Oregon Class 6A football 2022 season preview: Three Rivers League’s new look could be up for grabs by anyone

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The Three Rivers League has shown they could be the top class 6A district in the 2021-22 season. Of the eight teams that qualified for the 2021 state quarterfinals, four were from the Three Rivers League (#1 Lake Oswego, #2 West Linn, #3 Tualatin and #10 Lakeridge ). West Linn and Tualatin reached the semi-finals and the Timberwolves reached the title match.

But a lot can happen in nine months.

Tualatin and West Linn find themselves with new head coaches in 2022, with one of the best quarterbacks in the Metro League joining the district.

It’s hard to predict who will be the best team coming out of the Three Rivers League in 2022. If past seasons are any indicator, the league race will only be the beginning as several teams could make deep playoffs.

Here is an overview of the Three Rivers League football teams, listed in alphabetical order:

LAKE OSWEGO LAKERS

Coach: Steve Coury

2021-22 review: 10-2

Players to watch: Lakers return RB/OLB Calvin Macy, WR/S Owen West, WR/DB Ethan Park, FS Henry Smith and Grant Onaitis move from guard to center. Brodae Sutherland is back at OL/DL after being injured last season. New to the squad this season is TE/S transfer Oskar Sanchez. The Lakers also have newcomers LB/OG Tobia Tagliabue, LB/OG Hunter Kavanaugh, DE Oliver Macy, DE Luciano Lopez and DB/WR Stevie Moody.

Outlook: After losing a great senior team last season, Coury said the Lakers lacked experience going into the season. But Lake Oswego is fast this year. Coury said the Lakers have a strong mix of top executives and talented underclassmen who will grow stronger as the season progresses. “It has to be done quickly,” he said.

LAKERIDGE GUIDES

Coach: Spencer Phillips

2021-22 review: 8-4

Players to watch: Ryan Oliver, QB/P, 6-3, 200, SR; Chris Azari, C, 5-11, 245, JR; Joey Olsen, WR, 6-5, 220, JR; Camden Ferguson, OL, 6-2, 305, SR; Ethan Biondine, RB/DL, 6-0, 220, JR; Tashi Crofut, LB/TE, 6-0, 210, JR; Lucas Burkeen, WR/CB, 5-10, 175; Jayce Swygard, ET/SS, 6-3, 200; Keaton Emmett, K/WR/DB, 6-0, 165; Tristan Davis, DE/TE, 6-7, 250; Baylor Corbin, WR/DB, 6-1, 175; Ansu Sanoe, ATH, 6-2, 215; Yahkyll Noil, LB/RB, 6-2, 200; Brigham Davis, FR/WR, 5-10, 165; AJ Klen, OL/DL, 6-4, 250; Tim Price, OL/DL, 6-3, 245; Joey Massari, OL/DL, 6-4, 240; Riley Yaker, LB/SS/TE, 6-3, 205; Donald “Chile” Stevens (RB, 6-0, 220) traded from Grant.

Outlook: The Pacers have a veteran line, with a three-year starter at quarterback. Phillips also has a strong running back team and the state’s top junior receiver in Olsen. The Arizona Davis commitment is also one of the best defensive players in the state, transferred from Wilsonville.

OREGON CITY PIONEERS

Coach: Shane Hedrick

2021-22 review: 2-8

Players to watch: Leithan Thompson, TE/DB/P, 6-3, 195, SR; Cole Rotzien, DB/RB, 5-11, 190, JR; Gabe Rhue, OL/DL, 6-4, 300, SR; Gabe Tammad, TE/LB/DE, 6-1, 225, JR; Cohen Giusto, OL/DL, 6-0, 240, JR; Payton Giusto, WR/DB, 5-9, 150, SR; Alex Hager, LB/TE, 5-11, 230, JR; Riley McVicar, DB/WR, 6-2, 160, SR; Aaron Menchaca, DL/OL, 5-11, 260, JR; Garrett Willenberg, RB/LB, 5-10, 220, SR. Newcomers Simon Willis (C/WR, 5-8, 150, JR) and Billy Lucas (QB, 6-1, 160, JR).

