Give a lot of credit to the individuals doing the hiring at Columbia River HS. It’s no small task replacing Coach John O”Rourke, a man that guided the Chieftains to 19 playoff appearances in 22 seasons.
Recently CRHS landed one of Oregon’s top coaches in Christian Swain to replace the GSHL legend. As many know the former Roosevelt coach took a program at the very bottom, to the top of the PIL. In 7 seasons under his leadership the Roughriders made the playoffs 6 straight times, winning a conference title. Even more important was the 60+ athletes he sent on to play college football during his tenure.
Making the move down to 2A immediately puts Columbia River in the conversation among the top teams in the state. The Vancouver based school will return one of the top lines in the Northwest, highlighted by D1 projected multi offer talent Mason Schell 6-6 285 17′. Add to this Nate Hockhalter 6-4 270 17′ and Matt Bowman 6-5 260 17′ and you have a trio that could all potentially play division 1 football.
With the necessary foundation set up front the Chieftains will look to RB Hunter Pearson 5-9 210 17′ to take the bulk of the carries, and Dakota Mason 6-4 185 18′ to create match up problems from his WR spot. Speaking on the two Swain says, “Pearson is an absolute beast and reminds me a little bit of Marion Barber”. Adding, “He runs angry and will be a force this season.”
“Mason is a big time target on the outside and will require a consistent double team, as he is on multiple Big Sky radars right now including Portland St…He has the potential to be a MLB draft pick, which speaks to his overall athleticism.”
Koben Jamison 6-1 180 18′ will be a big play threat and can do a little bit of everything out of the backfield, or split out wide. The QB position is a question mark with AJ Jenkins 18′, Ryan Tullis 18′, and Nathan Kunz 18′ all vying for the spot.
Referencing his D coach Swain says, “The Lidstone twins, Noholoa and Nahiku will patrol an experienced secondary, and Shawn Sadler 18′ should be a strong player and lead the LB core.”
One change from previous seasons will come with the addition of the TE position. Colin Helt 6-2 225 18′, Austin Carter 6-3 220, and Beau Braden 6-4 240 18′ are good looking kids with size that could very well fit the mold. There is also talk that district basketball player of the year Spencer Long 6-3 230 could return to the football field, as he has the potential of being a big time college prospect at Tight End or LB.
In summary Coach Swain has some legit talent on his roster. He is a man that won’t be outworked and gives everything he has to the community. You can expect Columbia River to be an immediate contender at the 2A level. We will bring you updates as they happen.
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