Retiring Sports Editor Bob Taylor shares milestones from a long career on the sidelines

March 6, 2012

Kasen Williams, then-Skyline High School senior, makes his winning triple-jump leap of 45 feet, 5 1/2 inches, during the KingCo track and field championships May 13, 2011, at Juanita High School. File

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.

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Skyline High School to host powerhouse Florida football team

March 6, 2012

NEW — 11:30 a.m. March 6, 2012

When Skyline High School got an opportunity to bring a nationally prominent football program to Sammamish next season, coach Mat Taylor didn’t hesitate.

The Spartans, defending Class 4A state champions, will play Manatee, of Bradenton, Fla., on Sept. 15 at Skyline. Game time has not been determined.

“We jumped on it and we’re really excited, not only for the motivation in the offseason for our kids, but just our community and, hopefully, showcasing Washington football and being able to represent our league and our state and our school,” Taylor said.

Skyline opens the season against Bothell, then will travel out of state in Week 2 for another showcase game. The school is still working on that matchup.

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Skyline holds off Redmond in Crest thriller

January 31, 2012

When Will Parker stepped to the free-throw line early in the season, something didn’t feel right. The Skyline High School senior point guard couldn’t find the right routine.

But he kept shooting, kept working, and on Jan. 24 with the game on the line, he knocked them down. Parker hit four free throws in the final 22 seconds to help the third-ranked Spartans hold off No. 4 Redmond, 60-56, in a KingCo Conference 4A Crest Division showdown.

“I was shooting bad, like 50 percent,” Parker said. “Point guards can’t shoot like that. I’ve improved. Now I’m going up there with confidence, knocking them down for my team so we can get a win.”

Despite a weeklong layoff due to the snowstorm, Skyline started the game at a frenetic pace and led by seven points after one quarter.

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More honors for Skyline quarterback Max Browne

January 10, 2012

Skyline High School quarterback Max Browne continues to collect accolades. Most recently, he was selected as one of 20 juniors for the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl that showcases top players from across the nation.

In addition, he earned honorable mention on SI.com’s 2011 High School All-America team, and was named the Gatorade Washington Player of the Year, and the Associated Press Player of the Year for all classifications. Browne has been rated by Rivals.com as one of the first five-star recruits in the 2013 recruiting class.

Browne threw for 4,034 yards and 45 touchdowns last season and helped Skyline to an 11-3 record and the 4A state title.

According to Rivals.com, Browne has received scholarship offers from California, Clemson, Colorado, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

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Skyline quarterbacks earn All-American honors

January 3, 2012

Skyline High School quarterback Max Browne, who has picked up a several post-season honors already, earned honorable mention on the SI.com list of the top high-school football players in the nation.

Browne, a junior, and Bellevue senior Tyler Hasty, who also earned honorable mention, were the only KingCo Conference players to make the list.

Kasen Williams leads parade of 2011 best efforts from individuals, teams

December 27, 2011

Peyton Pelluer (right), Skyline High School junior linebacker, and teammate Nic Sblendorio (9), junior defensive back, combine to throw Woodinville senior running back Devin McKee to the turf during the 4A state semifinal game Nov. 26. By Greg Farrar

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.

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Skyline quarterback selected state player of the year

December 20, 2011

Skyline High School quarterback Max Browne, who directed the Spartans to the Class 4A state championship earlier this month, has been selected as the Associated Press Player of the Year.

The selection was based on voting by sports writers across the state.

Browne, a junior, completed 288 of 409 passes for 4,034 yards and 45 touchdowns this season.

On Dec. 3, he led the Spartans to a 38-7 victory against Skyview, of Vancouver, Wash., in the state championship game. The state title was Skyline’s fourth in five years.

Over two years, Browne has thrown for 8,216 yards and 95 touchdowns. In addition to the award, Browne was selected as quarterback on the Class 4A all-state offensive team.

The Associated Press honor was the latest for Browne, who was selected as one of The Seattle Times’ state players of the year. Browne was also named the Gatorade Washington Player of the Year.

Joining Browne on the Associated Press Class 4A all-state team was Skyline teammate Peyton Pelluer, who was voted to the defensive unit. Pelluer, a junior, had 122 solo tackles during the season.

Liberty boys basketball team falls to unbeaten Bellevue

December 20, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 20, 2011 

Tynan Gilmore scored 16 points for the Liberty High School boys basketball team Monday but his efforts were not enough as the host Patriots fell to unbeaten Bellevue 62-42 in a KingCo Conference 3A/2A contest.

Bellevue, a preseason favorite for the conference title, jumped to a 22-7 first-quarter lead and never looked back as the Wolverines pulled away to their fifth victory of the season.

Michael Carlson, of Bellevue, scored a game-high 18 points.

Liberty dropped to 3-4 on the season.

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Issaquah Eagles fly out to fast 5-0 start in league play

December 13, 2011

Nick Price, Issaquah High School senior guard, draws a technical foul and gets benched for doing a pull-up on the rim in the first quarter against Newport High School Dec. 9, while scoring two of his game-high 18 points on a breakaway jam. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah High School boys basketball team might need to adopt the old Willie Nelson tune “On the Road Again” as its team song. The Eagles, after winning their only home game of the month Dec. 9, finish December on the road.

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Skyline players lead all-conference football honors

December 13, 2011

Max Browne and Peyton Pelluer, key players in Skyline High School’s Class 4A state championship football team, captured KingCo Conference 4A all-Crest Division top honors.

Browne, a 6-foot-5 junior quarterback, was selected as the division’s offensive player of the year. During the regular season, he led KingCo in passing with 2,701 yards and he tossed 29 touchdown passes.

“Browne was so impressive this season. He has great pocket presence. He is a great leader,” Issaquah High coach Chris Bennett said.

Pelluer, a 6-1, 210-pound junior linebacker who led the league in tackles, was selected as the division’s defensive player of the year.

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