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The rebuild is near complete for South Eugene football. The one thing left to do? Make the playoffs

Here’s our look at the South Eugene Axe of the Class 5A Midwestern League.
South Eugene 2

By Rockne Andrew Roll

Over the next few weeks, SBLive Oregon will break down every 6A, 5A and 4A football team in the state in anticipation of a six-week season in March and April. Even if the season is postponed or canceled, we will continue to highlight more than a hundred teams and more than a thousand players in Oregon. Here’s our look at the South Eugene Axe of the Class 5A Midwestern League. 

SOUTH EUGENE TEAM PAGE

HEAD COACH

Kenny Koberstein, second season (5-4)

2019 AT A GLANCE

Overall record: 5-4

League record: 2-3, fourth in Midwestern League South 

Playoffs: Did not qualify

ALL-LEAGUE PLAYERS DEPARTED

OL Zach Luworo, first team

LB Hunter Brown, first team

DB/QB/P Bryce Boettcher, first team defense, honorable mention offense and punter

WR Trey Nelson, second team

LB Orion Garcia, second team

WR Kaden Miller, honorable mention

PK Halle Thompson, honorable mention

DL Joelie McKinley, honorable mention

Read More

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Jake Trone, sr., WR/DB

Trone went from relatively unheralded receiver to all-league first-teamer in 2019. How’d he do it? Simple: He’s very, very fast. “Jake is one of the fastest and most explosive players in the valley,” Koberstein said. Trone will be the centerpiece of the Axe’s offense in his final high school campaign. He’ll also continue to play defensive back, where he earned second-team all-league honors last season.

Jesse Ross, sr., DB

A smaller defensive back, Ross garnered all-league honorable mention as a junior by being “a coach’s dream,” according to Koberstein. “He’s small in stature but big in heart and work ethic,” the coach said. “Jesse had a really strong year at corner for us last year and we’re excited for him to contribute even more on offense this fall.”

Brooks Robertson, sr., QB and Parker Saunders, jr., QB

With Bryce Boettcher’s graduation, one of these two players will take over as South Eugene’s signal-caller. Robertson was Boettcher’s backup last season and played linebacker for the varsity squad. Saunders is a dynamic athlete and playmaker. “We haven’t been able to work with them as much as in a normal season, but we are excited about the potential we have there,” Koberstein said.

Leif Thompson, jr., OL/DL

Thompson will step into a big role as one of the Axe’s cornerstones up front. “(He) brings some athleticism in a long frame,” Koberstein said. Look for Thompson to be a major factor in the trenches on both sides of the ball. 

Jaeden Frye, jr., OL/DL

Another lineman, Frye will be a major contributor on offense. Koberstein said Frye has “next-level size” at 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds and has put in work during the pandemic to maximize his physical gifts. “He’s raw,” Koberstein said, “but he’s going to be a big piece for us.”