The Olympia Titans knew coming out of the spring that their offense was going to have to improve, and in a 21-14 defeat against Lyman in preseason action, they showed some signs of doing just that.
Senior quarterback Khalyn Strickland led a scoring drive that included tossing a long touchdown pass, and backup quarterback and starting wide receiver Joe Milton also led a scoring drive for the Titans.
For his part, Strickland — who is working with his third offensive coordinator of his career — said he felt better about where he and the team are heading.
“It’s hard for a quarterback to build a relationship with an offensive coordinator and then he leaves,” Strickland said, adding that new head coach Kyle Hayes has instilled a culture centered around simplification and learning to do things correctly. “I want to stay in the pocket longer and not always have happy feet. I’m a better teammate (this fall) and I make better reads.”
On the defensive side of the ball, senior outside linebacker Douglas Howard said a combination of work put in during the offseason and some new faces have the Titans’ D figuring to be a formidable unit.
“We’re learning; I like (Hayes’) new defensive scheme,” Howard said. “We’re in way better conditioning than we were in the spring. We’ve got some new add-ons — new safeties and corners — so I think we’ll be good.”
Olympia opens the regular season at home against Seminole on Friday.
CFCA enjoying numbers
In addition to losing a coach, the CFCA Eagles lost a few playmakers from last year’s breakout season. Helping to offset those losses for first-year coach John Davis, though, is the increased roster size that the excitement from last season’s run has helped to bring about.
Instead of playing in a kickoff classic, the Eagles held an intrasquad scrimmage Aug. 21, and Athletic Director Kyle Wills said CFCA, which lists 31 players on its roster, was able to run 11-on-11 with some players resting — a luxury the program has not previously had.
CFCA hits the field for a real game when it hosts crosstown rival Legacy Charter at 7 p.m. Friday.