The Tides and Seahawks are both looking to put week one losses behind them as they prepare for the annual Fish Bowl. The Tides suffered a 35-7 loss to O’Dea last Thursday at West Seattle Stadium, and the Seahawks fell to the Bellarmine Lions on Friday night, 26-14. Gig Harbor head coach Aaron Chantler said the Tides need to execute better.
“It’s about trusting in our schemes, and trusting in ourselves,” he said. “Since it was the first game, guys were maybe trying to do too much. We need to dial it in and focus on our assignments.”
Chantler said the team will be ready for the Fish Bowl, despite the team’s troubles against O’Dea.
“That’s the beauty of sports, there’s always another day,” Chantler said. “It’s the Fish Bowl—our guys know. How do we get up? We got back to work and flush it. We had a long meeting and talked it out. It’s over, we have to have a short memory.”
The team placed a special emphasis on tackling in practice, which they struggled to do consistently against O’Dea’s tailback Myles Gaskin, who racked up 191 rush yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone.
If the Tides want to get the win against Peninsula, they’ll need better play from some of their senior leaders, a few of whom are quarterback Conor Scanlan, offensive tackle Owen Taylor and defensive end Jake Choate. Scanlan said the team won’t dwell on the loss for very long.
“It comes down to working harder,” Scanlan said. “Sometimes it takes a loss like that to realize you want it more. We use each other to grow; we have a strong bond.”
For the defense, it all starts up front. Choate said the defensive line needs to work harder.
“The d-line needs to fire away harder,” he said. “We need to hit the gaps.”
Chantler said Peninsula will provide a different look than O’Dea, who runs an old school, I-formation, ground-and-pound offense. While the Seahawks still feature some power looks, they generally run their offense out of the shotgun, and they utilize some spread formations as well.
“(Peninsula head coach) Ross Filkins does a great job,” Chantler said. “They’re aggressive and physical. Their DB’s are physical. They execute and they don’t make very many mental mistakes. It’s going to be a dogfight.”
While Chantler doesn’t think the Seahawks make many mental errors, Filkins said mental mistakes cost his team the game against Bellarmine.
“We found every way to beat ourselves tonight,” Filkins said following Friday night’s game. “All our mistakes were mental errors—everything. It was just a lack of focus. They’re all correctable.”
Filkins attributed the team’s early-season propensity for mental lapses to their youth, and hopes they can correct those mistakes before Friday night’s Fish Bowl.
“We have lots for fresh faces,” Filkins said. “Only two players have routinely started varsity from last year. We have some development ahead and we will need to accelerate learning in some areas. We need to execute assignments at a higher level.”
Seahawks’ senior wide receiver Ian Hodge, who hauled in a touchdown pass late in Friday night’s game, said the team needs to get better in all areas.
“We need to have mental toughness and come together and work harder as a team,” Hodge said.
While only one team can win the Fish Bowl, both teams hope to have a better showing than in week one. Perhaps more importantly however, the players and coaches want to embrace the unique and exciting atmosphere of the Fish Bowl. Tides’ senior offensive tackle Owen Taylor will be playing in his fourth and final Fish Bowl on Friday night, an experience he always looks forward to.
“It’s fun and unique,” Taylor said. “We get a ton of people out there. It should be another good experience.”
The head coaches spend most of their time focusing on the actual game, but they do their best to soak in the atmosphere as well.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Chantler said. “It’s great to have the community out there supporting; to see the whole community come together is really cool. You don’t see that everywhere. It’s a great rivalry, it’s really special. It’s a whole different kick for the kids.”
Filkins hopes his team will appreciate the experience.
“I think it’s great for the kids to experience a tradition like this in the community,” he said. “It’s always a great time for the community to reconnect with cultural heritage and it’s a fun celebration.”
The Fish Bowl will be held Friday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. at Roy Anderson Field.
Reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.