Prep football preview: Revamped Lions ready for action

Prep football preview: Revamped Lions ready for action

Posted by Annie Fowler on August 30, 2015

Ground game, defense key for Kennewick

Dillon Plew has never played quarterback, but the Kennewick senior has made it his mission to learn the position to be able to lead the Lions in their team-first approach to the season.

“I’m just jumping in and doing what Temp (coach Bill Templeton) wants me to do,” said the 6-foot-4, 185-pound former wide receiver. “It helps the team, and I’m taking on a leadership role.”

A three-sport athlete, Plew found out after basketball season that the Lions would need him to move under center.

“He told me I was going to play quarterback, and I started learning the plays,” Plew said. “I’m doing the best I can.”

With Matt Driver missing the season with back issues, Templeton knew Plew was his man.

“We are fortunate to have an athlete like Dillon to step in and do the job,” Templeton said. “We are excited about our seniors who have taken big strides athletically and in terms of leadership.”

The Lions finished 4-5 last season and last went to the playoffs in 2012. Templeton said the team has a renewed focus this season, and he believes if they can establish their run game and be a good tackling team that they will have success.

The backfield features Ronny Loomis (jr., 6-2, 185), Raymond Gutierrez (sr., 5-11, 175) and Isaac Ruiz (so., 5-9, 175).

“It’s a three-headed beast,” Templeton said. “If someone shows more initiative, we will go with that.”

Loomis is a three-sport athlete with quite an impressive rèsumè. He competed at the 3A state wrestling tournament in February and ran the 400 meters at the state track meet in May.

No matter if it’s three, two or one, the running backs and Plew have the comfort of a stout offensive line in front of them — led by junior three-year starter Brandon Villasenor (6-1, 306) — to pave the way.

“We have good size on the O-line,” Templeton said. “But they are also good competitors and they work hard.”

Large and in charge

Villasenor anchors the O- and D-lines and will have help along the front lines from seniors DJ Dyer (6-4, 290), Rogelio Guizar (6-2, 230) and junior Dion Kutzke (6-1, 300).

Dyer has drawn interest from several college programs, including Washington, Washington State and Portland State.

“We have a lot of experience, we are big and we are good athletes,” Villasenor said. “We are pretty deep, so for guys like me who play on both sides of the ball, that’s great. I don’t have the best cardio, so when the coaches see I need a break, there is someone to step in. If not, you have to toughen up.”

Experience matters

The Lions have a slew of experience returning. Along with Plew, Villasenor and his linemates, Jared Grey (jr., 5-8, 165) is a returning all-conference defensive back. Garrett Dixon (sr., 6-1, 200) lines up at fullback/linebacker, Devyn Edwards (sr., 6-0, 175) is back at wide receiver and Andrew Townsend (sr., 6-0, 205) has moved from fullback to tight end.

“When you have that experience and they take their roles seriously and do the extra work, that makes a coach more confident going into the season,” Templeton said.

On tap

The Lions open the season at Ellensburg, followed by a game at Eisenhower before hosting Walla Walla on Sept. 17. They play defending 3A Mid-Columbia Conference champion Kamiakin on Sept. 25.

“We have the mentality that we are not overly prepared for one game, but prepared for every game,” Villasenor said. “We all put our clothes on the same way. It’s all who wants it more.”

That includes the teams that struggled last season. Pasco and Hanford have new coaches, and Southridge implemented a new offense.

“You can’t look past anyone,” Plew said. “You never know what a new coach can bring to a team.”

Kennewick Lions Preseason [VIDEO]

Video from Tri-City Herald Article:

Published on Aug 21, 2015

Kennewick High football coach Bill Templeton gives an overview about the 2015 team and the upcoming football season.(Video/Jack Millikin)


IMPORTANT!! - 8/17 Clearance Night

Parents/Players –

Tomorrow (Monday, August 17th) is FALL CLEARANCE NIGHT.  Clearance last from 5-8 PM in the Kennewick High Main Building (you will see everybody.)   There are traditionally long lines so you may want to show up early or wait until 7 PMish to arrive.  Also, to help speed up the process, your son can pick up necessary paperwork in the Activities Office tomorrow after morning workouts (8-9:30 AM)

PLEASE NOTE: 1) The paperwork you filled out in the Spring for Spring Football and Summer Conditioning DOES NOT APPLY to the Fall.

  1.               2) To be eligible to participate in the first game, your son needs a minimum of (12) DAYS of practice.  We have a total of (13) for Freshmen and (14) for Varsity prior to    

     the  1st game - attendance is crucial.

  1.                              3) We will hand out both a Freshmen and a JV/Varsity Pre-season calendar tomorrow night at the Clearance.

Finally, we are excited to get the 2015 Campaign started and are grateful for the opportunity to work with your student athlete.


Coach Templeton

Summer Letter 2015

Lion Nation:

We started our 2015 campaign the Monday after our 2014 season ended last November. We met with each of the Upper Classmen and discussed personal and team goals – in the classroom, the weight room, and on the field. We as coaches have evaluated our program, critiqued our performance, and created a plan to better build a championship program in terms of Character Development, Relationship Building, and Results Achievement. Ultimately, it's our players' attitudes, efforts, and performances that will determine if we achieve our goals in 2015. Players and Parents... we need your buy in.

Players: It's been said that players are made in the off-season (Bigger, Stronger, Faster,) and Teams are made in-season. To be the best team we can be in the fall, you need to develop into the best player you can be over the next two months. We are the sum of our parts... and each part is crucial. Make a commitment to the summer and you are making a commitment to our fall. Show up and work hard.

Parents: Please commit to encouraging your son to attend and engage in the rigor of Spring Football and Summer Strength and Conditioning. Football is not a contact sport – it is a collision sport. Your son's body needs to be ready for the pure physicality of the game. Our summer program will assist in injury prevention and will make your son the most explosive football player he can be. Furthermore, we strongly believe that weight room participation is a crucial element in developing character, relationships, and results. We greatly appreciate your support.

With Great Excitement and Enthusiasm,

Coach Templeton and the entire Lion FB Staff