The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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A very special Friday night 2013 Terrace Homecoming

A very special Friday night 2013 Terrace Homecoming

Oh what a night!  Mountlake Terrace 2013 Friday night Homecoming was special to me for a number of reasons, both on and off the field. I can’t ever say that I don’t enjoy spending a Friday night at Edmonds Stadium when I am calling a Terrace football game but this one had extra elements that stand out above most of the other games.

Homecoming games are always more enjoyable when the Hawks win and it was nice to see that they decided to play their best game of the season last Friday. Mountlake Terrace defeated Shorewood 56-14 and it felt like it was even more one-sided than that as the Hawks offense seemed unstoppable. The Hawks were so dominant that they only had to run 34 plays on offense the entire night and still managed to get 440 yards and 8 touchdowns. The running game was so effective That MTHS quarterback Justin Hopkins didn’t throw a single pass during the game (Hopkins did however score his first varsity rushing touchdown of the season). I asked head coach Tony Umayam if he could recall being involved with a team that didn’t attempt a pass for an entire game, either as a player or coach, and he thinks it was a personal first for him.

The star of the night was Chance Ragsdale who we believe shattered the school record by rushing for 334 yards on 16 carries and he also scored 3 TDs.  Unofficially, the previous school record for rushing yards was Chance’s performance against Shorecrest the week before when he had 283 yards and 4 touchdowns, a game that helped him earn the Everett Herald’s Player of the Week award.  (SIDE NOTE:  Coach Umayam and I think the school record prior to 2013 was held by Earl Brock who rushed for 269 yards in a game back in the early 1970s).  I had an opportunity to interview Chance right after the game live on the internet for the Sound Live Sports Network and I asked him if he ever thought rushing for over 300 yards in one game was ever a possibility.  Chance surprised me by saying his goal at the beginning of the night was 300 yards and he was even a bit disappointed as he also expected to score five touchdowns.  Confidence is important for a running back and I like that Chance has it, especially when he is capable of backing up his words.

Chance received most of the praise however he didn’t defeat Shorewood singlehandedly. Junior running back Malcolm Johnson, a recent transfer to MTHS from Texas also had a suburb game running the ball, scoring three touchdowns on six carries and 63 yards.  Malcolm weighs 220 pounds and runs aggressively.  I also interviewed him after the game and asked him about his hard-nosed style of running to which he smiled and said “I like contact”.   Malcolm is a player that Terrace opponents are going to dread trying to tackle for the remainder of this season and in 2014.

Chance and Malcolm did an outstanding job of rushing the ball but much of the credit also needs to go to the offensive line and other players that were blocking for them.  Jevin Pahinui, Brett Potter, Drew Klippert, Billy Parkins and Miles Allen were moving Shorewood defenders around on the offensive line “in the trenches” all evening while tight end Austin Bates and wingback Jacob Walgren provided help on the outside along with the wide receivers.  It was old school, full contact football at its finest and enabled the Hawks to have a chance (no pun intended) to qualify for the playoffs for the 3rd time in the school’s history if they can defeat Stanwood this Friday night at 8pm, a game that can also be seen on the Sound Live Sports Network.

The players weren’t the only ones having a great time on Friday.  Broadcasting a homecoming game is exciting because there are plenty of quality people for us to bring up to the booth and interview throughout the game.  Of course the two “must interviews” at a homecoming game are the King and Queen.

I was pleased that Jack Pearce and Maddy Kristjanson were selected to be the Homecoming King and Queen for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, I’ve gotten to know both students a little bit over the past year and think the world of them.  Both deserve the recognition and I was happy that our school would be represented by two outstanding individuals.

I was also happy that Jack and Maddy were selected from the selfish standpoint in that I knew both would be excellent interviews and having them join us on the broadcast would be fun.

Neither disappointed as the King and Queen joined us in the 1st quarter and we talked about a number of topics which included: Homecoming Week, the upcoming halftime ceremony in which they would be recognized and lead the students in the traditional “Super Sonic” dance and the fall sports season where both are currently excelling; Jack in cross country and Maddy in soccer.

