Affholter New Head Lion!

Affholter leaving Ellensburg football for Kennewick

Coach Takes Over For Outgoing Templeton

The architect of Ellensburg’s CWAC dynasty will be leaving for Kennewick in search of a new challenge.

Randy Affholter confirmed Thursday’s he’s stepping down as the Bulldogs’ coach after 22 years to take the same position for the Lions, replacing longtime coach Bill Templeton. The Bulldogs won seven league titles while compiling a record of 162-76 under Affholter and reached the state tournament 10 times, including four semifinal appearances.

“It was tough (to leave),” Affholter said. “To be honest with you, my wife and I debated it for quite some time when the job was posted down there.”

Seattle Seahawks director of pro personnel Nolan Teasley called his four years with Affholter from 1998-2001 the most fun he ever had playing football. As a running back, Teasley set a school record his junior year and then broke it again as a senior when the Bulldogs reached the Class 3A state tournament.

After graduating, Teasley went on to play at Central Washington and kept working out with Affholter in the offseason. At one point, Teasley said as many as 10 Wildcats football players joined Affholter, who would run and lift weights alongside the Division II student-athletes.

“He had a huge influence on the direction that my life went just in terms of instilling some work ethic and focus and understanding what it took to be successful,” Teasley said. “Not just in football but in life.”

Ellensburg athletic director Cole Kanyer, who played slot receiver and linebacker before graduating with Teasley, voiced similar sentiments about the lessons he learned from Affholter. That impact spread well beyond football players, since Affholter shared his wealth of strength and conditioning knowledge with the entire athletic program.

He continues to teach those classes along with a recently added yoga class and hopes to continue in a similar leadership role at Kennewick. Kanyer said Affholter’s drive to improve and learn more about football and strength and conditioning always brought the best out of Ellensburg’s athletes, making him difficult to replace.

“It was a pretty serious surprise,” Kanyer said. “He’s been such an important piece of our athletic program in general that it’s sad to see him go.”

But Kanyer’s also excited to see what Affholter can do in Kennewick, where he’ll take on the challenge of leading a bigger school, handling a bigger staff and competing with 4A powerhouses like Chiawana and 2017 state champion Richland in the Mid-Columbia League. Ellensburg enjoyed an impressive run of dominance in the CWAC, especially when it completed four straight unbeaten seasons en route to three 2A semifinal appearances from 2013-2016.

“It was a lot of fun,” Affholter said. “Obviously we had a run of really good kids and when you have really good kids they make you a really great coach pretty dang fast.”

The program took a suprising step back in 2017, when an 0-6 start ended a streak of 13 straight winning seasons. Affholter’s team bounced back last fall, reaching the CWAC title game and then pulling off an upset at No. 5 seed West Valley-Spokane to reach the 2A quarterfinals.

As he watched TV in the living room with his wife on Thanksgiving, they discussed plans to eventually retire and move south to live someplace warmer, such as Arizona. But when Affholter started searching for jobs there, it was the opening for Kennewick that popped up on the computer screen and caught his eye.

The job proved to be the right fit for his family and the quest for new challenges, so he’s eager to start commuting to the Tri-Cities this spring before leaving Ellensburg at the end of the school year. Teasley seemed unsurprised Affholter wants to move up a classification and said much of the football knowledge that helps him identify pro talent comes from his old high school coach.

“He just always kind of instilled kind of a first man in, last man out (mentality),” Teasley said. “Be unwilling to settle for less. Work as hard as you possibly can.”

Affholter said a strong senior class next fall should leave the Bulldogs’ new coach with an excellent roster, and Kanyer expects it to be an attractive job. But he also understands it won’t be easy to find someone who can match Affholter’s wide-ranging influence on the football team and Ellensburg’s athletic community.

Chavez AP All-State Honarable Mention - 3A Defensive Back

Player of the year: Sam Adams II, jr., Eastside Catholic.

FIRST TEAM

Offense

Quarterback — Hunter Campau, sr., Timberline.

Running backs — Sam Adams, jr., Eastside Catholic; Dontae McMillan, sr., Chief Sealth.

Wide receivers — Julien Simon, soph., Lincoln; Gee Scott, jr., Eastside Catholic.

Tight end — D.J. Rogers, jr., Eastside Catholic.

Offensive line — Johnny Barthel, sr., Bellevue; Nathaniel Kalepo, sr., Rainier Beach; Owen Prentice, sr., O’Dea; Jason Mederios, sr., Eastside Catholic; Giovonni White, sr., Lincoln.

Kicker — No nominees.

Defense

Defensive line — J.T. Tuimoloau, soph., Eastside Catholic; Alexx Schmidt, sr., O’Dea; Alan Fischer, sr., Lakes; Giovonni White, sr., Lincoln.

Linebackers — Orin Patu, sr., Rainier Beach; Ruperake Fuavai, sr., O’Dea; Drew Fowler, sr., Bellevue; Derrick Platt, sr., Yelm.

Defensive backs — Mishael Powell, sr., O’Dea; Ayden Hector, jr., Eastside Catholic; Julien Simon; soph., Lincoln; Michael Bolds, sr., Mountain View.

Punter — Joey Ryan, sr., Lake Washington.

HONORABLE MENTION

Quarterbacks — Burke Griffin, sr., Peninsula; Caden Filer, jr., Lincoln.

