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Ephrata Tigers: 2019 Washington high school 2A football preview

ephrata-tigers

Here is a look inside the 2019 Ephrata Tigers football team.

LINKS: Ephrata team page | 2019 Schedule | Roster

2018 IN REVIEW

5-5 overall, 3-1 in the 2A Central Washington Athletic Conference North division (third place); lost to West Valley (Spokane) in the regional round, 33-7.

COACHING RESUME

Jay Mills, 19th season

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense - 3. Defense - 6.

TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYERS

RB Mac Laird 6-0, 195, Sr.

WR Carter Cox 5-11, 165, Sr.

OL Carter Mills 6-3, 190, Sr.

QB/WR Tony O’Neel 5-10, 170, Jr.

WR Michael Kent 5-8, 150, Sr.

TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

CB Carter Cox 5-11, 165, Sr.

LB Mac Laird 6-0, 205, Sr.

DL Carter Mills 6-3, 190, Sr.

DB Tony O’Neel 5-10, 170, Jr.

LB Tyler Lybbert 6-0, 175, Jr.

THREE TO SEE

Carter Cox, cornerback

Smart, physical corner is a lead-by-example presence on defense and is the team’s best tackler to show for it. 

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Mac Laird, running back/linebacker

Three-year starter on defense. Top guy returning on defense. Laird is physical, which explains his state runner-up finish at Mat Classic.

Carter Mills

Anchors defensive line at D-end, and will be tasked with doing the same on the offensive line this year, too. A hard worker, and a leader.

OUTLOOK

If there’s one area coach Jay Mills isn’t worried about this coming season, it’s defense. 

Ephrata, which made it out of the CWAC crossover last season, brings back six starters and a lion’s share of experience to a defensive unit that Mills describes as faster than last year. Headlined by returning all-league selections in cornerback Carter Cox and linebacker Mac Laird, the defense will bring stability to a team that lost six all-league selections from a year ago, including 6-4, 185-pound wide receiver and kicker Josh Benthem, last year’s 2A CWAC North offensive MVP. 

Ephrata’s biggest question mark comes under center: a three-way battle for quarterback, a first for Mills in his 18 years as the Tigers’ head coach, and an offensive line that will feature four new starters. 

Will it be enough for the Tigers to vie for one of the top three spots out of the 2A CWAC North?

2019 schedule

Sept. 6: at Cashmere, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13: Cascade, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20: at Prosser, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27: Ellensburg, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4: at Othello, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11: Quincy, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18, Selah, 7 p.m.

Oct. 25: East Valley (Yakima), 7 p.m.

Nov. 1: CWAC crossovers, 7 p.m.

*home games in bold

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