March 6, 2012
I kind of know how Bill Gates must have felt when he made his first million. When I joined The Issaquah Press news staff May 22, 2000, I struck it rich, too!
Five days after being hired at The Press I covered my first Issaquah School District state championship team. Actually, it was inevitable that an Issaquah team would win when Issaquah and Skyline met for the 3A state baseball title in Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium. Issaquah won 5-3.
January 24, 2012
After continued cuts in funding for budgets that support high school art programs nationwide, an important question has been raised in the minds of students: Do high schools devote a disproportionate amount of their focus and money to athletics? Opinions are split on this issue.
Regarding the extracurricular funding at Skyline High School, some students are outraged at the cuts made to the art program budget, complaining athletics get all of the money and attention. Although this seems unfair to students involved in art programs, athletics — specifically football — generate more school spirit, national attention and revenue for the school than art programs do.
The Spartan football legacy includes a state championship title this year and five additional state titles since 2000. Alumni like Jake Heaps and Kasen Williams, have earned Skyline national recognition. Supporting the team generates income via game ticket sales, concessions and spirit merchandise. Skyline, like many high schools in the country, relies on the success of its football and other sports teams for important funding.
December 27, 2011
It was a year of state titles for Skyline High School, and the end of a career for a Spartan who always seemed to be in championship form.
When he graduated last spring, Skyline’s Kasen Williams left a legacy that might never be duplicated in the Issaquah School District. He was definitely the most dominant figure in the local sports scene in 2011.
November 29, 2011
Kasen Williams, who had many memorable moments at Skyline High School, likely won’t forget his first Apple Cup, either.
The freshman wide receiver caught five passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns Nov. 26 to help the University of Washington beat rival Washington State University, 38-21, at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Williams caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Keith Price in the first quarter to put the Huskies ahead 14-0. Then, with just 24 seconds left in the first half, Williams hauled in a 21-yard pass from Price to put Washington ahead for good at 21-14.
Three other Skyline graduates saw action in the game. William Chandler was the holder on all Washington placekicks and linebacker Cooper Pelluer also played some on defense. For the Cougars, Gino Simone caught a pass for 32 yards.
Chandler recently earned Pacific-12 Conference All-Academic Team second-team honors. He has a 3.83 grade point average and is a business/accounting major.
November 1, 2011
The Skyline and Issaquah high school football teams, both hoping to reach the Dec. 3 state title game in the Tacoma Dome, take the first step Nov. 4 when they enter the preliminary round of the Class 4A state playoffs.
Skyline, 6-3, will host Monroe at 7 p.m. while Issaquah, 7-2, travels to southwest Washington and meets Skyview in Vancouver’s Kiggins Bowl.
Both Skyline and Issaquah won their crossover games last week.
Skyline rolled by Roosevelt, 45-14, Oct. 29 in Seattle’s Memorial Stadium. The Spartans shot to a 13-0 lead in the second quarter. Sean McDonald booted two field goals and quarterback Max Browne connected with Andrew Giese on a 42-yard touchdown pass.
September 20, 2011
NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 20, 2011
Issaquah High School football coach Chris Bennett knows Skyline is better than its record shows and that concerns him.
Bennett’s Eagles and the visiting Spartans collide at 7 p.m. Friday in a big KingCo Conference 4A confrontation in Gary Moore Stadium.
The contest is the league opener for both teams. Issaquah enters the game with a 3-0 overall record. Skyline meanwhile is off to an unusual start. The Spartans are 1-2 on the season, having lost their last two games.
“The difference is that two of Skyline’s losses were to two pretty good teams,” Bennett said of Skyline’s losses to Bellevue and Lake Oswego, Ore.
September 7, 2011
NEW — 11 a.m. Sept. 7, 2011
Nicole Candioglos scored a goal at the 72nd minute Tuesday as Skyline High School nipped visiting Liberty 1-0 in a nonleague girls soccer game.
Jordan Branch assisted on Candioglos’ goal. The shutout was shared by Tina Vargas and Sydney Martinez, who were Skyline’s goaltenders.
