This weekend in Kennewick the Tri City Elite are taking on the Washington Warriors in another matchup of these two competetive Jr High football teams.
The Tri City Elite in their 2nd year of play are a "select" Jr High football team comprised of players from the Tricities and surrounding areas, including Walla Wallla take on the visiting Washington Warriors based out of Auburn, WA. The game kicks off at 6pm at Lampson Stadium. The Elite Jr High team has propelled a number of players to significant Freshman playing time and even a few Varsity appearances for these younger players.
In its inagural year the Columbia Bowl will feature 2 of the best JR programs in the region. Admission is $5 for adults, 16 and under are free.
The 2012 Tanoa Bowl will take place this Saturday December 29th at Auburn Memorial Stadium in Auburn, Washington. The event in its 3rd year is a post season all-star football game made up of players from Washington, Oregon, Utah, and Alaska. The brainchild of organizer Simi Strickland, the Tanoa Bowl stresses the Polynesian values of Family, Intergrity, Pride, and Achievement players do not have to be polynesian to participate in the game.
The game is also an opportunity for Seniors or "Under The Radar" Underclassmen to showcase their talents on a regional level, and perhaps catch the eye of college recruiters. Some notable alumni who participated in previous years games include:
December 29th will mark the biggest and best Bowl event in the State of Washington. The Tanoa Bowl has turned into one of the premiere High School bowl events on the West side of the Country.
Last year’s event was an amazing experience and this year’s promises to be even better.
The preliminary bout will start with a couple of junior Tanoa teams set to kickoff at 12 noon. The Tri-City Elite versus the Washington Warriors this game will showcase some of the very best Junior high school players from around the State. The Elite representing the Eastside of Washington and Warriors the Westside, these are future high school football stars and should be an exciting experience for these kids.
“These kids have worked hard to earn that E that will be displayed on their helmet and we know the Warriors will be coming for us.” Said Tri-City Elite Head Coach James Canada.
“We know they aren’t going to take us lightly after this spring, we know they want it just as bad as we do.” Says Canada.
“I feel like we’ve started something special and I only have Simi Strickland and Zenon Thornton to thank for really making this something that people are interested in. It seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year and now with Junior Tanoa that’s really what’s going to set this event apart from all others.” Said WSN football analyst and Tri-City Elite creator Jerry Mercado.
After the junior Tanoa wraps up then the big boys take the stage starting with Team Oregon versus Team Alaska.
The main event will put Team Utah versus Team Washington. For the very first time in Tanoa Bowl history team Washington will carry a handful of Eastern Washington kids on the roster.
Alex Weber the hard hitting JR. linebacker out of Chiawana, SR. RB. Jonah Hoe Walla Walla’s all-time leading rusher, SR. DL. Kevin Greager standout for Kamiakin, SR. WR/DB Boodie Simpson standout for Kennewick and SR. WR. Danny Raap out of Prosser will display his talent.
All games can be watched live on www.washingtonsportsnetwork.com
More information on the event including full rosters can be found at http://tanoabowl.com/
Senior quarterback Jeff Tuel went 33 for 53 with 350 yards and erased and 18 point deficit with less than 11 minutes to go to give the Cougs the huge Apple Cup win over the no. 25 ranked Huskies 31-28 in overtime, a game that will go down in Cougar history as one of the greatest.
The Apple Cup, the game the Cougs like to look to every year as their signature win. It is one thing we have to look forward to. Even if the Huskies are awful, you can always turn the season around with an Apple Cup win. While the rest of the country is tuning out, this is always the biggest game for Coug fans so we don’t have to hear how the Huskies are always better.
The Cougs defensively started out right where they wanted, with 2 consecutive stops including a three and out on the Huskies first possession. On their second offensive possession, senior quarterback Jeff Tuel led a 14 play 75 yard drive where we saw the Cougs run and pass the ball well. But what has plagued Jeff Tuel so far this season is getting a touchdown once they get in the red zone. The Cougs settle for a field goal and took the early lead 3-0 late in the first.
Early in the second on another Cougar offensive possession, Tuel’s pass to his intended receiver Brett Bartolone was bobbled and intercepted by Husky back Justin Glen. That turned in to a Husky touchdown from junior quarterback Keith Price to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on third down for an 11 yard husky touchdown to give them the lead 7-3.
The next Cougar possession, Jeff Tuel found freshman receiver Dominque Williams for a 61 yard connection to the UW 12 yard line which led to a 1 yard touchdown run by Carl Winston to put the Cougs back in front 10-7. The Cougs had a couple more defensive stops and went into the half with that lead.