Outlook: The Pioneers have struggled to stay consistent in 2021. Hedrick said the team is more experienced and more physical in 2022. Oregon City will rely on their play in the trenches, with a solid running game and a defense that stop the race.

TIGARD TIGERS

Coach: John Kemper

2021-22 review: 3-7

Players to watch: Top returns include Vaughn Croxton, TE/LB, 6-1, 230; Konner Grant, RB/DB, 5-11, 190; Reese Hare, OL/DL 6-5, 230; Matt Studer, LO, 6-1, 290; Austin Goetz, TE/LB, 6-2, 215; Henry Masters, TE/LB, 6-2, 215; Luke Davis, RB, 5-11, 170; Brady Jordan, QB/DB, 6-2, 180 and Nate Duenas, WR/CB, 6-1, 170. Newcomers include Jake Feist, 5-11, 180; Jean Pierre, 6-5, 285; Brian Smith, 6-4, 215; Ethan Cate, 5-10, 180 and Boone Coffman, 5-11, 200.

Outlook: Just weeks into official fall practices, Kemper said the Tigers were off to a good start. “We take it one day at a time,” he said. “Be better than we were yesterday.”

TUALATIN TIMBER WOLF

Coach: Dom Ferraro

2021-22 review: 12-1

Players to watch: Jack Wagner, QB/S, SR; Kevin Interian, RB/LB, SR; Richie Anderson, TE/DL, SR; AJ Noland, DB, JR; Drew Corcoran, OL/DL, SR; Will Wilson, LB, SR.

Outlook: The Timberwolves saw a huge senior class of 20 graduating players in the spring, including nine first-team all-league seniors and Class 6A Offensive Player of the Year Malik Ross. Tualatin returns quarterback Jack Wagner, who will lead Ferraro’s “Ricky Bobby Offense” in his first year as Timberwolves head coach.

WEST LINN LIONS

Coach: Jon Eagle

2021-22 review: 11-2

Players to watch: Top returners include Mark Hamper, WR/LB, 6-3, 200, SR; Earl Ingle, LB/RB, 6-2, 205, SR; Ben Winjum, LB/RB, 6-0, 200, SR; Koffi Kuoame, RB/CB, 5-10, 5-10, SR; Wiley Donnerberg, WR/CB, 6-4, 200, JR; Gus Donnerberg, LB/TE, 6-4, 205, JR; Jake Holmes, TE/DL, 6-3, 240, SR and Hudson Staats, WR/S, 5-11, 175, SR. The team’s emerging talents are Gabe Howard, WR/CB, 6-2, 175, SR; Baron Naone, WR/DL, 6-4, 210, SW; Gage Hurych, K/P/CB/WR, 6-1, 170, JR; Jake Normoyle, OL, 6-2, 250, OS; Hunter Haines, WR/S, 6-1, 175, JR; Noah Harcek, LB, 6-1, 200, SR; Nick Sakys, QB, 6-2, 190, JR; Hudson Hardy, LB/RB, 6-3, 200, SO; Evan Davis, LB, 5-10, 200, SR; Hudson Harding, OL, 6-0, 260, JR; Drew Baltz, WR/CB, 6-3, 175, SO; Wyatt Smiley, WR/CB, 6-3, 175, SW and Ridge Huot, OL, 6-3, 260, JR. Newcomers include Sam Leavitt, QB, 6-1, 200, SR; Stephen del Giudice, OL, 6-4, 255, JR and Jay West, RB/DL, 6-2, 245, JR.

Outlook: In his first season with the Lions, Eagle has a strong returning roster from a 2021 State Semifinals squad. The addition of Leavitt at quarterback gives the Lions another dangerous weapon to accompany a veteran in offensive. Hamper was an all-league first-team player in both attack and defense last season. Ingle was the 2021 Tri-Rivers League Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

— Nik Streng, [email protected], @NikStreng

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