Under Jason Ronquillo, Yelm one win away from first semifinal appearance in school history
Yelm is averaging 55.6 points per game game through 11 weeks, the only program in the state that has eclipsed 600 points this season.
From The Olympian:
“This year, Yelm is the No. 1 ranked 3A team in the state and is one win away from reaching the state tournament semifinal round for the first time in school history. Yelm plays Kennewick on Saturday afternoon at home in the state quarterfinals.”
“It wasn’t too long ago that the school in Thurston County, off the beaten path to the southeast of Olympia, wasn’t taken seriously in football circles. When Jason Ronquillo arrived in 2013, Yelm was viewed as a pushover, not having made the state tournament since 1987.”
“There are many reasons Yelm finds itself where it is today. A couple notable ones: dedication to the weight room and Ronquillo’s emphasis on relationship building. Ronquillo remembers going to a winter basketball game during his first year at Yelm. ‘At any school this size, there’s athletes walking around campus. I see all these studs playing basketball and I’m like, You need to be playing football for me.’ But they’re not going to do that unless there’s a relationship first. So being in the school, being a teacher, being the strength coach at the school, that has really helped the program a lot.”
“Jason Ronquillo has seen this special group coming for a long time, much of the core group of juniors and seniors playing together for Yelm’s feeder program since the fourth grade. A win over Kennewick would be a full-circle moment in many ways and would clinch a berth in the state semifinals for the first time in school history. Of course, this is the state’s top-ranked team, and their ambitions lie beyond the semifinals.”
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