Humble and respected, Liberty’s Josh Gordon is a quiet success

November 29, 2011

Liberty High School senior Josh Gordon, a leading receiver for the Patriots in 3A KingCo football, is being recruited by the University of Washington and Brigham Young University. Contributed

Josh Gordon, a standout athlete in track and football, Eagle Scout, honor student and brother, identified himself as a competitor at a young age.

Gordon and his father were attending a University of Washington football game and Josh pointed to the field.

“Someday, I’m going to make a touchdown there,” Josh told his father.

Now 17 and attending his final year at Liberty High School, Gordon is working hard to make good on that promise. He’s the leading receiver for KingCo in 3A football, and if football doesn’t work out, Gordon will look to track and field. As a junior, he won first place at state in the long jump and 1,600 relay, adding to the second-place medal he earned as a sophomore.

One would think his success might change his personality, or make him susceptible to the culture of boastful talking.

Not Gordon.

“Josh is the most humble kid you will meet,” said Mike Smith, the boys coach for track and field at Liberty. “He wants to be on the relay, not just individual sports, and if someone needs help, he’s the first one to jump in, taking time out of his own practice.”

It’s a trait that has won him the respect and admiration of his teammates on both fields of play, said Steve Valach, Liberty football coach.

“When we were down 21 and four in with Juanita, we had seconds on the clock. Josh caught the ball and ran it back for the game-winning touchdown,” Valach said

No jumping up and down. No grandstanding.

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Local grads earn all-league honors

November 29, 2011

Three former high-school football standouts from the Issaquah School District recently earned all-Northwest Conference first-team honors.

Willamette University wide receiver Jake Knecht, a Skyline High School graduate, and Pacific Lutheran lineman Rob Marlow, from Liberty High School, earned first-team honors on offense.

Knecht, a junior, topped Willamette in pass receiving with 35 catches for 679 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged a team-high 19.4 yards per catch and ranked third in the conference in touchdown receptions.

Marlow, a senior, was a three-year starter on the offensive line after playing linebacker during his freshman season. He earned second team all-conference honors in 2010.

Pacific Lutheran defensive back Justin Whitman, a former Liberty teammate of Marlow’s, earned first-team honors on defense. Whitman, a first-year starter, had 33 tackles and two interceptions this season.

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Local graduates earn all-league honors

November 22, 2011

Three former high school football standouts from the Issaquah School District recently earned all-Northwest Conference first-team honors.

Willamette University wide receiver Jake Knecht, a Skyline High School graduate, and Pacific Lutheran lineman Rob Marlow, from Liberty High School, earned first-team honors on offense.

Knecht, a junior, topped Willamette in pass receiving with 35 catches for 679 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged a team-high 19.4 yards per catch and ranked third in the conference in touchdown receptions.

Marlow, a senior, was a three-year starter on the offensive line after playing linebacker during his freshman season. He earned second-team all-conference honors in 2010.

Pacific Lutheran defensive back Justin Whitman, a former Liberty High School teammate of Marlow’s, earned first-team honors on defense. Whitman, a first-year starter, had 33 tackles and two interceptions this season.

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Skyview Storm cause offensive outage in Issaquah Eagles’ loss, 47-17

November 8, 2011

It was a long bus ride home for the Issaquah High School football team Nov. 4 after the Eagles fell to host Skyview, of Vancouver, 47-17, in a preliminary round Class 4A playoff game at the Kiggins Bowl.

“Our kids were extremely disappointed. They felt they left so much on the field,” Issaquah coach Chris Bennett said.

Issaquah went into the contest with plenty of confidence. However, mistakes came back to haunt the Eagles throughout the game.

Although he probably did not feel like laughing, Bennett said, “It was a funny game.”

“When we look at the stats, we went up and down the field all night. We never punted. We had 79 offensive plays and close to 400 yards in total offense. We were inside their 20-yard line five different times in the first half and only got a field goal,” Bennett said.

But in the first quarter, the Eagles deflected a pass to a Skyview defender in the end zone. Instead of a touchdown, the play went for an interception. On Issaquah’s next series, the Eagles turned the ball over on a fumble at the Skyview 5-yard-line.

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Former Issaquah High School soccer stars earn academic honors

November 8, 2011

NEW — 11:50 a.m. Nov. 8, 2011

Kate Deines and Kristin Maris, former standout soccer players for Issaquah High School, both have earned academic honors this fall for their respective college teams.

