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A familiar coach returns to Redmond with football team in unfamiliar position — conference favorite

Here’s our look at the Redmond Panthers of the Class 5A Northwest Oregon Conference East Division.
Redmond.Brent Wasche.Jerry Baldock

By Mike Wilson

SBLive Oregon will break down every 6A, 5A and 4A team in the state leading up to the 2021 fall football season. Here’s our look at the Redmond Panthers of the Class 5A Northwest Oregon Conference East Division.

Photo by Jerry Baldock

REDMOND TEAM PAGE

HEAD COACH 

Brent Wasche, first season of second tenure (2-7 in 2018)

PAST 3 SEASONS

2021 (spring): 5-1 overall, 4-1 in NWOC East

2019: 6-4 overall, 4-1 in Midwestern North (lost in first round)

2018: 2-7 overall, 1-4 in Midwestern North

ALL-LEAGUE PLAYERS DEPARTED 

RB/P Austin Carter, first team on offense and second team on special teams

WR/S Kole Davis, first team on offense and on defense

TE/LB Blaine Aamodt, second team on offense and first team on defense

G/DL Jax Cummings, second team on offense and first team on defense

CB Charlie Rawlins, first team

OT Jacob Schafer, second team

DL Preston Young, second team

DL Garrett Greene, honorable mention

Read More

PLAYERS TO WATCH 

Senior QB Hayden Parrish

Parrish was a starting quarterback his freshman season. He didn’t play there as a sophomore because of injury. In the spring, he passed for 890 yards with eight touchdowns and six interceptions (three of them in the Panthers’ only loss, to Hood River Valley). He was voted second-team all-Northwest Oregon Conference East at quarterback. “The kid’s a solid leader, a great decision-maker, great pocket passer,” Wasche said, “and I’m really, really excited to see what he can do as a senior quarterback.”

Junior RB Dylan Lee

As a sophomore, Lee was a significant part of the Panthers’ running back rotation. He had 54 carries for 224 yards — second on the team in both categories to Austin Carter, who was first-team all-NWOC East at running back. Lee also tied for second on the team in rushing touchdowns; only Carter had more.

Senior WR Nate Mundy, senior WR Aiden Gebhard, junior WR Nathan Wachs

Wachs and Gebhard ranked second and third on the team in receptions in the spring. Gebhard received all-NWOC East honorable mention. Mundy, a third-year varsity player, is quick and makes great decisions, Wasche said. “He’ll go up and fight for a ball.” Wachs presents a big target at 6-feet-3 and 180 pounds. “We’re really looking forward to seeing what he can do,” Wasche said.

Senior LB Jason Sieveking

Sieveking has been a staple on the varsity squad since his freshman year. The 6-footer was a second-team all-NWOC East linebacker last season. “I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what he can do as a senior,” Wasche said.

Senior LB Gabe Robles

Robles was a second-team all-NWOC East pick last season. “He’ll be a key piece of a great linebacking corps,” Wasche said. “Gabe is fast, strong, agile and comes with violent intentions.” Robles had three games in the spring with double-digit total tackles.

Senior G Jake Webb

Honorable mention all-NWOC East as a junior, Webb is among three returning starters on the offensive line. “He’s a great pulling guard,” Wasche said. “He’s strong, agile and a great leader.”

Junior LB Kyle Littlejohn, junior LB Cody Crain

Redmond shut out four of its six opponents in the spring with a defense whose senior members included four first-team all-NWOC East players, one second-team pick and another who received honorable mention. With those seniors gone, younger players such as Littlejohn and Crain will get a bigger opportunity to show what they can accomplish. As a sophomore, Littlejohn was a regular defensive contributor, with a season-high five solo tackles in Week 3 against Ridgeview. Crain also received varsity action as a sophomore.

Senior RB/DB Ayden Mills

Wasche called Mills a hard worker who will be expected to contribute. “He’s a big-time competitor who we definitely will be relying on,” Wasche said. Mills has primarily been a running back but will be worked in also at defensive back.

OUTLOOK

After the Panthers won five of their six games in the spring — four by shutout — then-coach Seth Womack said, “I really wish we had more games because we feel our kids could compete with anyone in the state.”

Wasche, who is both Womack’s successor and his predecessor (Wasche left after the 2018 season for a job in Port Angeles, Wash. — the place from which Wasche came when he took the Redmond job the first time), thinks the Panthers can pick up where they left off in the spring.

“This is definitely a playoff-caliber football team, and I’m excited to see how far we can take it and what kind of splash we can make at 5A,” Wasche said.

Although Wasche’s team was 2-7 in 2018, his prior season as Redmond’s head coach, he presided over a sizable increase in player turnout. According to the Peninsula (Port Angeles, Wash.) Daily News, the program went from 60 players to nearly 100 in Wasche’s tenure. This season’s seniors were freshmen in Wasche’s previous stint as coach.

It would seem hard to come close to matching Redmond’s defense of the spring. Still, there appears to be a lot to like when it comes to suppressing opponents’ points.

“I’m really excited about our linebacker corps,” Wasche said.

The Panthers’ only misstep last season was against Hood River Valley. This season, adding to the perennial turnover in players at schools are first-year coaches at three of the NWOC East schools (including Redmond). That could make projecting a finishing position for any team difficult, but a commonly expressed thought is that Redmond is the favorite for the conference championship.

“I think this team is really hungry for that opportunity right now,” Wasche said. “They got a chance last year to prove that they are a high-caliber, high-quality football team. The first goal is to win the district, the second goal is to make it into the playoffs and then to see how far we can take this thing.”

COACH SAID 

“I’m just excited to get going again. We’ve got a great-looking roster right now.” — Brent Wasche

MORE TEAM PREVIEWS

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