Inexperienced Patriots to rely on ‘grit’ in 2015

August 24, 2015

NEW — 2:48 p.m. Aug. 24, 2015

Just before the Liberty High School football team hit the locker rooms after a sun-soaked Aug. 21 practice, they gathered in an end zone and knelt on one knee.

“It’s time for ‘Spotlight on a Champion,’” Liberty coach Steve Valach announced. He asked for nominees and the players quickly identified a teammate. Once chosen, Valach ushered him to the front and put his arm around him.

By Christina Corrales-Toy A Nate Solly pass slips through the fingers of Liberty High School senior running back Max Batali at an Aug. 21 football practice at Liberty High School.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
A Nate Solly pass slips through the fingers of Liberty High School senior running back Max Batali at an Aug. 21 football practice at Liberty High School.

“What do you know about this guy that has nothing to do with football?” he asked his team. Read more

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With key pieces back, Skyline football tries to take next step

August 21, 2015

UPDATED — 7:14 p.m., Aug. 21, 2015

Midway through the third quarter, the Skyline Spartans had a three-touchdown lead and seemed to be cruising toward their eighth straight appearance in the Class 4A state football playoffs.

A victory that seemed well within their grasp never materialized as the Skyview Storm scored the last 24 points and capped a 34-31 win by stuffing Skyline running back Rashaad Boddie on a goal-line play in double overtime, ending the Spartans’ season in stunning fashion.

By Greg Farrar Rashaad Boddie (left), Skyline High School senior running back and linebacker, gets around an offensive lineman while working on defense drills during team practice Aug. 21 at Skyline Stadium.

By Greg Farrar
Rashaad Boddie (left), Skyline High School senior running back and linebacker, gets around an offensive lineman while working on defense drills during team practice Aug. 21 at Skyline Stadium.

“Last season was very unique. I’ve never had the situation where one play call could determine the end of the season,” Skyline coach Mat Taylor said. “We’re fourth-and-1 on the 1 to win the game. We could’ve kicked the field goal to go to a third overtime, but we went for it, and I wouldn’t change the call.” Read more

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Issaquah football has higher hopes in coach’s second season

August 21, 2015

UPDATED — 7:17 p.m. Aug. 21, 2015

On paper, a 5-5 season for the Issaquah High School football team might look rather unremarkable, but the details surrounding the Eagles’ 2014 campaign are worth examining.

Issaquah began last season with new leadership as Buddy Bland – who led the program to two KingCo Conference titles as coach from 1999-2005 – returned for a second stint on the sidelines. It took time for his players to respond.

By Greg Farrar Connor Smith (left), Issaquah High School senior offensive and defensive lineman, holds a tackling pad as senior right tackle Jordan Minnix jumps out of a tackling cage during team practice Aug. 20 at Gary Moore Stadium.

By Greg Farrar
Connor Smith (left), Issaquah High School senior offensive and defensive lineman, holds a tackling pad as senior right tackle Jordan Minnix jumps out of a tackling cage during team practice Aug. 20 at Gary Moore Stadium.

“It was just tough adjusting to the different style of coaching,” senior quarterback Cam Humphrey admitted, “but as we saw toward the end of the year, we were able to figure some stuff out and we’re kind of hoping to transition, follow what we were doing toward the end of the year and bring it back into this year.” Read more

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Construction forces venue change for Skyline football

August 17, 2015

NEW – 10:35 a.m., Aug. 17, 2015

Construction of the new home grandstands at Skyline High School’s stadium won’t be complete in time for the start of the football season, so the Spartans will open on the road instead. Read more

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Photos — Liberty High School hosts summer youth camp

August 6, 2015

NEW — 5 p.m. Aug. 6, 2015

Click the photo below to see pictures from the Liberty High School football team’s youth summer camp.

By Greg Farrar  Isaiah Valach (left) takes the snap from Liberty senior quarterback Nate Solly and turns to hand the ball off during a running back drill July 20 at a football minicamp held by Liberty High School coaches and several varsity football players at Maywood Middle School.

By Greg Farrar
Isaiah Valach (left) takes the snap from Liberty senior quarterback Nate Solly and turns to hand the ball off during a running back drill July 20 at a football minicamp held by Liberty High School coaches and several varsity football players at Maywood Middle School.

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Former Skyline standout Kasen Williams signs with Seahawks

June 25, 2015

The Seattle Seahawks signed former University of Washington and Skyline High School standout receiver Kasen Williams on June 12.

Williams impressed the Seahawks during May’s rookie mini-camp, in which he participated as a tryout player. Before that, he had signed as a free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals, but was waived after failing his physical, apparently due to concerns over a foot injury he suffered as a junior at the UW.

By Corky Trewin/Seattle Seahawks Kasen Williams gathers a pass during drills in the Seattle Seahawks minicamp June 18 at their Redmond practice facility.

By Corky Trewin/Seattle Seahawks
Kasen Williams gathers a pass during drills in the Seattle Seahawks minicamp June 18 at their Redmond practice facility.

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Bulldogs football fills a niche for players without a program

June 25, 2015

It’s a warm evening at Bellevue High School’s stadium, and a couple dozen players have donned pads, helmets and jerseys to practice tackling and blocking, and running offensive and defensive schemes.

By Neil Pierson Quarterback Braden Bouwman-Hess, an Issaquah High School product, slings a pass during the Eastside JC Bulldogs’ June 18 practice at Bellevue High School.

By Neil Pierson
Quarterback Braden Bouwman-Hess, an Issaquah High School product, slings a pass during the Eastside JC Bulldogs’ June 18 practice at Bellevue High School.

They’re not members of Bellevue High’s nationally renowned program, which has captured 11 of the past 14 state championships. They’re young men who, for various reasons, aren’t playing college football but are looking to attract attention from coaches at that level.

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Eagles ready for spring flight

June 25, 2015

By Don Borin/Stop Action Photography Ashton Sorrento, Conner Pederson, Joe Nelson and Tyrus Tuiasosopo (from left) work on a strength and conditioning drill June 17 during the Issaquah High School football team’s final spring practice.

By Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Ashton Sorrento, Conner Pederson, Joe Nelson and Tyrus Tuiasosopo (from left) work on a strength and conditioning drill June 17 during the Issaquah High School football team’s final spring practice.

By Don Borin/Stop Action Photography Cameron Humphrey (right), Issaquah High School fall senior quarterback, looks for receivers downfield during spring practice June 17 as head coach Buddy Bland looks on.

By Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Cameron Humphrey (right), Issaquah High School fall senior quarterback, looks for receivers downfield during spring practice June 17 as head coach Buddy Bland looks on.

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Prep football kicks into gear at Skyline tournament

June 17, 2015

When high-school spring sports like baseball, soccer and track end, it marks the start of the season for football teams, who began their offseason workouts last week.

By Greg Farrar Blake Gregory, Skyline High School fall senior quarterback, throws footballs to receivers during scrimmages and drills June 13 during the annual Skills and Drills on the Hill event.

By Greg Farrar
Blake Gregory, Skyline High School fall senior quarterback, throws footballs to receivers during scrimmages and drills June 13 during the annual Skills and Drills on the Hill event.

For 11 teams around the region, the first competitive event of the 2015 season was June 13 at Skyline High School’s eighth annual Skills and Drills on the Hill event, which featured a seven-on-seven passing competition for quarterbacks and receivers.

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Liberty athlete earns scholar athlete award

February 17, 2015

Liberty High School senior Quinn Magendanz was one of eight area athletes honored at the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards banquet Feb. 8.

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