By Ray Hamill — The South Fork Cubs will look to continue their fast start to the season in football at Round Valley this weekend.
The Cubs are 2-0 with victories over Calistoga and Upper Lake, and will be out to make it three straight wins before embarking on a stretch of games that will likely go a long way toward deciding their season.
This year, Karl Terrell takes over head coaching duties from the departed Andy Olsen, a position he served for several years in the early 2000s.
Terrell, who also served as an assistant under Olsen for the past 10 years, is in his 19th year with the program.
“I’m happy to be here and coach these kids and keep this thing going,” Terrell said.
Through the opening two games, the Cubs have looked solid, especially considering they have just two starters back from last year’s North Coast Section championship winning team.
Senior co-captains C.J. Van Meter and Cody Wyatt are both strong all-around athletes and members of the Cubs’ two NCS winning squads a year ago — they also won in baseball— bringing a wealth of experience to the roster.
“C.J.’s very smart, scholastically and football wise,” Terrell said of his starting quarterback. “He studies the game, so he knows what’s going on all the time.”
In his fourth year as a starter, Van Meter has even been given the freedom this year to make his own calls out on the field of play.
The versatile Wyatt returns at running back, but will line up “all over the field,” according to his coach.
“He has come a long ways,” Terrell said.
A group of seven strong sophomores also bodes well for the future of the program, with players like Christian Carlson, Alex Harding and Sean Hassall-Hoss all expected to be major contributors.
“We teach them all the skills,” Terrell said. “We want them all to be interchangeable parts.”
Along both lines, look for seniors Orin Paula and Dylan Music, as well as sophomore Ray Gotcher to all play a major role this year as well.
As for what the head coach likes most about this year’s squad?
“They’re very respectful,” Terrell said. “To adults, to coaches, and they’re willing to learn, and to put out to get success.”
The defending North Central League-III champions, will open league play at Covelo on Saturday against a run-heavy Round Valley offense.
And Terrell is looking for his players to focus on the fundamentals.
“The little things. I really concentrate on the little things,” the coach said. “We need to make sure we’re tackling and blocking correctly, and the Xs and Os fall into place if you do that.”
And the coach likes what he’s seen from his players so far.
“For as young as they are, they’re coming along,” he said.
Key upcoming matchups for the Cubs, include games at home to Branson next week and at Stuart Hall in two weeks, a pair of games that will go a long way toward telling how good the Cubs are this season.
Saturday’s game is set for noon.
Round Valley is 0-1, falling 48-36 at Point Arena a week ago.
Terrell is joined on the sidelines this season by his son Kyle Terrell, as well as Brett Van Meter and Bret Wilsey.