Deines, a senior midfielder for the University of Washington, was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII second team. Deines has a 3.73 grade point average and is a communications major.

Maris, a sophomore at Western Washington University, was named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference academic all-star team. She has a 3.78 grade point average and is a physical education major.

On Oct. 29 Maris scored both Western goals as the Vikings defeated Western Oregon 2-0. She also had a goal when the Vikings defeated Saint Martin’s 2-0 Oct. 27.

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Skyline Spartans trounce Monroe Bearcats, 59-21

November 4, 2011

Skyline junior receiver Nic Sblendorio catches a pass in the end zone from Max Browne as Monroe's Jake Dinaggio tries to defend during the third quarter Nov. 4. The touchdown put Skyline up 45-21. By Christopher Huber

NEW — 11:55 p.m. Nov. 4, 2011

The Skyline Spartans took just 14 seconds to score against the Monroe Bearcats in the preliminary round of the playoffs Friday night on the plateau.

And it didn’t take much more time for the Spartans to make it a one-sided game.

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Liberty football team falls to Interlake

November 1, 2011

The Liberty High School football team’s hopes of landing a Class 3A state playoff berth ended Oct. 21 when the Patriots lost to the visiting Interlake Saints 33-28.

Liberty, whose playoff hopes became slim after a loss to Mercer Island the previous week, needed a victory. However, Interlake also needed a win to keep its Class 2A playoff hopes alive. The Saints compete against other 2A teams from the Seamount League for a playoff spot. Each Saints’ win against a bigger school counts as two wins in 2A. Thus, Interlake took a big step toward the state playoffs.

Liberty, 3-3 in KingCo and 3-5 overall, fell behind 7-0 in the first quarter. The Patriots fought back to lead 14-7 on touchdown by Tei Staladi and Jordan West. Interlake quarterback Kamana Adriano tossed a touchdown pass to send the teams into the lockerrooms tied 14-14 at halftime.

Interlake’s Jordan Todd put the Saint ahead to stay when he returned the second-half kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown. Adriano connected on a second touchdown pass later in the quarter.

The Patriots closed to 27-21 in the fourth quarter when Connor Hudson caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from West. However, Interlake wrapped up the game when Todd bolted 79 yards for a touchdown. Todd finished the game with 241 yards rushing on 22 carries.

Liberty’s final score came on a 4-yard run by West.

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Issaquah Eagles advance to preliminary round of playoffs

October 28, 2011

NEW — 11 p.m. Oct. 28, 2011

After a decisive 40-24 victory in a must-win game over the Inglemoor High School Vikings on Friday night, the Issaquah Eagles advance to the preliminary round of the Class 4A state playoffs next week.

“We tell the guys that we have to earn every week of practice,” Issaquah coach Chris Bennett said. “The Inglemoor players wanted to win just as bad as we did … and we’re really lucky that we’ve earned an extra week.”

Senior quarterback Ethan Kalin handed off the ball to sophomore running back Jack Gellatly for the Eagles’ first score on the night two minutes into the game.

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Eastlake Wolves beat Skyline Spartans for first time

October 22, 2011

Skyline receiver Andrew Giese fumbles the ball after Eastlake defensive back Brian Quick, right, delivers a jarring hit with 31.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter Oct. 21. Eastlake won 28-21. By Christopher Huber

NEW — 12:30 a.m. Oct. 22, 2011

It was the perfect exclamation point to a jubilant and historic moment for Eastlake football.

The lights literally went out at Eastlake High School as Eastlake players celebrated Sean Macdonald’s fumble recovery with 31.2 seconds left that sealed the victory for the Wolves.

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Mercer Island Islanders drop Liberty Patriots to No. 4

October 18, 2011

The Liberty High School football team fell out of a tie for second place in the KingCo Conference 3A/2A standings and possibly saw its state playoffs end Oct. 14 when the Patriots fell to visiting Mercer Island, 32-10.

Liberty entered the contest tied with Mercer Island and Mount Si for second place. With the loss the Patriots, 3-2 in the league, dropped to fourth place in the standings. Mercer Island and Mount Si, which defeated Juanita, 28-21, Oct. 14, remained tied for second place with 4-1 records. Top-ranked Bellevue, 5-0, stayed in first place.

The top three teams in the league advance to the preliminary round of the state playoffs next month.

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