On the huskies first drive of the 2nd half, the Huskies were able to find cracks in the defense and methodically drive 89 yards in 14 plays capped by a 15 yard Price pass to Prosser native Cody Bruns to put the huskies up 14-10 early in the 3rd. That was followed by another Husky drive following a Jeff Tuel fumble at the Washington State 20 to set up a Bishop Sankey 3 yard run to put Huskies up 21-10 midway through the 3rd. The Huskies continued to capitalize on the Cougars 3rd turnover of the 3rd period when sophomore receiver Bobby Ratliff fumbled and Husky corner Shaq Thompson returned it to the Cougar 7 setting up another Bishop Sankey touchdown run to stretch the lead to 28-10.
The Cougars M/O all year has been to fold when pressure and adversity arise. They get down and out and don’t believe in themselves, but this was the Huskies in the Apple Cup. The Cougs got the ball back and with the help of some penalties on the Huskies, the Senior Carl Winston punched it in from two yards out to pull within 11 with 10:41 to go. The Cougs defense held the Husky offense to a three and out and Senior Jeff Tuel in his last game as a Coug came out throwing again. He drove the troops down again and Carl Winston punched in his third touchdown of the day. After another Husky three and out, the Cougs had a chance to take the lead but instead settled for and Andrew Furney 45 yard field goal to tie it with just over 2 minutes to go.
The Huskies drove the ball all the way down to the Cougs 17 yard line and tried a game winning field goal as time expired but Travis Coons pushed it right. It was very reminiscent of John Wales kick in the ‘96 Apple Cup.
In the first play of overtime for the Huskies, Keith price was intercepted by the tackle Kalafitone Pole and returned all the way to the Husky five and nearly ended it there. Instead Jeff Tuel completed a couple more passes and set up Andrew Furney for the game winner from 27 yards out. Furney’s kick was good and the Cougs get their first Apple Cup win since 2008. Furney after the game said that he had talked about the game winning field goal with his dad and also joked around with teammates about it. Furney said this was his first game winning kick in high school or college. He grew up a Husky fan and has been to 5 or 6 Apple Cups he said, so he knows the tradition and legacy that he has entered in Cougar Nation.
Tuel’s performance was nothing short of spectacular. After the two interceptions he had in the third, Tuel said, “It’s the last game, you’re not going to hang your head and say the games over, we got a ball game to win.” Tuel mentioned the crowd was a great help for them throughout the game. The poise that this senior showed this game is something he will be remembered for. Tuel is trying to get a medical red shirt for last season and is awaiting word back from the NCAA, so we may see him again next year.
Leach after the game said that he what Tuel was capable of, and knew he had this type of performance in him. Leach is one of those coaches that people may hate and despise. He doesn’t filter himself for the media, and the most I have ever seen out of him is maybe a half smile when somebody tells him a joke. It is hard to tell if he is happy to be here or that’s just the way he is, and looking back at his days at Texas Tech, that’s just the way he is. He is the type of coach that isn’t going to be satisfied with a win or a season unless it’s for the National Championship. That drives him game in and game out to improve which is just what the Cougs need. The losing mentality has lasted far too long, 9 seasons without a bowl game. That will be the current longest in division I football, which is impressive seeing that 70 teams of the 124 make a bowl game every season. The program under Paul Wulff had no discipline and didn’t make players accountable for their actions and in turn had a program often in disarray. If Leach actually sticks around, the Cougs could have some very special seasons ahead of them.
This is a game that many people would like to start the Mike Leach era. The Cougs now go from a team in the dumps to a team with a ton of optimism going into next season. Wins over the Huskies tend to do that. This is definitely a start, and as the team is getting even more in tune next season with the Leach system, we will anticipate the 2013 start.
Senior quarterback Jeff Tuel went 33 for 53 with 350 yards and erased and 18 point deficit with less than 11 minutes to go to give the Cougs the huge Apple Cup win over the 25th rated Huskies 31-28 in overtime, a game that will go down in Cougar history as one of the greats.
The Apple Cup…. The game the Cougs like to look to every year as their signature win. It is one thing we have to look forward to. Even if the Huskies are awful, you can always turn the season around with an Apple Cup win. While the rest of the country is tuning out, this is always the biggest game for Coug fans so we don’t have to hear how the Huskies are always better.
The Apple Cup comes calling this Friday just in time to get all of the black Friday sales and settle into the couch for what is sure to be a game full of suspense and thrills.
