FANTASYLAND — With fantasy and high school football seasons here, it’s as good a time as any to write something about one or the other. But why not both?
Introducing Pete Caster’s local high school football fantasy draft!
Here in Fantasy Land — where no offense runs the Wing-T formation, I have a $100k per year job and food and drink are always on the house — I have drafted the ultimate local prep team to rack up a plethora of points every Friday night.
My fantasy rules are pretty standard:
• Roster consist of a quarterback, two running backs, two receivers, a tight end, a kicker and a defense/special teams.
• Standard scoring applies: six points for a receiving or rushing touchdown, four points for a passing touchdown, three points for a field goal, and six points for a 300-plus yard passing game.
Anything more in-depth than that would almost as ridiculous as this column.
Mitch Gueller, W.F. West, Senior: With my number one pick, I will select Mitch “The Bearcat Fortune” Gueller.
Versatility is an understatment when it comes to the senior quarterback. Off-the-field incidents aside, Gueller is the Michael Vick of my fantasy league or, maybe more fitting in the real world, he is the Jake Locker of Chehalis. He can throw the ball, he can run the ball, he can even throw the ball while running — amazing! But seriously, Ol’ Gueller is without a doubt the most athletic quarterback in Lewis County and his ability to put up ridiculous stats on any given week is absurd. Last season Gueller was 88 of 150 for 1,242 yards with 15 touchdowns while running for 651 yards and 5 touchdowns. That’s a lot of points and considering it’s his senior seasons — which compares to an NFL player in a contract year — there’s only more incentive for him to light up the scoreboard all season long.
Bubba Lara, Adna, Senior: On Thursday nights this fall, Bubba Lara will be haunting the dreams of the Central 2B League’s defenses. The senior hits hard, runs hard and has the speed to find paydirt from nearly any spot on the field. By no means do the Pirates try to hide the fact that they like to run the ball. In fact, Adna coach K.C. Johnson probably wouldn’t mind telling the opposition that he’s just going to run the ball on every play to make the game a little more interesting. With that in mind, Lara will get a bulk of the carries for the preseason No. 1-ranked Pirates and with a seasoned and powerful offensive line leading the charge, Lara is poised to put up some serious yards on Friday nights.
Cody Meier, Toledo, Junior: With a new quarterback calling the shots and a recent tradition of being a run-heavy offense, Cody Meier looks to be a solid mid-draft pick at the running back position. Meier, a second team SWW 1A Trico pick last season, will look to build on a solid sophomore campaign with a strong junior season. But, if the Indian offensive line doesn’t perform, this pick could totally backfire, in which case I’ll be surfing the waiver wire.
Who are we kidding? No team throws the football in Lewis County, so this is going to be a tricky selection. These will both be late-round picks.
Darrin Love, Tenino, Senior: If Beaver quarterback Devante Harris has improved his arm like Tenino coach Jeff Zenisek says he has, then Love, a SWW 1A Evergreen honorable mention wide receiver last season, is bound to have a number of big-play opportunities in Title Town. Love has got the size (6-0, 170) — as well as the high-jumping chops — to out-leap and outrun most corners in the Evergreen Division.
Joe Rothlin, W.F. West, Senior: Gueller has to throw to someone if I want to win my league. So, I take Joe Rothlin. Rothlin must have learned something while playing behind the likes of Erik Forgione and Nolan Lininger. And, if the Bearcats have any chance of making a run into the postseason, they will have to throw the ball... at least, a couple times a game — I hope. So there you go, Joe, you made it onto my fantasy team. You’re welcome. But don’t let it go to your head.
Dayna Squibb, Centralia, Senior: Not only is Squibb a menacing figure on the wrestling mat, but the State 2A 189-lb. fifth-place finisher looks to be an athletic all-purpose tight end for the Tigers. The Biff Tannen look-alike will be a major player in the new pro-style Centralia offense that looks to highlight his athletic ability on a number of different sets.
Zach Wichert, Napavine, Senior: The Napavine senior was an Associated Press All-State 2B honorable mention selection last season. His three previous years of experience kicking on muddy fields in the C2BL will surely come in handy this season. The only question is will the Tiger offense give the Wichert enough opportunities to be productive in my fantasy league?
Centralia Tigers: With 10 seniors starting on the Tiger defense, this is a no brainer. Centralia looks to have one of the toughest defenses in the Evergreen 2A Conference and with size and speed all across the defensive side of the field, turnovers should be aplenty on the Tiger Stadium turf.
• Devante Harris, Tenino, QB. — I’m keeping an eye on Harris, who is as quick as they come at quarterback. I might try to pick the junior up on waivers mid-season.
• Brian Reynolds, Morton-White Pass, RB. — If the Timberwolves hope to make a push for the postseason, Reynolds will have to be a key factor. He’s just a sophomore, but if fullback Kody Crowder can make space in the trenches for Reynolds, he could easily find himself on my fantasy radar.
• Jarrod Potter, Pe Ell, QB: New Trojan coach Chris Fitzgerald may be holding an ace up his sleeve with the 6-3, 185-pound Potter. The key to a good sleeper is that no one knows a thing about the guy and no one knows anything about Potter, expect Fitzy. So, we’ll see.
• Piang No, Centralia, K: With the kicking spot rumored still to be in the air in Centralia, No seems like a possible midseason pickup for me at kicker for if he gets off to a good start. Come October when the rain — a girls soccer — begin to tear up grass field, No could be a safe bet kicking on the turf of Tiger Stadium.
• Alissa Brooks-Johnson, Pe Ell, WR: The odds are on Brooks-Johnson, a four-event state champ in track last spring, playing volleyball. But if she happened to turn out for the Trojan football team, the recent Sports Illustrated ‘Faces in the Crowd’ honoree could make a mean wideout.