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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Skyline seeks new team identity

June 24, 2014

After winning back-to-back state championships, the Skyline High School football program didn’t have the glorious ending it expected for the 2013 season.

The Spartans cruised to an 8-1 regular-season record and the Class 4A KingCo Conference Crown Division title, but lost to Federal Way in the first round of the state playoffs.

By Neil Pierson Junior Blake Gregory will take over as the starting quarterback for this year’s Skyline High School football team.

By Neil Pierson
Junior Blake Gregory will take over as the starting quarterback for this year’s Skyline High School football team.

Practices are underway in preparation for the 2014 campaign, and the Spartans are hungry for redemption. But seventh-year head coach Mat Taylor wants his players to establish their own identities, and not just look to replicate the program’s seven state title-winning teams.

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Skyline freshman Riley Griffiths is a film room superstar

October 11, 2011

NEW — 9 a.m. Oct. 11, 2011

As the sun set and the stands filled, a chant spread through Skyline High School’s student section.

The Spartans were preparing to play Bellevue. It was a rivalry game, a matchup of programs synonymous with success in the state playoffs, so the trumpeting teenagers fit the scene.

This particular chant, though, had nothing to do with the game. It was directed at a freshman who never took the field, a lineman who didn’t even put on put on a uniform.

There stood Riley Griffiths, watching pregame preparations as the voices rose behind him.

“Su-per eight. Su-per EIGHT! SU-PER EIGHT!”

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Issaquah actor Riley Griffiths, 14, stars in ‘Super 8’

June 21, 2011

On a morning in March, as Beaver Lake Middle School language arts and social studies teacher Karen Smith greeted students in the hallway, eight-grader Riley Griffiths stepped up and asked a question.

Actors Joel Courtney (left) and Issaquah resident Riley Griffiths discuss a scene with director J.J. Abrams before filming on the set of ‘Super 8.’ By Francois Duhamel/Paramount Pictures

Griffiths, 14, whispered, “‘The trailer for ‘Super 8’ came out last night. Can we watch it in class this morning?’” Smith recalled.

“Super 8” — a summer blockbuster about a creature turned loose in a Rust Belt town — started filming not long after Griffiths started school at Beaver Lake. Other students in Smith’s class realized Griffiths had left for a film shoot, but none understood the magnitude. Yet.

The rapt class watched the “Super 8” trailer — and burst into laughter and cheers at the conclusion.

“The students were just so enthralled, and they were so happy for him,” Smith said.

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