We’ll start by breaking down the Washington Huskies. The Huskies come into the game with a record of 7-4 and winnin their past 4 games in a row including the undefeated Oregon State Beavers when they were ranked 8th in the country. The Huskies came into the season behind Junior quarterback Keith Price who was coming off a decent season and an incredible Alamo Bowl last season. He has not lived up to the high expectations coming into the season. Price had 33 touchdowns with 11 interceptions a year ago, but so far this season has only 16 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. The Huskies come into the game with the 10th ranked offense in the Pac-12. The bright spot this year for the huskies has been their turnaround on defense. They are 4th in the conference in total defense and 2nd against the pass which is where the Cougs have excelled in this season.
The Huskies started out the season with a disappointing loss to LSU in Baton Rouge. They followed that up with an upset win versus the 8th ranked Stanford Cardinal. The Huskies then lost their next 3 games before stringing together their past four wins. One thing is for certain, the Huskies tend to be a different team on the road. Another interesting twist is that Bishop Sankey who originally verbally committed to WSU, decided to go to UW at the last moment. He has led the Huskies rushing attack this year with 1150 rushing yards.
The WSU Cougars as many know, come in to the Apple Cup with about as disappointing of a season than any Coug fan could have imagined. The Cougs finished last season 4-8 but had a few games down the stretch that could have pushed them in to their first bowl game since 2004. This season though a year older, are only 2-9. The defensive side of the ball has shown signs of getting better from game to game, but has definitely been a weak spot. The Cougs passing game has been strong as expected and one of the best in the conference. Mike Leaches “Air Raid” offense has not been known for its running attack, but the Cougs have the 124th ranked rushing game in the nation which is dead last in division one football.
The quarterback controversy along with the new offense has also been a hindrance for the Cougs. Jeff Tuel and Connor Halliday have swapped starting duties numerous times this season, but even after eleven games, Leach doesn’t appear to be certain about either of them. Leach is not afraid to take out either quarterback after a couple of drives.
Coming into the Apple Cup, both teams are playing in a huge game for bragging rights in Washington. The Cougs could make this season look a lot better with their first Apple Cup with since 2008 and give Coug fans some hope going into next season by beating a top 25 team. Either way, it is sure to be exciting.
The game kicks off at 12:30p on FOX 11.
The Cougs are wrapping up a dreadful season thus far, and trying to get back on the winning track going into next season. They play their final road game of the season on Saturday in Tempe as they face the Arizona State Sun Devils.
The Cougs are in midst of an investigation regarding allegations that former Cougar receiver Marquess Wilson threw out last weekend. Wilson stated that Leach and the other coaching staff physically and verbally abused him. Doing some research on the matter it appears that former coach Paul Wulff had a pretty relaxed coaching style and allowed the players to get away with much more than should be allowed at the division one level. The transition for the star receiver was difficult because Leach expects the most out of his players. Wilson appeared to want the star treatment and not have to work as hard because of his talent. Based on the team’s performance last game, with Leach's system, they didn’t miss a beat without him.
The Cougs face the 5-5 Sun Devils and attempt to salvage the last two games of the season. At this point, all Cougs fans would just like to see a win in the Apple Cup. The Sun Devils are trying in end a 4 game losing streak, so this game may be what the doctor ordered for the Cougs.
Sophomore quarterback Taylor Kelly has passed the ball well for the Sun Devils with 2235 yards and 21 touchdowns, although has averaged under 200 yards a game in the losing skid. He is supported by two solid running backs in Cameron Marshall and D.J. Foster who both average over 4 yards a carry.
On paper, the Sun Devils appear to be the better team, but the Cougs are slowly but surely starting to get back on track. As the Cougs get ready for the big Apple Cup next Friday, let’s hope they can continue the second half performance that they put up last week an get thier first Pac-12 win of the year.
The kicks off at 12:00 on the Pac-12 network.
For the 4th year, Washington Sports Network.com selected its All-Star Football team. The team is picked exclusively by the washingtonsportnetwork.com staff and is done "Dream Team" selection style. This year the team was selected from eligible players in the Mid Columbia and Big 9 Conferences (next year it may expand to include other conferences. This year it gets even more exclusive as 11 players are selected on Offense and 11 on Defense, enjoy!
