Spartans seek a third straight title
September 3, 2013
By Neil Pierson
Rain fell in sheets. A nearby lightning strike temporarily knocked out power in the locker room. The team photo was cancelled.
In other words, it wasn’t a pretty picture at Skyline High School’s annual Green vs. White scrimmage Aug. 29.
It wasn’t all bad. Before the weather ended the scrimmage prematurely, the Spartans showed flashes of brilliance they hope will translate to the Sept. 7 season opener against Bellevue.
New quarterback Kilton Anderson, a transfer from Naples, Fla., weaved his way through the defense for a 54-yard touchdown. When it was negated by a holding penalty, he simply came back a few plays later with a 40-yard scoring strike to Blake Sypher.
Defensively, Skyline held its junior-varsity counterparts to 19 yards on 18 plays and totaled five sacks. Head coach Mat Taylor expected that kind of domination.
“The biggest thing is you just need to get out there and make sure we have everything set up for next Saturday” against Bellevue, Taylor said. “Make sure the kids are conscious of holding (penalties) and other little things that don’t get called in practice.”
The Spartans will once again have targets on them after winning the 2011 and 2012 Class 4A state titles. A win against Bellevue, which has captured 10 of the past 12 3A crowns, would go a long way toward cementing Skyline’s front-runner status once again.
“The nice thing is, Bellevue’s in the same boat. They lost a lot of key kids,” Taylor said. “They obviously have some great talent that’s coming back, too, like us. Up front, our front seven is going to really be our strength this year. That’s where we have kids that are seasoned that played last year.”
The defensive front seven includes two stalwart linemen in Josh Wright and Reggie Long, as well as a linebacker corps of Drew Lunde, Grant Evans, Chandler Wong and Cameron Saffle.
Taylor wouldn’t comment on sophomore running back Rashaad Boddie, who transferred from Clayton, N.C. Boddie scored on a 15-yard run during the scrimmage, and if he’s eligible to play varsity football, he could make an instant impact.
Anderson has spent the summer learning Skyline’s terminology, and Taylor indicated it hasn’t been an easy task.
“I think it’s like learning Spanish,” the coach said. “We talk different, we do different things … Is he there yet? No. But he’s definitely picking it up and doing a good job.”
Unless noted, games are at 7 p.m.
-Sept. 7 vs. Bellevue
-Sept. 13 at Coeur
d’Alene, 8:30 p.m.
-Sept. 20 vs. Eastlake
-Sept. 27 vs. Roosevelt
-Oct. 4 at Garfield,
-Oct. 11 at Ballard,
-Oct. 18 vs. Newport
-Oct. 25 at Issaquah