Eugene, Ore. -- Day 3 of Blitzing the Preseason presented by Bi-Mart keeps on rolling, rolling on and Wednesday KEZI 9 Sports hit the Highlanders of North Eugene. The team is building on a 3-6 2017 season.
"We're not the biggest team, we're not the strongest team, we're not the fastest and we don't got the most numbers or anything but they're just kinda friends that...they're just average joes that wanna do something," says North Eugene senior Jake Hall.
But North Eugene head coach Rick Raish doesn't see anything average with his Highlanders.
"I know I'm their coach but I'm actually excited to watch them play and see how they compete which I know is gonna be exceptional," says head coach Rick Raish. "I want them to win more than I've ever wanted to win that's the kind of group these guys are. So it's pretty exciting stuff."
Returning a number of all-league caliber players and multisport athletes led by Jake Hall, North Eugene aims to build on their strong end to 2017.
"It should carry over without me having to do anything," Raish explains. "Their attitude and expectations are real high."
"We went off strong last year beating Ashland in our last game," continues Hall. "It's not enough though. These guys want more they want to make it to playoffs and they want to show what North Eugene can do in 5A."
"We've got some athlete, multiple sport athletes that are very talented and I think they're ready to have a breakout year even though I think coaches already know who they are but they're ready to stand out," Raish concludes.
Which means a confluence of talent and motivation.
"Nobody on this team has ever had a winning season and for our Marist game, we lost that game but we always say if we had another quarter of that game we would've won it," finishes Hall. "I think starting then this kind of spark lit and I think we've been hungry ever since then."
So no, maybe not average, but something Highlander fans can appreciate all fall long.
KEZI 9 Sports' Blitzing the Preseason stories continues on Thursday with Central Linn high school.
- Blitzing the Preseason: North Eugene Highlanders
- Blitzing the Preseason: South Eugene Axes
- Blitzing the Preseason: Marist Spartans
- Blitzing the Preseason: Corvallis Spartans
- Blitzing the Preseason: Thurston Colts
- Blitzing the Preseason: Harrisburg Eagles
- Blitzing the Preseason: Willamette Wolverines
- Blitzing the Preseason: Creswell Bulldogs
- Blitzing the Preseason: McKenzie Eagles
- Blitzing the Preseason: Roseburg Indians