QB - Kolney Cassel, Senior, Eisenhower
RB - Devven Ramos, Senior, Kennewick
RB - Jonah Hoe, Senior, Walla Walla
WR - Carlos Vijarro, Senior, AC Davis
WR - Javan Williams, Senior, Kamiakin
OL - Kayden Maughan, Junior, Chiawana
OL - Cody Kowalski, Senior, Hanford
OL - Ryan Osterlund, Senior, Wenatchee
OL - Dyllan Rowden, Senior, Eisenhower
OL - Clayten Ayres, Senior, Kennewick
Ath - Isaiah Brandt-Sims, Junior, Wenatchee
DL - Joe Douglas, Senior, Hanford
DL - Jacob Meise, Junior, Kennewick
DL - Darin Hardgrove, Senior, Eastmont
DL - Matthew Chalmers, Senior, Richland
LB - Alex Weber, Junior, Chiawana
LB - Nick Sells, Senior, Wenatchee
LB - Cole Henderson, Senior, Southridge
DB - Joseph Contreras, Senior, Sunnyside
DB - Trenton Osborn, Senior, Eastmont
DB - Trea Thomas, Senior, Eastmont
DB - Carlos Vijarro, Senior, AC Davis
After a wacky week of off field newx, Connor Halliday replaced an injured Jeff Tuel late in the first, and put together a remarkable 2nd half performance with 330 yards on 26-43 passing and 5 touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Cougs, the 23 point 2nd half deficit was too much for them to overcome, as they fall short on Saturday 44-36.
The Cougs had a busy week with the recent Marquess Wilson drama. For those who aren’t aware of the complete story, star receiver Marquess Wilson was suspended for a week because he was 20 minutes late to a team training by coach Mike Leach. Marquess then took upon himself to quit the team after being a solid receiver for the Cougs the past three seasons and eclipsing the receiving yards record for the Cougs earlier this season. Marquess then sent a letter to the media accusing Leach of physical verbal abuse. When asked if he could deny accusations of physical abuse, Leach replied, “Yes I can, next question, and if you expect to ask another one, you won’t keep walking down that path.” Leach refused to talk about players that weren’t on the team anymore.
The Cougs had to find other receivers to pick up the hole that Marquess left and the other cougar star wide out Isiah Myers who sat out with a concussion Kennewick High Schools redshirt freshman Drew Loftus who caught his first pass as a Coug for 37 yards was among 8 Cougars with a catch. Freshman Dominic Williams who has quickly rose to the top of the depth chart had 7 catches for 108 yards and 2 TD’s. Sophomore Bobby Ratliff also added 5 receptions for 123 yards.
The Cougs biggest downfall was the four blocked kicks that the line let by in the first half. The Cougs first drive which should have ended in an easy three points, saw the kick blocked and taken back 68 yards by UCLA’s Roosevelt Davis to give UCLA the early 7-0 lead. When asked about how they lost when they outgained and outplayed UCLA, coach Leach eluded to the 4 blocked kicks. The Cougs were down 30-7 at half and mounted a resilient comeback, but were unable to get an onside kick in the final minute to have a chance to tie it.
The Cougs head to the desert next week to face a beatable Arizona State team before facing the Huskies in the Apple Cup on Black Friday.
Cyrus Coen Postgame Interview
Devven Ramos A Senior Leader For Kennewick With Purpose
by Jerry Mercado
The Kennewick Lions Senior running back / line backer Devven Ramos (6'0"-205 ) was named the Mid Columbia Conference's first ever Most Valuable Player. This time last year Grant Woods was Kennewick's star running back and Ramos was still nursing a healing collar bone.
Before he had broken his collarbone, early in the 2011 season, he was Kennewick's starting running back. He wouldn't't be the same that year and there would be whispers of whether or not he could even stay healthy.
Coming into this year Ramos carried a lot of expectations individually. As a team I had them ranked in the top 10 in the State as well as one of the top 3 teams in the MCC.
After a slow start I would be scolded for my predictions that the Lions would finish towards the Top of the League. I was called biased, told I didn't know what I was talking about, and laughed at for doing so.
The Lions would stay in the hunt for the division crown and would need a win at the end of the regular season against cross town rival Kamiakin in order to do so.
That Friday night Devven Ramos and his Kennewick teammates would make history. It was the first time the Lions would beat Kamiakin since 2005. This was the first Kennewick team to win a division crown since 1991 and this was the first ever Mid Columbia Conference championship.
Last week Kennewick hosted GSL opponent Shadle Park and their high powered passing attack that features maybe the State's brightest young Sophomore star; QB Brett Rypien.
Ramos would shine on both sides of the ball. He would consistently pressure Rypien from his outside linebacker position in Kennewick's 3-4 defense and he would run for 208 yards and 3TDs. He would be shelved early in the 4th quarter and Kennewick would cruise to a victory over Shadle Park 38-20.
This last Thursday Devven Ramos was named the Mid Columbia Conference's 1st ever Most Valuable Player. He finished the season with 1,648 yards and 15 TDs. He also led the league in yards per carry with a 6.8 average.
