With just a little over two months to go before their first pre-season game (April 12 against the Bellingham Bulldogs), the Puyallup Nation Kings football team is off to a great start in terms of team players. So far there are 73 on the roster, with more to come. The roster will then be cut down to 55 players before the Kings’ first regular season game on May 16.
“We’ve had the same core of 40 people showing up to every practice compared to last year when we were lucky to get 15 people at a practice,” said Kings owner/player Ty Satiacum, who founded the team last year along with Archie Cantrell and Joe McCloud. What made the difference in this second year? “The foundation we set last year,” Ty Satiacum replied. “And being a first year team and coming up one game short of the Championship.” He said word started spreading that the Kings take care of the players and the Tribe’s support has been very helpful to the team as well.
Made up of adults 18 years and older, the Kings held a tryout/combine on Jan. 18 at the Chief Leschi Schools field, and 48 player hopefuls showed up. This gave coaches the chance to evaluate the players speed, strength, agility and athleticism.
“This year we have a lot more volunteers and a full coaching staff. Eight coaches not including the strength and conditioning coach and trainer,” Ty Satiacum said. “Last year we struggled through the season without a full-time coach.”
Aaron Rambo is head coach this year, and Ty Satiacum couldn’t be happier. “This year we have a coach that’s passionate; he coaches at Foster high school and is a volunteer coach at (University of Puget Sound). His energy level and dedication are great.”
The team has high aspirations for 2014. “This year we have big goals,” Ty Satiacum said. “Our goal is to win not only this league but we want to travel and play the champions of the PFL (Pacific Football League), which you could say is a step up in competition. We want to win three rings this year.”
The next tryout/combine will be held on Feb. 15 at Chief Leschi Schools, 10:30 a.m. Pre-registration is $25 and $40 on-site. Players will be evaluated on the following areas: 225 lb. bench press repetitions, broad jump, 40-yard dash, vertical jump, 3-cone drill, 1-on-1 drills, 7-on-7 competition and various other drills. To pre-register, contact Stephanie Satiacum at Stephanie.email@example.com or call Leesa Wright at (253) 405-8111. Make check/money order out to Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The Kings is an amateur football organization with the Western Washington Football Association (WWFA).
Ty Satiacum said he’s been very impressed with the quality of players he’s seen this year. “We really have some talent. We’re looking good.” He said Marquise Henry in particular is one to watch. “Looking at him, you wouldn’t think he could hit as hard as he does. But he’s very fast. He’s like an Earl Thomas – he’ll play safety for us and come in like a kamikaze. He’s a competitor.”
The Kings offensive line is also looking sharp. “When I started the team last year, I called on my old buddies because I played offensive line for Spanaway Lake High School back in 2001. I called on as many of them as I could and I was able to pull four of them including myself, so I have four of our five starting offensive linemen for the team. We all had league honors in high school. They’re a big part of the team now.”
Representing for the Puyallup Tribe, the Kings, so far, have Ty Satiacum, SouByAchHe “Big” Bean, Archie Cantrell, Marquise Henry, James Stafford, Julio Taraya, Joe Mccloud, Justin Turnipseed, Pernelle Turnipseed and Christian Melendez. Ty Satiacum hopes that this core of Puyallup tribal members, along with the rest of the team, will help increase participation of Chief Leschi students.
“We hope to boost the numbers at Chief Leschi, their participation levels, because the word is spreading. The Kings are popular at the high school. I’m having students come up saying they want to play for the Kings and I’m hoping that translates into bigger turnouts for the school so this year we’re going to have a combine for the students. It’ll be like a football camp/combine where students will have a chance to experience an NFL style of testing,” Ty Satiacum said, and it will be held in the spring.
Players who are interested in trying out for the Puyallup Nation Kings are asked to contact head coach Aaron Rambo at firstname.lastname@example.org.