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Howard: Champs or bust for Tribe football

A deep, experienced team spells good things ahead, or at least it should


   All this talk in the preseason about Scappoose Indians football doesn’t amount to much. Their chances of winning the league, their chances of doing well in the playoffs, their chances at a state championship – that’s all conjecture.

Before the season even starts, Scappoose will have a target on their back. Maxpreps has the Indians ranked first in the 4A division, the only school from the Cowapa league in the top 10. Even with the loss of star receiver Paul Revis, the team looks deeply talented across the board. The Indians have size on the front line, an experienced senior quarterback and speedy receivers. They’ve been injury free so far, and with Carson Davison looking more and more like a surefire college-bound athlete in the backfield, that adds up to a lot of pressure.

We’ve all seen star athletes step up in big situations. We’ve also seen failures when we expect someone to perform. I think it’s safe to say this season, the pressure is on for Scappoose. With the talent they have on the field and the history of the program, they have the means to pull off something special. Their preseason ranking says that much, but I can’t help but to want something more.

I want a title.

Given, I can’t do much from the sidelines. I can cheer on the team and start up discussion about who played well and what changes we as fans would like to see, but that’s about it, and that’s frustrating. Fans can’t step on the field and make a play, no matter how much they support their team, which is why at some point you simply have to trust in the people who control things.

Sean McNabb has been here before. Three straight championship runs from 2001-2003 are enough to tell you that. He runs a program that is crisp and tight knit. Practice doesn’t end for the players when they step off the field, and that is evident. It’s a culture, not a team, and that is something that stands out instantly about the program.

That winning culture that McNabb has created should speak for itself this season. The Cowapa League, though it has only one team in the top 10, has four teams in the top 20. Seaside, Banks and Tillamook won’t be pushovers, which is something that bodes well for the Indians should they run the table. Experience like that, as well as the season opening game against 5A power Roosevelt High School, give Scappoose an edge going into the playoffs. A league as deep as Cowapa provides Scappoose with a challenge each week, and once the pressure is ratcheted up and it’s loser-go-home, they will already have seen many of the state’s biggest and best athletes.

Will I be disappointed if Scappoose doesn’t win a state title? Maybe. But this early on, I have to be careful to curb my expectations until I see the team play for real. It’s easy to make bold predictions before the ball has been hiked, but even at this point some things are clear.

Scappoose is absolutely a playoff team and I’m close to betting the house on a league championship, but I’ll be safe for now. I won’t predict another trophy in the case, not just yet. Maybe by week three.