Skyline routs Eastlake, 40-10

November 4, 2014

Head coach Mat Taylor preached resiliency to his Skyline High School football players after they suffered a 56-0 blowout loss Oct. 17 at the hands of top-ranked Bothell.

By Greg Farrar Elijah Nichols, Skyline High School senior wide receiver, outruns the pursuit of Eastlake senior defensive back Ivan Jimenez to haul in a pass from quarterback Blake Gregory for a 41-yard touchdown to start the Spartans’ scoring in their 40-10 win Oct. 31.

By Greg Farrar
Elijah Nichols, Skyline High School senior wide receiver, outruns the pursuit of Eastlake senior defensive back Ivan Jimenez to haul in a pass from quarterback Blake Gregory for a 41-yard touchdown to start the Spartans’ scoring in their 40-10 win Oct. 31.

The Spartans proved they had thick skin in the next two games. They rolled past Inglemoor on Oct. 24, and then walloped rival Eastlake, 40-10, Oct. 31 to clinch second place in the KingCo Conference and a home playoff game this week.

“After Week 7, we just said it was going to have to be a thing of the past,” Taylor said. “This is the beset possible outcome we could’ve had after losing to Bothell.”

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Bothell Cougars humble Skyline Spartans, 56-0

October 21, 2014

If there were any doubts about Bothell’s ability to win a big football game on the road, the Cougars destroyed those theories in the opening minute of their Oct. 17 game at Skyline High School.

By Greg Farrar Sam McPherson (20), Bothell High School senior running back, gets a block from a teammate on Skyline junior defensive back Danny Sinatro, and scored from 13 yards out for the Cougars’ third touchdown of the game.

By Greg Farrar
Sam McPherson (20), Bothell High School senior running back, gets a block from a teammate on Skyline junior defensive back Danny Sinatro, and scored from 13 yards out for the Cougars’ third touchdown of the game.

Bothell, the top-ranked team in Class 4A, scored on its first two plays from scrimmage and went on to thoroughly dominate the Skyline Spartans, 56-0, clinching the KingCo Conference title in the process.

“We couldn’t ask for anything better — score on the first play, score on the second play of offense,” said senior Sam McPherson, the Cougars’ star running back and defensive back.

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High-school football game of the week: Skyline at Issaquah, tonight at 7

September 5, 2014

NEW — 1 p.m. Sept. 5, 2014

About the game

It’s the first time this district-rivalry game has not been played at the end of the season. League realignment caused the change to the schedule.

The schools play for a trophy called the “Coal Bucket,” something original Skyline High School coach Steve Gervais and Issaquah High School coach Buddy Bland dreamed up early on in the rivalry.

“It’s really odd for us,” Skyline coach Mat Taylor said of playing the Eagles in Week 1 rather than Week 9. “But, it’s also really helped motivate the kids this offseason.”

Skyline has made a habit of playing a big-name (and many times out-of-state) team to begin the year. The Spartans don’t have a game like that on the schedule this season.

For the Eagles, tonight’s game marks Bland’s return to the sideline for his first game since he resigned in 2006 after seven seasons. Issaquah is looking to snap a nine-game losing streak to Skyline.

The Eagles led at halftime a year ago, but wilted in the second half and fell, 30-17, in the regular-season finale.

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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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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’s Mat Taylor rejects Central Washington

December 31, 2013

Mat Taylor, Skyline High School football coach presents the 2012 state 4A championship trophy to his team at the Tacoma Dome. By Greg Farrar

Mat Taylor, Skyline High School football coach presents the 2012 state 4A championship trophy to his team at the Tacoma Dome. By Greg Farrar

Skyline High School football coach Mat Taylor has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Central Washington University head coaching position.

Taylor, who announced his decision Dec. 22, told The Seattle Times he first realized he wasn’t ready to leave his teaching and coaching job at Skyline while driving home from the end of his three-day interview at CWU.

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