Football dominates Valley division

New transfers fuel the team’s success

Sam Heikell and Henry Burreson
Originally published November 4, 2015

Since the Beavers moved to the 3A Metro league two seasons ago, they have not lost a divisional game. With some key additions and a lot of speed, they have scored an average of 55 points per game against those teams this year, helping them climb to a 6-1 record.

The team is much different than they have been in years past, primarily because they have added 10 new transfer students to their roster and the team still plays with solid chemistry. In addition, there are 23 senior players this year compared to only 11 last year. Generally, seniors are faster, stronger and smarter on the field, so an abundance of seniors helps fuel the team’s success.

Last season, Ballard relied on seniors Jacob Ta’ase (quarterback) and Shea Carroll (running back) to carry the offense, but this year they may have found just the right replacements.

Garfield transfer Antoine Patton already has 20 total touchdowns and has rushed for a total of 781 yards, smashing Carroll’s 416 yards from last season.

Bishop Blanchet transfer Davine Tullis has an astonishing 1,389 yards and 13 touchdowns passing, as well as 755 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Even though it’s his first season playing in a Ballard uniform, Tullis has established an important leadership role on the team. “It’s a big role with these men. It’s a fun group of guys and we just go out there and compete every day,” Tullis said. “This year we are really playing the whole game. We play as more of a family than a team.”

“We can beat any team in state. Honestly. Yes. Definitely. We can.”

— Senior running back Antoine Patton

Another new impact player is senior Rahmondo Trevino, a transfer from Blanchet. He holds down the offensive and defensive lines and keeps the team focused on what counts. “Our goal is to get to the state championship and win it,” Trevino said. “And when that’s fulfilled, I’ll be satisfied. We can do some damage in Washington this year.”

At the start of the season, Trevino made the decision of a lifetime by verbally committing to Portland State University for a football scholarship. “It was a great feeling, knowing I can go to the next level, get my education paid for and also play football,” Trevino said. “It was a dream come true, one I’ve had since I was a little kid. It was great.”

Besides Trevino, four out of their starting five offensive linemen came back from last season. “It’ll make it a lot easier to transition to a new quarterback with that kind of line,” head coach Joey Thomas said.

 The win against Roosevelt in week two was a big victory for Ballard, the first time in 12 years that they have beaten them. “We knew we could beat Roosevelt, man oh man,” Patton said. “This team is ready for great things.” With a strong starting squad and a serious bench prepared to work, the team has their eyes on State.

However, the team had to put out some fires at the beginning of the season. “We had some problems in the beginning that we would definitely like to have at the beginning, so that we have time to iron those out before going on to playoffs,” Patton said. “Right now we’re fine. We’re doing good. We’re clicking.”

With a talented group of 10 new players, leadership from 23 seniors and a new mindset, the team is set to improve from last season.“I have a lot of confidence in our team this year. We’re really pushing it and working hard in practice,” Tullis said. “The Dome is the ultimate goal for us. We’re handling our business.”

With a lot of confidence, Ballard has plans to make a state run. “We can beat any team in state. Honestly. Yes. Definitely. We can,” Patton said.