vancouver

Sept. 7 at Mtn. View

Sept. 14 Prairie

Sept. 21 at Kelso

Sept. 28 Battle Ground*

Oct. 5 at Camas*

Oct. 12 at Skyview*

Oct. 19 Union*

Oct. 26 at Heritage*

  • — 4A GSHL game

Trent Foster was crushed at first, hit hard by the news when he lost his starting position as a defensive end for the Evergreen football team last year.

"But I didn't give up," Foster said. "No one likes to get their spot taken away, so I did what I could to get it back.

"And I did."

Foster returned to the starting defense "once I proved to the coaches I could be a little more aggressive and had some fight in me."

Sounds exactly like the kind of attitude all of the Plainsmen will need to have this season.

No way to sugarcoat it. Evergreen is coming off an 0-9 campaign.

Foster took his benching as motivation to get better. He expects himself and his teammates to take that record as motivation to get better.

"I don't want to give up on my team, and they don't want to give up on me," Foster said. "It's family. We're family here."

And Foster is one of its leaders.

"It was a struggle" (last season), he said. "A lot of team problems, poor leadership. No one really took control."

Foster has taken it upon himself to be part of the solution.

"I keep everyone in check in the weight room," Foster said. "No one is really screwing around anymore. We get what we have to get done, and we do what we're told."

Before he could lead anyone else, he had to make sure he was doing things the right way.

Not only did Foster earn back his starting spot on defense, he ended being a starting tight end by the end of last season. But before he could be a true leader of this year's team, he had to make sure he was doing things the right way.

Foster did not take anything for granted. He knows first-hand those spots could be taken away, if he let it. He said he was not about to let that happen.

"I wasn't that strong last year," he said. "I've been hitting the weight room a lot, and I've gotten a lot stronger."

Standing 6-foot-7, Foster said he now weighs 200 pounds.

He is ready to be vocal off the field, and a force on it.

"I want to lead my team to victories," he said. "We've been working hard. I'm really proud of these guys. I think we'll have a good year."

Evergreen coach Charles Anthony appreciates how Foster accepted the demotion last year. The coach now knows he can count on Foster.

"He's going to make it in life because it hasn't all been peaches and cream for him. He knows how to work hard and overcome adversity," Anthony said. "When he makes a mistake, he knows how to pick himself up."

Foster and the Plainsmen also are trying to move on, move forward after 2011. They expect to be improved in 2012.

"We're coming at them this year. We're putting last year behind us. This year is a whole different story," Foster said. "We want to win some games this year. We're working hard for that."

Foster learned last year that one way to take away the pain from losing something is to earn it back.

He and the Plainsmen hope to earn some victories this season.

The first step to winning is not giving up when things are tough. That describes Foster. And it could describe the 2012 Evergreen Plainsmen.