The famed Gorge Bowl trophy that proudly sits in Stevenson High School’s lobby represents the Bulldogs’ historic 2018 football season.
The 20-14 home victory over Columbia-White Salmon gave the Bulldogs the 1A Trico League title, and a state playoff berth.
It’s a new season, but the buzz surrounding Stevenson’s football program hasn’t worn off, head coach David Waymire said.
“That’s a big deal,” he said. “They want to try to fight for that, and hopefully, they can do it again. That excitement already is there from last year’s buzz of being successful.
“It’s nice to have that already.”
Stevenson made program history in 2018. It won its first league title since 1994, and ultimately, reaching the state playoffs for the first time since 2010. That year also was the school’s only other state appearance in football.
Waymire, in his ninth season at Stevenson, doesn’t shy away from calling this fall a rebuilding year. The Bulldogs departed a senior-heavy class behind league MVP Lincoln Krog and league offensive MVP Isaac Hoidal and quarterback Brandon Connell off a team that went 7-2 and loss to Hoquiam in the 1A state playoffs.
But defense is expected to be a strength, and there’s plenty of excitement surrounding the underclassmen, Waymire noted.
“The younger classes are pretty solid athletes,” Waymire said. “We’ll get them in and get them experience. It’s going to help us in the next couple years and being really solid again.
“Hopefully, they can come in and fill some of those big shoes left behind.”
3 things to know
— Stevenson is a reigning league champ for first time since ’94.
— Bulldogs graduated league MVP Lincoln Krog, league offensive MVP Isaac Hoidal.
— Program has two state playoff appearances (2018, ’10).