There’s plenty of star power headed for Skyline, Oaks Christian game Friday
September 17, 2009
NEW — 2 p.m. Sept. 17, 2009
By Mason Kelley, Seattle Times staff reporter
Wayne Gretzky, he’s not a big shot.
That sentence says everything about the star power that is expected to be in the bleachers rooting for Oaks Christian when it plays a nationally televised football game at Skyline High School on Friday.
Gretzky, actor Will Smith and Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana all have sons who play on the team. Nick Montana is the quarterback, Trevor Gretzky is the backup and Trey Smith is a receiver.
Big shot or not, Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell doesn’t seem to care when he talks about Gretzky, the NHL legend, and the other famous fathers who spend their Friday nights watching the Lions play football.
“He [Gretzky] asked me for my autograph when I played in the Canadian Football League and he was 9 years old,” Redell said. “I’m not impressed with him.”
The game between the teams from Sammamish and Westlake Village, Calif., will be televised on ESPNU and broadcast on KJR-AM, and plenty of attention will be paid to the Oaks Christian cheering section.
For Redell, Gretzky, Montana and Smith are just football players with parents he considers normal.
“Honestly, I don’t even notice any difference,” Redell said. “When Will Smith comes in — and I don’t mean this the way it sounds — but it’s not that big of a deal to me. Will Smith is a great guy, and he’s just like anybody else as far as I’m concerned.”
The only difference for the coach — and this is a story he’s told before — is he wants a part in one of Smith’s movies.
“I told him I wanted a love scene and, so far, that hasn’t happened,” Redell said.
Redell often tells the story of how Joe Montana came to coach his son.
“I’ve got a policy here where nobody coaches their own kid,” Redell said. “When Joe Montana came aboard I said, ‘You know what, I think I’ll change my policy. If you have three Super Bowl MVP rings, I’ll let you coach your kid.’ I eliminated most of the parents.”
In addition to the stars in the bleachers, the Lions aren’t hurting for big names on the coaching staff. Former Tennessee quarterback Casey Clausen is the offensive coordinator, and former NFL linebacker Clay Matthews helps out. Matthews was the defensive coordinator, but stepped aside to follow the college and professional careers of his sons, Casey and Clay Jr.
“We don’t really mind it that much,” Nick Montana said. “I think a lot of people make a bigger deal about it than it actually is. Guys like me, Trevor Gretzky and Trey Smith, we’re just like any other kids out there on the field. Even the other guys on the team, nobody really makes a big deal that our dads are who they are.”
Mason Kelley: 206-464-8277 or email@example.com.