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Here's an inside look at the 2A Tumwater Thunderbirds.

Links: Tumwater team page | 2019 schedule |Roster

2018 IN REVIEW

10-2 in 2A Evergreen Conference (second place); lost to Lynden in 2A quarterfinals

COACHING RESUME

Bill Beattie, third season

20-5 record

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense - 7. Defense - 4.

TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYERS

RB Hunter Baker, 5-11, 185, sr.

OL Vili Hafoka, 6-4, 290, sr.

RB Dylan Paine, 5-10, 190, sr.

QB Cody Whalen, 5-11, 165, jr.

OL Austin Working, 5-10, 165, sr.

TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

DB Turner Allen, 5-9, 165, jr.

DB D.J. Freeman, 6-0, 180, sr.

DL Ty Gililland, 6-5, 230, sr.

DL Jacob Schuster, 6-2, 300, jr.

LB Tyler Woods, 5-10, 200, sr.

THREE TO SEE

Vili Hafoka, offensive lineman

Wide 300-pounders are not supposed to move as briskly as he does

Dylan Paine, running back

Last fully healthy season in 2017, he rushed for 1,693 yards (27 TDs)

Jacob Schuster, defensive lineman

League's reigning defensive MVP slots at nose guard, but plays all over

OUTLOOK

Once again, the Thunderbirds are not only the league favorite, but they are also on the short list of 2A contenders.

Few, if any 2A teams can match bulk up front with the Thunderbirds, who will rotate as many as nine defensive linemen, led by Schuster and Hafoka in the middle.

And Paine, one of the state's top running backs in 2017, is making his way back from a season-ending knee injury. He has done very little offseason live work, but eventually should take over as the lead rusher in a six-back attack.

If Whalen shows he can be a capable passer in the Wing-T, the Thunderbirds have a great shot of extending their string of at least making the state quarterfinals to eight consecutive years -- and winning their first 2A crown since 2010.

2019 SCHEDULE

Sept 6: Timberline, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13: Yelm, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20: at Bellarmine Prep, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27: at Clackamas (OR), 7 p.m.

Oct. 4: Rochester, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11: Aberdeen

Oct. 18: at W.F. West, 7 p.m.

Oct. 25: Black Hills, 7 p.m.

Nov. 1: at Centralia