By Nate Alford `11
Pup Sports Podcast
As Thanksgiving draws near, the Bullpups football season has come to a close. After covering the team all season on the Pup Sports Podcast, I was impressed to see such a young team excel! At the outset of the season coach Dave McKenna was fighting an uphill battle in his 12th year at the helm. Despite a low preseason ranking, McKenna and his experienced assistant coaching staff led Gonzaga Prep to a Greater Spokane League title. It seems like we say it every year, but defense wins GSL championships. The Pups proved that early this season with standout performances from junior linebacker Daniel McKiernan, senior linebacker Austin Reed, and senior defensive lineman Zane Melzer. The three were instrumental in the shutout performance against University and the must-win games against Mead and Central Valley for the GSL title. A big shout-out to goes to coach H. T. Higgins and his defensive coaching staff.
The offense started off slow, but finished the season very strong. It took time for the offensive line to get comfortable and healthy with an early injury to senior offensive lineman Trevor Riordan. The real story on offense this year was the emergence of sophomore quarterback Ryan McKenna. He was one of the top rushers in the GSL and a natural leader on and off the field. The entire backfield for the Pups, including junior Jaden Ortega and sophomore Rob Collier Jr. will be back next season.
We are now entering a nine-month Prep football dry season. The Pups will enter the offseason with their heads held high after making the playoffs and gaining valuable experience for next season. The well-coached Bullpups will be back next year hungry for a State Championship run.
Though the football season has ended, stay with us. The weekly Pup Sports Podcast will be following girls and boys basketball all season long! Listen here, or find us on all major Podcast platforms including Spotify and Apple Podcast.