Senior Kvinsland leads competitive Seahawks spring camp

Peninsula head coach Ross Filkins says every position is competitive

Staff writerJune 11, 2014 

Peninsula High senior Conner Walch, carrying the ball, leads a talented group of receivers looking to capitalize on last year’s undefeated Class 3A SPSL season and take the next step this year.

JON MANLEY/GATEWAY PHOTO

One fact is certain: Peninsula High has a quarterback.

Senior Robert Kvinsland had a breakthrough year for the Seahawks last year, leading them to an 8-4 record and an undefeated league record. Other than that, pretty much every position is up for grabs.

“At every other position, we’ve got a lot of people pushing each other really hard right now,” Peninsula head coach Ross Filkins said. “In my 20 years at Peninsula, this is probably the most competitive camp that I’ve had, that I’ve seen here. It’s exciting.”

Kvinsland leads a talented group of seniors going into their final season.

“We’re looking pretty solid,” Kvinsland said. “We return a lot of starters this year, which is nice. We’re picking (things) up at a lot higher of a level than we were last year.”

Senior Major Ali leads the charge for the running back position, vacated by the graduated Avega Siolo, who was a workhorse for the Seahawks. With so many players returning with varsity experience, Kvinsland has high expectations for himself and the team.

“I want to be in midseason form come game one,” Kvinsland said. “I want to try to be the leader of this team and lead this team as far as we can go.”

After being bounced by Bellevue in the Class 3A state playoff quarterfinals, the Seahawks have worked hard in offseason conditioning programs.

“We’ve had a good winter and spring and we’ve got a pretty good mix of seniors who are seasoned — and some very hungry younger players,” Filkins said. “There’s a tremendous amount of competition right now at every position, which is a very healthy thing for us. It’s exciting, and we’re looking forward to getting out and getting work done every day.”

The Seahawks will hold eight practices in June, and will attend a team camp June 20-23 at Oregon State University, which will conclude official football activities until fall camp begins in August.

Kvinsland said spring practices give the team an opportunity to launch into fall camp with a good understanding of what it wants to accomplish.

“You get the togetherness,” Kvinsland said. “You get to the point where you’re coming into the fall ready to go. You have a full understanding of the plays we’re going to run. The base playbook is set up during the spring ball. The Oregon State camp we go to is really where the team comes together. We get a lot of good competition through that.”

Filkins said the team tackles the most important things in the spring, and works on ironing out the details in the fall.

“In the spring, we’re teaching what’s most important,” Filkins said. “For some of our younger players, we’re still installing things, making sure they’re mentally ready to go. In terms of our techniques and our skills, we’re really honing what the most important skills are.”

The spring also provides an early look at what will define the current team.

“It’s really about establishing our culture, who we are, our identity,” Filkins said. “Every year, you’re going to have an opportunity to establish our identity as a team, and it starts from day one.”

Filkins said the program doesn’t hand out instructions to captains on how to conduct workouts and what to be doing between the end of spring ball and the start of fall camp.

“We really believe in multi-sport athletes,” Filkins said. “We’re trying to just do the bare minimum, to make sure we’re eligible and all that. We like to tell kids to get out, go water ski, go play some baseball. We really believe in having a holistic approach to being a kid still. For us, this is summertime. We really enjoy being on the field every day, and we never want to lose that.”

Still, the players won’t be ignoring football in summer. Many players will be going to various skill camps, and when they’re at home, will get together to toss the football, at the very least.

“We’ll get the guys together probably every other day,” Kvinsland said.

Jon Manley: 253-358-4151 jon.manley@gateline.com Twitter: @gateway_jon

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