Just in case the question should arise at some point this season — no, Warrenton football has never played in a state championship.

Now that that's out of the way, last year's move to the 2A level was a success, for the most part, for the 3A Warriors.

Warrenton's only close game in league play was a 16-14 loss at Neah-Kah-Nie.

Other than that, the Warriors lost at Knappa (70-21), and defeated Portland Christian (41-18), Vernonia (42-18), Gaston (62-6) and Nestucca (54-6).

Fans can expect a lot more success for Warrenton in 2019, year No. 2 in the Class 2A Northwest League.

In fact, don't be surprised to see the Warriors holding down a top three or four spot in the state rankings by the time they hit the state playoffs.

Warrenton's biggest league contests this season (Knappa and Neah-Kah-Nie) are both home games for the Warriors, and the remaining league games should be easy wins for Warrenton.

Still, the Warriors will take it one week, one game, one win at a time.

“We want to be 1-0 at the end of each week,” said head coach Ian O'Brien, who returned as Warrenton coach in 2017. “That's the goal. We as coaches believe we have a great group of kids who have worked really hard the past few years. Our goal is always to win the league, but we have to take it one week at a time. If we can take care of business we should be in the hunt.”

The Warriors will “continue to build off of last year and make a bigger jump,” O'Brien said. “We have improved year by year in the two seasons.

“Our first year back was rough but we were setting the foundation of the program. We had 25 kids in the program. The following year we had 35 and hopefully this season we can have over 40 players.”

With nine returning all-league players, O'Brien's hope “is this senior class can leave a legacy at Warrenton High School of what the expectation is for Warrior football,” he said. “Again, our goal is to go 1-0 each week. I think we have a good team and I am really excited about coaching them.”

Some of the all-league skill position players to watch include quarterback Jake Morrow, running back Devin Jackson and receiver Austin Little, all seniors.

Anchoring the offensive line are Mark Warren (Sr.) and Triston Scott (Jr.), both of whom were also all-league defensive linemen. Jackson was also an all-league linebacker, along with Sam Irwin (Jr.) and Morrow, a defensive back.

On special teams, senior Kenzie Ramsey is the league's top placekicker, and sophomore Hordie Bodden Bodden was an all-league returner as a freshman last season.

Also looking for breakout seasons will be Duane Falls (Jr., OL/LB), Ethan Green (Jr., RB/LB) and Noah Miller (Sr., WR/LB).

Backing up the regulars, “we have a big freshman class this year, and we are really excited to get them,” O'Brien said. “A handful have really committed themselves to the weight room over the summer, which gives them a big advantage.

“We have two kids who have moved to Warrenton, Austin Nelson (Sr.) and Lance Smith (Coast Guard family). We have been able to see them in some 7-on-7 stuff, and they have done a nice job and could help this fall.”

Gary Henley is a sports reporter for The Astorian. Contact him at 503-861-8493 or ghenley@dailyastorian.com.

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