By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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After being among the top teams in the Olympic League the previous two seasons, including a 6-1 league finish in 2010, Port Angeles went winless for the second time in four seasons.
But even more strange was Sequim's 2-7 record last year.
Under coach Erik Wiker, the Wolves have become the class of the Olympic League, and a fixture in the postseason.
But 2012 started with six consecutive losses, and Sequim's only wins came against the Roughriders and Klahowya.
Many starters graduated last season, leaving the Wolves with many holes to fill.
No sweat off Wiker's back.
“We're getting back to the basics, making sure we all the little things right,” Wiker said.
“It's been very enjoyable to coach these guys.”
One of the key returners is offensive and defensive lineman Al Serrano, the only All-Olympic League first-team honoree on the Peninsula last season.
“He's one of the better lineman in the Olympic League,” Wiker said.
Also back are two-way starter Brett Wright (wide receiver/defensive back), receiver Josiah Anastasi and linebacker Austin Sampson.
Junior Miguel Moroles will start at quarterback.
Wiker said Moroles has been running Sequim's system since he was in eighth grade, and last year was actually pushing Jack Wiker for starting duties until he was injured early in the season.
Adam Knapman will take over at running back.
The Wolves will continue to use the spread offense. Wiker declined to classify his team as run-first or pass-first.
“We'll take what the defense gives us,” Wiker said.
Sequim opens its season at home against New Westminster, B.C.
Wiker said the game will be played with American football rules, rather than Canadian.
Head coach Tom Wahl said the Riders tweaked their summer strategy after going 0-9 last year.
“We focused more on the team aspect,” he said.
“We have a pretty committed group.”
Port Angeles returns a lot of experience in the backfield.
Nick Lasorsa, Matt Robbins, Miki Andrus and Nate Angevine all received significant carries in 2012.
This year, Andrus will move from quarterback to running back, and Angevine will quarterback the Riders' new version of the Wing-T.
Robert McMahan, son of new assistant coach Mike McMahan, will see action at running back, too. Robert McMahan played at Meadowdale last year.
But that experienced backfield will be running behind an inexperienced offensive line.
“The line opens the holes,” Wahl said.
“We have big lineman with definite potential.”
A inexperience offensive line means the Riders will have a similar situation on the defensive front, as most of the lineman are two-way starters.
Led by Andrus, Wahl expects the secondary to be the strength of the defense going into the season.
Port Angeles opens the season with at home against W.F. West at Civic Field on Friday night.
The Bearcats beat the Riders 33-0 in the 2012 opener.
Sports reporter/outdoors columnist Lee Horton can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.