The contest was the season-opener for both teams, who each qualified for the state tournament last year. Skyline finished third at the 4A state tournament while Liberty made it to the first round of the 3A tournament.
In other action, Eastlake and Lake Washington fought to a 2-2 draw.
August 31, 2011
NEW — 9 a.m. Aug. 31, 2011
For all the things Max Browne accomplished as a sophomore, it is the one thing he didn’t that pushes Skyline’s quarterback.
When the 2010 Class 4A state title game ended with Ferris claiming a 24-16 victory over the Spartans, Browne didn’t drop his head, at least not right away. Instead, he turned to the Saxons’ sideline. He watched them celebrate.
“Some people may think it’s crazy,” he said. “But it definitely fueled me.”
From that moment on, through every workout, camp and practice, one thing has continued to carry him: Get it back.
“His dedication to this team is unbelievable,” Skyline coach Mat Taylor said.
August 30, 2011
It didn’t take long for the Skyline High School Spartans football team to bounce back from defeat at the 2010 state 4A title game.
From players’ reactions after the final buzzer sounded, the loss to Ferris stung.
Ultimately, it inspired the team to start preparing for the 2011 season earlier than ever. Players began optional workouts in January instead of March. And, coupled with the handful of team and 7-on-7 camps they attended, the Spartans seemed to exude as much confidence as ever during late August practices. That’s despite losing Kasen Williams, considered by many national publications to be last year’s top wide receiver prospect in the nation.
August 23, 2011
Brigham Young University sophomore Jake Heaps, one of the most celebrated quarterbacks in Skyline High School history, is earning preseason attention.
Of course, accolades are nothing new for Heaps, who earned all-state and national honors during his Skyline days.
Among his recent honors is being named to the 2011 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List. One reason why Heaps is on the list is because of the sensational freshman season he had last fall for the Cougars.
Last season, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Heaps broke every freshman Brigham Young University quarterback record, including wins, games started, passing yardage, completions and touchdowns. He started 10 games in 2010, completing 219 of 383 passes for 2,316 yards and 15 touchdowns.
The former Spartan great, who led Skyline to three straight state championships, could follow the accolades of former BYU quarterbacks Jim McMahon, Steve Young and Ty Detmer. Each of these BYU greats won the O’Brien Award — McMahon in 1981, Young in 1983, and Detmer in 1990 and 1991.
This year’s list, compiled by a subset of The O’Brien National Selection Committee, featured 38 of the nation’s top collegiate quarterbacks who were picked based on their performance last year and their expectations heading into the 2011 season. Heaps is one of eight sophomores on the list.
The field of candidates will be narrowed to 16 semifinalists Oct. 24. The O’Brien Foundation and selection committee will announce three finalists Nov. 21 and the winner will be announced Dec. 8.
In addition to the O’Brien attention, Heaps is on the cover of the Athlon Sports College Football 2011 preseason football magazine. He shares the cover with Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Boise State’s Kellen Moore. Luck is regarded as the No. 1 quarterback in the nation and the likely top pick in next year’s National Football League draft. Moore, from Prosser, has been one of the nation’s premier signal callers, too. So Heaps is in fine company.
Where are they now?
List of local athletes playing college football this fall based on most current rosters available:
Heaps has come a long way in a year. This time last year, he entered fall camp expecting to share quarterback duties with Riley Nelson. The two shared the position in BYU’s season-opening 23-17 victory against Washington. Heaps completed 13 of 23 passes for 131 yards against the Huskies. When Nelson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury against Florida State on Sept. 18, Heaps became the starter for the remainder of the season.
He ended it with a record-setting MVP performance against the University of Texas-El Paso in the New Mexico Bowl. He was the first BYU freshman quarterback to start in a bowl game. Heaps completed 24 of 34 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns in the Cougars’ 52-24 victory.
The four touchdown passes gave Heaps 15 on the season, another record for BYU freshmen quarterbacks. He broke Detmer’s record by two.
Heaps was selected to the College Football News Freshman All-American Team as an honorable mention.