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We also received a surprise visit from Principal Greg Schwab.  He dropped by the booth during the 1st quarter so I asked him if he wanted to jump on the air with us.  I personally think that MTHS is incredibly fortunate to have him as a Principal and always enjoy talking to him about things that are going on around the school.  Principal Schwab seemed pleased at how Homecoming Week was going and that the football team was doing so well.

Our other guest interviews were MTHS Boys Basketball Coach Nalin Sood and one of his former Terrace players, John Allen, who graduated from Western Washington University earlier this year.  John is an alum that the MTHS community should be proud of.  He had a very good season for the Hawks back in 2006-2007 and even set the school record by scoring 39 points in a game against Mountain View, a record that still stands.  John initially enrolled at WSU his freshman year where he was a walk on (a non-scholarship athlete) on the basketball team.  He transferred up to Western Washington for his sophomore year where he flourished and ended up helping the Vikings win a Division II National Championship and in the process was named an All American.   His success even helped to earn him the Everett Herald “Man of the Year In Sports” Award in 2012.

John’s college basketball career has opened up a number of doors for him and he has had a couple try outs with teams in the National Basketball Association or “NBA”  (you know, that league that the Sonics used to play in).   His next stop will be the NBDL which is the NBA Developmental League where many future basketball players go to improve and showcase their skills before hopefully playing in the NBA.

John and Nalin were both gracious enough to come on the broadcast with us and talk about John’s playing days both at Terrace and at Western as well as to talk about John’s future prospects.  John is a competitive guy that seems to do well at every level of play and it wouldn’t be a huge shock if he is one day playing in the NBA. I just hope that Seattle has another team by then (fingers crossed).

The game and the broadcast interviews were fantastic but what ultimately made Homecoming special was the MTHS community.  Being the play by play announcer for the high school sports teams of my alma mater allows me to connect with students, staff and parents both from the present and the past.  Homecoming seems to be that one time of the year when everyone comes together.

Looking to my right in the press box I was able to watch the current students of MTHS enjoy a memorable night as everyone dressed the part and had a good time cheering on the Hawks and hanging out with friends.  It was also nice to see the Hawks football team run over to where the cheerleaders stand on the track and celebrate their victory with the student section after the game was over.  Those are memories that the players and students will talk about when they come back as alums someday and when they get together at reunions.

Directly below me in the press box was the “adult” section of the bleachers, where many familiar faces were sitting.  There were the usual faces that I’ve become accustomed to seeing every at all Terrace football games, parents and MTHS staff members, many of which have become friends and whom I occasionally go out with after games.  These are newer friendships that I cherish greatly.

There were also faces of some of my former MTHS classmates, many of which I only get to see once a year if I’m lucky and a night like homecoming gives us all an excuse to break away from our lives and to get back together for one night in which we can catch up and reflect on our own time at Terrace.  These are people that I’ve known most of my life.  We spend time growing together as kids and now we continue to grow old together.  Lifelong friends that I value more as time passes.

The other group of people sitting in that section was the faces of recent past, primarily 2012.  Last year was our first year of broadcasting and therefore the Class of 2013 was the first group of “alums” that I got to know as a broadcaster.  It was good to look into the crowd and see some of those students who helped make last year a special one for me.  Seeing them come back to “the nest” for a night brought back some great memories.  It was also good to see some of the Class of 2013 parents come back, many of which I got to know last year and are still friends.  One of them, Kathie Barnard, the Mother of MTHS 2013 graduate Quintin Barnard, was even fortunate enough to win an iPad that the Football Booster Club raffled off at halftime thanks to a generous donation by Harris Ford Lincoln.  Another fun moment for me as I had the honor of reading off the winning raffle ticket numbers while standing out on the field.

Celebrating the present and linking it to the past, that is ultimately what homecoming should be all about.   Combined those things with a record breaking football game and you have a very special evening.   Homecoming 2013 at Mountlake Terrace will not soon be forgotten.  Go Hawks!

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