Running backs — Capassio Cherry, sr., Edmonds-Woodway; Alex Refilong, sr., Central Kitsap; Alex Reid, jr., Bellevue.

Wide receivers — Kodee Gifford, sr., Yelm; Chris Penner, sr., Capital.

Offensive line — Levani Eneliko, sr., Lake Washington; Alan Fischer, sr., Lakes; Jayden Simon, sr., Lincoln; Geirean Hatchett, jr., Ferndale; Kobe Anderson, sr., Mountain View; Jacob Dimond, sr., Yelm.

Defensive line — Todd Johnson, sr., Kelso; Joseph Toilolo, sr., Mount Spokane; Jayden Simon, sr., Lincoln; Mason Bertelli, sr., Capital.

Linebackers — Sav’ell Smalls, jr., Garfield; Riley Noah, sr., Kelson; Jamin Fa’alogo, sr., Timberline.

Defensive backs — Daeshawn Wayne, sr., Lakes; Colton Steepy, sr., Timberline; Blaine Chavez, jr., Kennewick.

Punter — Burke Griffin, sr.; Peninsula.

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Kennewick comes up short of knocking off Mt. Spokane

Bill Templeton’s Kennewick Lions have been a scrappy bunch all season.

So why should Friday night against a powerful Mt. Spokane team be any different?

The Lions couldn’t hold a halftime lead and ended up falling to the visiting Wildcats 21-14 in a 3A regional game at Lampson Stadium.

“Our guys did a nice job,” said Templeton. “(Mt. Spokane) has a very good defense. We just left a couple of plays on the field in the second half.”

The visiting Wildcats dominated statistically everywhere except the most important place: the scoreboard.

Mt. Spokane outgained Kennewick 389 yards to 106. The Wildcats ran 74 offensive plays (63 runs) to the Lions’ 45.

And they held on to the football over twice as long as Kennewick had it. Mt. Spokane’s time of possession was 33 minutes and 51 seconds, to Kennewick’s 14:09.

But the Lions were always within just one play of getting even with the Wildcats.

In fact, Kennewick led 14-7 at the half.

After Mt. Spokane quarterback Brady Hill gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead on a 23-yard TD scamper, the Lions immediately responded when Talon LaFontaine returned the ensuing kickoff 83 yards down to the 5. One play later, Kennewick QB Blaine Chavez bulled into the end zone for a 7-7 tie.

In the second quarter, the Lions defense forced three turnovers, and capitalized on one of them.

Chavez dived into the end zone for a TD from the 1, completing a 7-play, 35-yard drive, for a 14-7 Kennewick lead with 7:45 left until intermission.

It stayed that way until the second half, when the Wildcats opened the third quarter with a 56-yard drive using eight plays, culminating with big, bruising back Jeter Schuerman scoring on a 16-yard run to tie the game at 14-14.

Two drives later the Wildcats – using, ironically, the Wildcat formation with Schuerman at the helm – drove 50 yards on six plays, with Hill scoring from the 1 for the go-ahead points and what proved to be an insurmountable 21-14 lead. On the drive, Schuerman ran the other five plays, picking up 49 yards.

The Lions couldn’t make anything happen in the second half, going 3-and-out on their first four possessions. They were able to cobble together two first downs on their last drive, but couldn’t get any closer than the Wildcats’ 32.

And the Kennewick defense was out on the field so long, it just wore down.

“They’re a quality program,” Templeton said of Mt. Spokane. “We’ll be OK. This is a part of life. They’ll remember the friendships they made on this team.”

The Lions finish 6-4, and they had some quality wins over fellow Mid-Columbia Conference 3A schools Hermiston and Kamiakin. And of the 59 players on Kennewick’s varsity roster, only 13 graduate next June.

NOTES: Schuerman finished with 139 yards rushing for the Wildcats (8-2), who await their ranking and pairing announcement on Sunday. … DL Bryan Knapik led Kennewick’s defense with 13 tackles (3 for loss) and a forced fumble. DL Jagger Child’s added 6 tackles (2 for loss) and two hurries, while DB Cody LaFontaine had 7 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Lions Secure Top 3A Seed With Win Over Southridge

Kennewick grabbed the top Class 3A MCC regional playoff spot when two things happened Friday: The Lions beat Southridge 41-7, and Kamiakin defeated Hermiston 34-27.

The loss eliminated Hermiston from any postseason play, while Kamiakin grabs the MCC’s No. 2 Class 3A regional playoff berth.

In Spokane on Friday, Shadle Park upset Mt. Spokane 14-11, giving Shadle Park the Greater Spokane League’s No. 1 3A regional berth, while Mt. Spokane takes No. 2.

So the regional playoffs on Friday, Nov. 2, will have Kennewick playing host to Mt. Spokane at 7 p.m. at Lampson Stadium, and Kamiakin traveling to play Shadle Park at 7:30 p.m. at Joe Albi Stadium.

In Kennewick’s victory over Southridge, freshman Myles Mayovsky rushed for 111 yards on 18 carries, and he scored two touchdowns.

Lions QB Blaine Chavez had TD passes of 40 and 29 yards. He also ran in a touchdown from the 1.

Kennewick vs. Kamiakin 2018 Video Recap - TC Herald

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Kennewick Lions
500 S Dayton St
Kennewick WA 99336
Phone: 509-585-3230
A.D.: Anna Harris
Principal: Ron King
Coach: Randy Affholter