State Previews: KingCo 3A/2A

ESP takes a tour around the state of Washington looking at impact players, top games, and conference favorites…

The next stop on the state tour is KingCo 3A/2A conference. Like the KingCo 4A this division holds last year's state champion in Bellevue. Bellevue's biggest challenge will come from a Liberty team that they are very familiar with…

Players to Watch

S/WR Jake Bainton, Sr. Liberty
Bainton was not only first team all-league on both sides of the ball but was named special team's player of the year in the conference. He is an absolute ball hawk on defense and is Wheeler's favorite target on offense. Bainton has the size and athleticism to play at the next level.

CB/RB Chandler Jenkins, Sr. Liberty
Chandler is a sparkplug and was first team all-conference both ways. Jenkins is the big play threat for the Patriots and causes problems for teams both running out of the backfield and catching the ball.

ILB Taylor Ragan, Sr. Sammamish
Ragan is the only returning all-league linebacker in the conference. He will anchor a Sammash team that struggled at times last year.

S Kendrick Van Ackeren, Sr. Bellevue
Van Ackernan holds an offer from Washington State. He is a central piece to a Bellevue defense replacing graduated playmakers.

QB Trey Wheeler, Sr. Liberty
Wheeler put up great numbers last season for Liberty, he earned a first team all-conference selection as a Sophomore and second team honors last year. Wheeler and the rest of the skill position players are back for Liberty, but he will have to make due behind a line that is replacing some players.

TE Joe Farmer, Sr. Mount Si
I don't think that Mt. Si will compete for the league title but Farmar is a playmaker. He holds offers from New Mexico State, Air Force, and Illinois State.

RB Chandler Jenkins, Sr. Liberty
As a sophomore Jenkins did everything for Liberty. He returned punts, caught passes, and rushed the ball. He should have even a larger role this season with some senior talent graduated.

OT Marcus Henry, Sr. Bellevue
The recent Boise State commit is the next prospect in a line of talented Wolverine linemen.

QB Matt Malos, Sr. Interlake
Malos earned all-conference honors at quarterback for the second year in a row. Malos lost some of the weapons around him and will have to shoulder the load for Interlake.

TE/DL Jarrett Finau, Sr. Juanita
Finau is a transfer from WesCo power Marysville-Pillchuck. Finau is a recent University of Washington commit and should be a force in conference.

G Jalen Robinson, Jr. Liberty
As a sophomore, Robinson earned second team all-league honors. He is the centerpiece to an offensive line that needs to rebuild following graduation.

DT Cody Treddenbarger, Sr. Juanita
Treddenbarger is a mauler that is a leader for Juanita. Juanita will need to him to play as well as he did last season if they hope to push for a playoff spot.

Top Games

9/3, Skyline @ Liberty (Non-League)
9/10, Issaquah @ Liberty (Non-League)
9/11, Skyline @ Bellevue (Non-League)
10/1, Mercer Island @ Bellevue
10/29, Bellevue @ Liberty

Conference Prediction

KingCo Champ: Liberty

It is hard to pick against Bellevue as league champion; regardless of who graduates this team is going to perform. They have a tough early schedule as they always do, playing Skyline early in out of conference play. Liberty played Bellevue as close as anyone last year and the year before. No matter which team wins the division, I think the odds of the two powerhouses meeting in the playoffs again are high. Liberty also plays Skyline in addition to Issaquah early in the season. The Patriots have deep talent at the skill positions, but their lines could be a question mark.

I am going to go against my usual trend and pick Liberty. I think this is the year that their talent overtakes Bellevue in conference. But as I said above, I could easily see the two teams moving deep into the playoffs and playing each other again. They have to be the two favorites for the 3A state title this season.

As always, there are many more that could have made the list. Visit our forums to let me know who else you think should have made the list.

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