Washington’s Top 50 High School Football Teams: Goes No. 9 Bellevue, led by “electric” Ishaan Daniels, to re-enter the 3A championship hunt? – High school sports news, results, videos, leaderboards
SBLive previews the 50 best Washington high school teams ahead of the fall 2021 season. Here’s a sneak peek at the 3A KingCo Conference’s Bellevue Wolverines – team number 9 on our countdown.
SPRING 2021 IN REVIEW
3-1 for COVID-affected 4A / 3A KingCo (second place).
LIFE OF THE COACH
- Michael Kneip, fourth season.
- Overall balance: 24-5.
- Coordinators: OK – Morgan Richey (Wing-T); DC – Matt Gilbert (several).
RB / DB Dan Marino
DL Matulino Masunu
QB Bryson Sleeper
DL Tim Underwood
RB / WR / DB Ishaan Daniels, 5011, 150, jr.
OL / DL Elliot Hamilton, 6-5, 280, sr.
TE / LB Hogan Hansen, 6-5, 200, soph.
OL / DL Peter Netelenbos, 6-0, 260, sr.
RB / LB William Wang, 5-7, 193, sr.
Attack – 8th Defense – 7th
TO SEE THREE
Ishaan Daniels, cornerback / security
One of the more pure electric athletes who have come through Bellevue in recent years. Therefore, he is not only the lockdown cornerback of the team, but also slips into the “Budda Baker spot” – more security and wingback on the offensive.
Hogan Hansen, tight end / outside linebacker
His speed and athleticism give the strong running Bellevue a dangerous option in the downfield (he proved that in four starts as a ninth grader last spring). Also has the length and speed to thrive as a linebacker on the outside (40 tackles in the spring).
William Wang, full-back
If he doesn’t raise his eyebrows at 5-7, 190 when he gets off the team bus – more consideration after rushing 950 yards and five touchdowns in four games as a junior? Wang has a deep understanding of how to be successful in Wing-T.
OUTLOOK AUTUMN 2021
It takes proper preparation and execution to carry out Bellevue’s Wing-T Offensive. It also helps to have the right staff.
Bellevue believes it did just that.
On paper, this could be head coach Michael Kneip’s most talented fourth year team. The Wolverines return with wiry three-star cornerback / wingback Ishaan Daniels, the stellar 6-5 tight end in sophomore year, Hogan Hansen, and even linebacker George Kruger, the team’s lead tackler.
Oh, and 15 starters from a team that went 3-1 in the spring, including two legitimate Power 5 prospects, two three-year starters with Peter Netelenbos and Elliott Hamilton alongside Kruger.
“This is by far the best defense we’ve ever had,” said Kneip.
TIED TOGETHER: Bellevue # 4 in SBLive’s 3A preseason ranking
Kneip was part of four consecutive state titles played under former coach Butch Goncharoff during Bellevue’s long, now infamous run on 3A. Since he took over the program in 2018, the Wolverines may not have consistently starred, but they certainly haven’t been relegated. He has played two consecutive playoff seasons, including a state semi-final in his debut season.
The Wolverines have been challenging each other on their non-league fixture list for the past few years, and this fall is no different. Bellevue will have played two perennial playoff teams in Peninsula and Lincoln and Kentwood on the road before playing its first 4A KingCo game.
It helps to have speed like Daniels on both sides of the ball.
“We haven’t had a player like (Daniels) for a long time,” said Kneip, who described the three-star cornerback (per 247 Sports) as “electric”.
The return of six seasoned guys on the offensive can only help, especially as Bellevue will bring in a new quarterback to replace Bryson Sleeper (Junior Cam Sleeper and runner-up Lucas Razore are fighting for the starting job).
Is this the year Bellevue reassert itself as a title contender after winning nine 3A titles in 11 years? (without the two titles that have become available in 2012 and 2013)
“Our children believe for the first time that I’m back, that they can win a title,” said Kneip. “They think they are on par with these top programs.”
SCHEDULE AUTUMN 2021
- September 3 on the peninsula
- September 11th in Kentwood
- September 17th against Lincoln of Tacoma
- September 24th on Lake Washington
- Oct. 1 vs. Mercer Island
- October 8 in Newport of Bellevue
- October 15 vs. Freedom from Issaquah
- October 22nd in Hazen
- October 29 against Juanita