BG football looks to replenish roster after 24 seniors move on


The Battle Ground Tigers football team’s surprising 2023 record of 7-3 overall was led by a senior class of 24, many of them starters, and now the Tigers must replenish their roster heading into the fall.

The Tigers will replace the 24 graduates with 14 incoming seniors in the fall, head coach Mike Woodward said. He said, however, the spring practices, scrimmages and camps have highlighted many positives for the season to come.

In 2022, the Tigers finished just 2-7 but shocked the region in 2023 with a 7-2 regular season, which landed them in third place in league and a spot in week 10 football. Woodward said replacing a senior group is never easy, but it is that more difficult this year.

“I think those guys left a legacy that a lot of these kids want to try to live up to,” Woodward said of the class of 2024. “So, they’ve got a pretty good template on how to compete and how to win and how to believe in the program and what we’re doing. We’ve had a lot of guys fill some holes that we weren’t sure would be able to be filled.”

One newcomer, a transfer from La Center High School who has already played for Battle Ground High School’s basketball team last season, will be putting on the pads for the football team for his senior year. At 6 feet, 5 inches tall and 195 pounds, Boston Walker is already getting looks by bigger schools, Woodward said. Walker will line up at wide receiver and outside linebacker this season for the Tigers.

“He’s fast, he’s athletic and strong. So, we’re expecting some big things from him … He’s a big pick-up for us,” Woodward said.

Last season, a sophomore helmed the Tiger offense, and now a junior, Ethan Adams is improving his craft, Woodward said.

“We just got back from camp, and I felt like he was the best quarterback at the camp,” Woodward said. “He’s putting in the work, and he was great as a sophomore, and now he’s one year older, obviously, and bigger and stronger and just improving his leadership. He’s as competitive as they come, so he does an excellent job of guiding that offense.”

While the squad attended a football camp at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, Tyler Kangas, the Tigers’ 6-foot-8.5-inch offensive lineman, was 300 miles away in Cheney, Washington at an invite camp by Eastern Washington University.

“He’s 6’9”, got up to about 260, so he’s finally packing on some weight, and he’s been a real pleasant surprise in the spring and summer just with his leadership and being more vocal, and he’s such a great teammate,”

Woodward said of Kangas. “We love coaching him, and his big thing is just playing with that nasty edge, and he looks like he’s starting to get it based off what we saw this last week at camp.”

The rest of the offensive line has been a pleasant surprise for the coaching staff, as well. Woodward said the coaches felt like that group needed the most work, but by the time the George Fox camp concluded, they felt as if the O-line will be the Tigers’ biggest strength this coming season.

The Goerge Fox camp gave the team a lot of practice, with the equivalent of roughly four full football games in just three and a half days, Woodward said. He added the leadership and chemistry was obvious at the camp.

Woodward is looking forward to expanding on the success of spring ball when the season officially gets underway in August.

“We have some key spots that we have to fill, and the only way to do that is weight room and getting after it when we show up on Aug. 21,” Woodward said.