Day After Report: Heritage vs. Hudson’s Bay

The Heritage Timberwolves are 2-0.

Ho hum. Been there. Done that.

The Timberwolves opened the 2014 season 2-0 with wins over Prairie and Hudson’s Bay. Those were the only two wins of the season.

“That’s all people remember about us from last year,” first-year coach Matt Gracey said. “They remember us as the last-place team in the league. Now, we’ve got to focus on getting better in Weeks 3 through 9.”

That starts next week against Evergreen in the 4A Greater St. Helens League opener for the Timberwolves. And senior Kalani Umiamaka knows the key.

“Don’t get big-headed,” Umiamaka said. “We have Week 3. We have to play our hardest for Week 3, not look to Week 4 or Week 5. We have to play Week 3 during practice.”

Quarterback Gavin Lee echoed that thought.

“Last year, we got big-headed,” Lee said. “We just need to keep our heads in it and keep moving forward.”

RUNNING WOLVES: Gracey believes success starts with conditioning. So the Timberwolves spent much of their preseason practices running.

“I’d like to think we are the best-conditioned team around,” Gracey said. “It was hot tonight, but we’ve been running in the heat of the day for the last few weeks. I think that showed. We didn’t have kids cramping or having to come out. It’s something the kids have taken seriously.”

Lee said the Timberwolves could feel the heat, but it didn’t throw them off.

“In the locker room actually at halftime, we were saying ‘It’s really hot outside.’ But none of us got tired,” he said.

Lee said the Timberwolves’ conditioning helped them take a 9-6 game late in the third quarter into a 30-6 win.

“We know (the running) is paying off,” he said. “Look at the scoreboard. It wasn’t like that at halftime.”

EAGLE ON THE SPOT: Hudson’s Bay had a couple of highlights, but none more impressive than the alert play by sophomore Julio Vara.

Vara went out for a pass when the ball was overthrown. A Heritage defender dove for the interception, but could not get a handle on the ball. As the defender rolled on the turf, the ball popped out. Vara alertly grabbed the rebound and turned it into an 18-yard gain.

The video of the play is included here, at the top of the post.

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