Despite youth, Chiawana football ready for big year again in 201 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Despite youth, Chiawana football ready for big year again in 2012

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PASCO, Wash. -- Chiawana football has high expectations after getting upset in last year's state playoffs. Despite losing top players like Jordan Downing, Miquiyah Zamora and C.J Edrington, the team expects to be just as lethal in 2012.

At 8-0 last season, the Riverhawks looked destined for greatness. Then the number two ranked team in the state got shutout by Central Valley in the first round of the 4A playoffs. With last year in the past now, this year's Riverhawks are motivated and focused.

"Our whole thing for that is we want to get to that point again, hopefully face that team and show them that that game shouldn't have ended the way it did. We should have beat that team and ended up going a lot farther than we did," senior Joe Zamora said.

The expectations are once again high at Chiawana. The Tacoma News Tribune has the Riverhawks at eighth in the state in its 4A preseason poll.

"I think we're a top team. The program at Chiawana is top notch. I think as we continue to grow you know, we'll get there," junior lineman Kayden Maughan added.

After starting nine sophomores in last year's state playoff loss to Central Valley, the Riverhawks only return about five or six seniors this year. They say not to worry about age. It is experience that really counts.

"Well they were boys as sophomores and we're hoping they're men as juniors because we're going to rely on them a lot to be the leaders of the team because our senior class is so small," said Steve Graff, Chiawana head coach.

The young team expects growing pains, but also expects greatness.