New football coach strives to bring success to Cleveland


Clarion photo Ian Legros

Coach Eric Frasier stands beside his team during the national anthem.

By Riley Beurk, Sports Editor

After former varsity football coach Wayne Harris left last year following the end of a winless season, Cleveland looked to Lincoln’s staff to hire their new coach, Eric Fraser. Last year, Lincoln went 11-1, while Cleveland’s lone win was by forfeit. Coach Fraser hopes to bring his past success as an assistant coach to Cleveland, saying, “I knew that Cleveland had not had success in football for a long time, and I wanted the opportunity to try to bring the success that I’ve had to the Cleveland team.”  

Coach Fraser is right; Cleveland has not had a winning season in a long time. The last time Cleveland had a winning season was 10 years ago, in 2006. In 2006, Cleveland went 7-3 under head coach Todd Pasche and ended up losing in the second round of the playoffs. The last time Cleveland made the playoffs was in 2008, when they went 3-7 and lost in the first round.  Even though Cleveland has started this year 0-3, senior starting running back Arturo Flores-Cruz likes what coach Fraser has been doing with the team.  Flores-Cruz said, “He’s great.  He’s done a much better job with this team than I imagined.  He’s pushing people to be better.  He’s improved the team a lot compared to last year’s team.”  Through the first four games of the season, Flores-Cruz is the second leading rusher on the varsity.  

This year Cleveland has 30 players on varsity and only four freshmen on their junior varsity two team. There are only nine seniors on varsity this year, meaning that next year, everyone will have a year underneath Fraser and the culture he is trying to instill.  Freshman Warner Cole, who plans to play for all four years of high school, likes what Fraser is doing, stating, “He’s a great coach with a great attitude that all of his players enjoy and feed off of.”  The nine seniors on varsity are Cedric Stone, Skyler Palakiko, Abdullahi Osman, Arturo Flores-Cruz, Harper Lee, Sione Ofa, Zachary Thelus, and Daniel McIlveen.  

Fraser is trying to get the team to take up leadership roles within the school and have a winning attitude on the field. “Right now, I don’t think there’s any football guys on leadership and there’s not many people at all that do football in the school. The places that I’ve been, at Glencoe and at Lincoln, Wilsonville, the football players are active school leaders and football becomes a community level event. That’s what I’m trying to get Cleveland to be.”

Coach Fraser has his sights set long term, and he wants Cleveland to “develop a competitive mindset. I see Cleveland football becoming a well respected organization,” he said.

The Warriors are off to another rough start this year, going 0-4 in their first four games.