Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By David Pan 

New QB means major changes for Glacier Peak | Football


Last updated 8/2/2019 at Noon

The Glacier Peak offense is going to have quite a different look this fall.

For the first time in four years, the Grizzlies will have a new face behind center following the graduation of first-team, all-league quarterback Ayden Ziomas, who took over the starting role during his freshman season.

The question yet to be answered is who is going to be assuming the starting quarterback duties.

Four players – Ryan Kinney, Jadon Claps, Tyson Lang and Brycen Blankenship – are vying for the role and after spring drills and four days of team camp at Central Washington University, coach Nick Bender and his staff were still evaluating their options.

“Everyone did really well,” he said. “I think we’re going to make that decision in the fall.”

Regardless of who ends up starting, Glacier Peak likely will have a more simplified offense with a new quarterback.

“I think to a degree we will trim back a good amount of the offensive playbook,” Bender said. “It’s forcing us to go back to the basics and the fundamentals. … Ayden was a phenomenal player, a four-year starter. You kind of take things for granted with him. It’s forcing us to reevaluate what we emphasize.”

The Grizzlies open with non-conference games against Edmonds-Woodway and Snohomish before starting league play against Jackson.

Bender said he doesn’t know when the starter will be named, though ideally it will be before the start of the season. Bender and his staff are looking for a player who possesses leadership, accuracy, football knowledge and understanding of the offense.

“Who is the team going to follow?” Bender said.

The new starting quarterback will have quite an array of talent on offense to work with.

“I think from a skill perspective we have the most depth we’ve ever had in the program,” Bender said. “We’re very excited. We have a lot of skilled players.”

Top wide receivers include juniors Patrick McKenzie and Trevor Meldrom and sophomore Rider Wilkinson, while junior Ryan Black and senior Dylan Owen are shaping up to be a potent backfield.

Senior Jacob Anderson is the lone returning starter on the offensive line. Seniors Tony McDaniel and Mason Bridges are returning starters on defense.

Bender was curious to see how both lines would perform at team camp. The Glacier Peak coach was glad to see the performance stay consistent with different personnel.

“I think the biggest progress was on both the offensive and defensive lines,” Bender said. “That really made us happy at camp to see all the different guys put in and not have a lot of drop-off. ... We have a lot more depth than we originally thought, whether it be younger guys or older guys.”


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