Skyline Spartans look to avenge disappointing 2013 finish

September 2, 2014

When Skyline High School kicks off the 2014 football season this week against rival Issaquah, it will mark the culmination of a nine-month process for the Spartans as they try to return to the elite echelon of Class 4A programs.

By Greg Farrar The Skyline High School Spartans’ top athletes include (from left) junior running back/linebacker Rashaad Boddie, senior wide receiver/defensive back Derek Loville, senior wide receiver/defensive back Blake Sypher, senior lineman Riley Griffiths, senior running back/linebacker Chandler Wong, junior quarterback Blake Gregory and senior lineman Cameron Saffle.

By Greg Farrar
The Skyline High School Spartans’ top athletes include (from left) junior running back/linebacker Rashaad Boddie, senior wide receiver/defensive back Derek Loville, senior wide receiver/defensive back Blake Sypher, senior lineman Riley Griffiths, senior running back/linebacker Chandler Wong, junior quarterback Blake Gregory and senior lineman Cameron Saffle.

Skyline’s players indicate they haven’t forgotten their 26-20 loss to Federal Way in the first round of the 2013 state playoffs, and it has served as motivation for this season.

“We took it to heart,” junior Rashaad Boddie, a running back and linebacker, said of last year’s early exit at state. “Everyone was in the weight room with our trainer, coach (Kevin) Chiles, every day of the week, strength training and getting ready for the next season.”

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Past, upcoming stars collide at Skyline football camp

July 29, 2014

Jimmy Battistoni, an incoming eighth-grader at Beaver Lake Middle School, practices his quarterbacking skills during a July 24 flag-football scrimmage at Skyline High School’s Future Champs Camp.By Neil Pierson

Jimmy Battistoni, an incoming eighth-grader at Beaver Lake Middle School, practices his quarterbacking skills during a July 24 flag-football scrimmage at Skyline High School’s Future Champs Camp.By Neil Pierson

There were roughly 140 players on the field at Skyline High School, but it was easy to form a consensus about who their favorite football player was.

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Local athletes sign with colleges

February 12, 2013

Two Issaquah and four Liberty high school seniors will officially take their athletic talents to the collegiate level, signing letters of intent to play for universities across the country.

Liberty soccer players Nicolle Marlow, Kailiana Johnson, Katie Noonan and Kiana Hafferty made their college commitments official in a special signing day ceremony at the school Feb. 6. The Patriots soccer team placed fourth in state this year.

Both Marlow and Johnson will play for Washington State University, while Noonan will play for Southeastern Louisiana University and Hafferty will suit up for Seattle Pacific University.

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Max Browne impresses in All-American Bowl

January 15, 2013

Quarterback Max Browne, a Skyline High School senior and U.S. Army Player of the Year, made the most of his chance playing in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 5 in San Antonio.

Entering in the fourth quarter for the West squad, Browne went 4-7 and tossed a 16-yard pass with 6:49 left in the game to Derrick Griffin, of Terry High School, in Rosenberg, Texas. Browne then completed a play-action pass to DeSean Smith, of Barbe High School, in Lake Charles, La., for a two-point conversion, that put the West on top 8-7.

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Issaquah School District teams reflect on 2012 missions accomplished

December 25, 2012

Jubilant members of the Issaquah High School boys swim team and their coaches hoist their state 4A second place team trophy and give themselves a cheer Feb. 18 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah School District high school sports teams have a strong tradition of excellence, and 2012 was no different.

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Max Browne earns Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Award

December 25, 2012

Skyline High School football quarterback Max Browne, surrounded by his teammates, was named Gatorade National Football Player of the Year on Dec. 18. By Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times

At midmorning Dec. 18, Skyline High School quarterback Max Browne was called out of class by his football coach, Mat Taylor, on the pretense that he was needed at an emergency captain’s meeting.

Browne fell for it hook, line and sinker. What awaited him in the upstairs classroom stunned him — his parents, a gaggle of cameras, a crowd of friends and, emerging from a hidden spot, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Wilson had been summoned to present Browne with the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Award, one of the most prestigious honors in high school athletics. They had managed to keep it secret from Browne, who later was formally presented the Gatorade trophy during a ceremony in the school’s theater packed with classmates.

“I had no idea,” Browne said afterward of the ruse. “Totally surprised. It was awesome.”

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Skyline Spartans cap off perfect season as state champs

December 4, 2012

Mat Taylor (right), Skyline High School football coach, delivers the state 4A football championship trophy to his team gathered on the Tacoma Dome football field Dec. 1 after a 49-24 victory over Bellarmine Prep capped a 14-0 season. By Greg Farrar

Jubilant only begins to describe Skyline High School and its fans Dec. 1 at the Tacoma Dome, where the Spartans grabbed their fifth state title in eight years. Skyline beat Bellarmine Prep, 49-24, to win the 4A football state championship.

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Cedric Cooper lands on feet after leap to Skyline

December 4, 2012

Cedric Cooper, Skyline High School senior running back, eludes a Bellarmine Prep tackler on a 5-yard carry in the fourth quarter. By Greg Farrar

Difficult circumstances led Cedric Cooper to Skyline High School for his senior year. But he’s made an easy transition, helping the top-ranked Spartans return to the Class 4A state football finals.

It’s been an unexpected ride for Cooper, a running back and cornerback who played at 2A Foster High School in Tukwila the past two years. He had mixed emotions last summer when family issues forced him and his mom to move in with a friend in Sammamish.

“I wanted to stay at Foster because I had my friends there, but I’m open to a lot of new things,” said Cooper, who has moved a lot. He played freshman football in South Carolina.

He’s enjoying Skyline’s success. Foster was 10-10 in his two seasons.

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Max Browne is finalist for U.S. Army Player of the Year Award

December 4, 2012

Skyline High School quarterback Max Browne is one of six finalists for the 2013 U.S. Army Player of the Year Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding senior in high school football participating in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

The selection process began this fall, as players were evaluated by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee and by coaches from across the country.

“These players possess leadership, dedication and strengths similar to Army Strong soldiers. Being named a finalist for this award only underscores their talents,” John Myers, director of marketing for the Army, said in a statement. “These players are outstanding athletes. We congratulate them on their nomination and are proud to have them wear the Army colors.”

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Skyline beats Bellarmine Prep for state football title

December 1, 2012

Skyline High School football coach Mat Taylor (right) cheers for a Skyline victory Saturday. By Lillian O’Rorke

UPDATED — 12:05 a.m. Dec. 2, 2012

It was all smiles for Skyline High School and its fans at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday as the Spartans grabbed their sixth state title in seven years. Skyline beat Bellarmine Prep 49-24 to win the 4A football state championship.

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