Besides all of the football attention, the other big news in Heaps’ life came in late June this year when he married Brooke Shaw, whose father was a former BYU player.
Patriots moving in different directions
Three of Liberty High School’s standouts from last fall are moving on to the college ranks. Two of them are actually changing places after committing to other schools.
Quarterback Trey Wheeler is heading north of the border. He signed a letter of intent to play for Simon Fraser University, which is a member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Simon Fraser is the only Canadian team in that conference, which includes Central Washington.
Wheeler had been recruited by several schools and was offered a scholarship from the University of Wyoming.
“He went up to Simon Fraser and liked the program and the academics. He felt it would be a good fit,” Liberty coach Steve Valach said.
Chandler Jenkins, the 3A KingCo Conference offensive player of the year last fall, is a walk-on at Washington State University. Jenkins had originally committed to the Air Force Academy. He is scheduled to play as a slot receiver for the Cougars.
Jenkins joins the Simone brothers, Gino and Jordan, who are former Skyline standouts, at WSU. Gino is a wide receiver and Jordan is a safety.
Jake Bainton, a standout receiver and defensive back for Liberty, had signed a national letter of intent with Central Washington University. However, Valach said Bainton has changed his mind and plans to play for American River Community College in California.
The three former Liberty stars helped the Patriots reach the state playoffs the past three seasons, including the 3A state title game in 2009.
Other Liberty grads who will be playing college ball this fall are Nolan Liefer, Marcelle Bell and Robert Blair at Montana-Western; Cameron Talley at Linfield; Coleton Langdon at Portland State; Taylor Hamann at the University of Puget Sound; and Justin Whitman and Rob Marlow at Pacific Lutheran.
Bradley battling for No. 1 job
Joey Bradley, who was a standout quarterback at Issaquah, is vying for the No. 1 job at North Dakota University. He is one of three candidates for the position.
Bradley transferred to North Dakota from Diablo Valley Community College in California. He led all California community college quarterbacks in passing yards (3,656 yards) and touchdown passes (33) for Diablo Valley last fall.
In the North Dakota spring game, Bradley showed promise as he hit nine of 17 passes for 105 yards.
Another former Eagle expecting to have a big season is tailback Grant Gellatly, a sophomore at Cornell. Gellatly led his team and all Ivy League freshmen in rushing with 437 yards last fall. He also caught 15 passes for 82 yards.
Two Issaquah graduates are headed for Linfield College. Defensive back Adam Dondoyano and Evan Peterson will play for the Wildcats.
Dondoyano has recovered from a torn ACL, which kept him out of action for most of last fall. Peterson was an all-league receiver for the Eagles, and set school season and career records. Dondoyano and Peterson will be roommates at Linfield.
Jacob Everson, a redshirt freshman, will be playing for Minot State this fall.
Spartans starting at Eastern
Skyline graduates Jase Butorac and Tyler Washburn are listed as starters at Eastern Washington University, the defending NCAA Championship Sub-division national champions.
Butorac, 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, is listed as the starter at right guard on offense. He is a redshirt freshman. However, he impressed Eastern coaches for his efforts on the scout team last fall. Butorac was selected as the offensive scout team player of the year.
Washburn is listed as a co-starter at strongside inside linebacker. He did not play spring ball because of surgery following an injury late in the 2010 season.
Washburn started 12 games last season. He had one of the biggest plays of the season for the Eagles. Washburn returned a fumble for a touchdown in the Eagles’ 41-31 victory against Villanova in the semifinals.
Evan Day, another Skyline grad, is listed as a reserve defensive end for Eastern. Like Butorac, Day is a redshirt freshman. He was selected as Eastern’s defensive scout team player of the year last fall.
Joining the three Spartans is Issaquah’s Jay Deines, freshman offensive lineman.
The Eagles open their season Sept. 3 at the University of Washington.
The Eastern-UW game will resemble a Skyline alumni game. While Butorac, Washburn and Day will suit up for Eastern, the Huskies have former Spartans in wide receiver William Chandler, defensive end Connor Cree, linebacker Cooper Pelluer and wide receiver Kasen Williams.