Wednesday, December 19, 2007

ACH Uses I, Shotgun and Single-Wing To Win State

Football Notebook No league title? No problem

By Craig Smith
Seattle Times staff reporter

TACOMA — Five teams in this year's championship games didn't win league titles.

They are: Class 4A Lewis and Clark, 2A Burlington-Edison, 1A Royal, 2B Toutle Lake and 1B Almira-Coulee-Hartline.

Almira-Coulee-Hartline got sweet revenge in the 1B (eight-man) final Friday by beating Northeast League champion Odessa, 38-14. Odessa hammered ACH 56-6 during the season.

Today, 1A Royal will try to duplicate ACH's accomplishment when the Knights play Connell, which beat Royal 23-20 in September on the way to the SCAC East Division title.

Sorry, Mom, I'm playing

Burlington-Edison coach Bruce Shearer didn't get to play two seasons of high-school football because his mother was afraid he'd be injured.

Shearer, who lived near Sacramento, suffered a knee injury playing football as a freshman. When he was a senior and had turned 18, he joined the team while his father was out of town on a construction job.

His parents found out, but because he was 18, his mother, Shirley, said, "I can't tell you 'no,' but you can't play running back."

So Shearer played tight end, nose tackle and returned kickoffs, which is about as dangerous as football gets.

He then played junior-college football and earned a scholarship to Humboldt State.

Irish through and through

O'Dea's defensive coordinator, Mike Crotty, played football at Notre Dame.

Crotty was a standout at Glacier High School, a since-closed school near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1972 after being a two-year starter at strong safety on teams coached by Ara Parseghian. He also returned punts and kickoffs.

The 1970 Notre Dame team, quarterbacked by Joe Theismann, beat Texas in the Cotton Bowl and wound up ranked No. 2 behind Nebraska.

Crotty, who played briefly for Ottawa in the Canadian Football League, is a counselor and teaches accounting at O'Dea. He has been on the football staff for 17 years.

O'Dea's biggest little fan

One of O'Dea's biggest fans might be the smallest.

Cody Marie Kohler, the daughter of O'Dea coach Monte Kohler, is only 19 months old.

Her first two words? "Go O'Dea!"

Her brother, 3-year-old John Edward Kohler, finds coins on the ground or floor and gives one to his dad to carry for good luck during the game. Most of the season, John Edward also has run to the sideline to give his dad a hug and kiss before leaving the game with his mom, Monte's wife, Jana.

The kids are the light of their daddy's eyes.

"They're wonderful," Monte said. "They're always excited when I come home, and they don't care if we win or lose."


• Friday's paid attendance at the Tacoma Dome was 8,050, up 231 from Friday of last year's Gridiron Classic.

• Edmonds-Woodway's Tony Heard was named Gatorade State Player of the Year. The 6-foot, 225-pound junior rushed for 2,238 yards for the 12-1 Warriors, who lost in the semifinals to Lewis and Clark. Prosser quarterback Kellen Moore won last year.

• Before the 3A title game, Skyline students chanted, "We have girls! We have girls!" at rooters for all-boys O'Dea.

• Skyline, which opened on the Sammamish Plateau in 1997, will return to 4A next fall. The Spartans won the 3A football title in 2000 and the 4A title in 2005.

Almira-Coulee-Hartline had four starters on offense [ which uses the I, Shotgun and Single-Wing] from the town of Almira and two each from Hartline and Coulee City. The school is in Hartline — in the middle, and 10 miles from the other communities. A new school is under construction in Coulee City.

• Bothell ruined the chance of an all-Spokane 4A final by beating Ferris in the semifinals, 14-7. Anticipating a possible championship game between Ferris and Lewis and Clark, the schools had asked if the final could be played at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane.

Mike Colbrese, Washington Interscholastic Activities Association executive director, said he will ask the WIAA board for its thoughts in case a similar situation arises.

• Lakeside School of Seattle was awarded the state scholastic award for 3A football teams for its 3.425 cumulative grade-point average. Eastlake (3.26) of Sammamish will get the 4A award tonight.

Seattle Times staff reporter Sandy Ringer contributed to this report.
The Seattle Times Company

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