Here is the interview and Q and A with Devven Ramos.
Me: "You were just named the MCC MVP. You are the very first in Mid Columbia Conference history. What is your reaction to this honor?"
Devven Ramos: "It is truly is an honor to to have received the MVP award. I know it wouldn't have been possible without all the heart that my team played with this year. It is a great feeling to be rewarded for all the hard work put in."
Me: "Injuries have been an issue in the past. Everyone always said Devven is going to be great if....Describe your mind set this year as opposed to last year when you had suffered injuries?"
Devven Ramos: "My mind set hasn't really changed too much. I've always been driven to win and do anything it takes to do so. It was unfortunate to have gone done last year to injuries but I have managed to heal and stay healthy enough to accomplish what I have this year."
Me: "What specifically did you work on this year in the offseason. Cause first thing I noticed in your practice before season started was the size of your neck. Nobody gets a neck like that unless they are putting up a lot of iron."
Devven Ramos: "Just a lot of presses and shrugs. It started from rehabbing my collarbone. It really helped improve the strength in my shoulders and neck."
Me: "Coming into this year the MCC was considered tough. You were going to earn your way to the conference crown. I had you guys towards the top of my rankings but in the early season it seemed like you guys were middle of the road. When do you feel like you hit your stride and when did you know you were the team to beat?"
Devven Ramos: "I feel like our loss to Richland help us make the proper adjustments and after that we really got our rhythm."
Me: "Throughout your career you have experienced some ups and downs, what has coach Bill Templeton meant to you and what has he said to make a difference in your high school career?"
Devven Ramos: "Having played for coach Templeton for 4 years really gave me an opportunity to learn a lot from him. He has a way of keeping the morale if us players up to give us the confidence to go out and play the way we do. I am thankful to have gotten all that I have in these past 4 years playing for him."
Me: "I am very active in the youth sports community and all I can hear players and parents talk about is the excitement of watching Devven Ramos. What message would you send to your young fans and any young players aspiring to follow in your footsteps?"
Devven Ramos: "Just to always try your hardest in anything you do. It may sound cliche but it really is true. If you are willing to sacrifice your time and put forth all your effort you will be rewarded for it."
Me: What was it like to come out with the victory versus not only rival Kamiakin, but also Shadle park?
Devven Ramos: "The two wins over Kamiakin and Shadle were ones hard earned. I can't be satisfied with those wins though. I have to always be focused and looking towards beating the next opponent"
Me: "You guys have won your first conference crown since 1991 and a lot of alum are very excited. What's it like to excite your fan base the way you have?"
Devven Ramos: "It is awesome to give all the Kennewick alum something to be proud of. Our team is continuing to work hard to keep all the positive momentum flowing."
Me: "What kind of interest are you receiving?"
Devven Ramos: "I am not currently being offered anything but I'm looking forward to getting my name out there and seeing how things turn out."
Kennewick will face North Thurston this Saturday at 4pm. You can watch live on the web on www.washingtonsportsnetwork.com
Try outs are Saturday, Nov 10th, 12 noon, on the Kennewick HS Practice Field.
You will be trying out to play on the Tri-City Elite. If you make the team practice will begin Monday November 19th and we will prepare to play the Washington Warriors December 29th as apart of the Tanoa Bowl festivities in Auburn, WA.
Costs will be $20 to tryout and roughly $100 or so dollars for your jersey. We will travel to Auburn early December 28th and come back that night to cut out the costs of Hotels and anything else.
After our first game we will meet once or twice a week until the Spring and we will prepare to play more games. We will play team Washington again, Seattle and potentially play a Yakima team which I'm now in the process of organizing.
This will be a year long program which will get you prepared to play high school football but this is an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.
For more information visit http://www.tcelitefootball.com/
The state football tournament begins this week with games on Friday and Saturday that will pair the current field in each division of 16 teams down to 8. The action should be exciting as ever heading toward the goal of Tacoma Dome dreams. Before the teams reach the neon tubes of the T-Dome they have to overcome travel and home-field advantage of some of the states best.
In the 4A's some of the best 1st round matchups include Newport and Isaac Dotson facing off agains Danny Mattingly of the Mead Panthers. Travel comes into play for Newport as they go 5 hrs to Spokane in taking on Mead. Newport is no stranger to traveling for the tournament, in 2010 they traveled to Pasco to take on Chiawana losing 30-10.
Bothell takes on Bellarmine Prep at a neutral site in Tahoma HS.
In the 3A division there are a number of interesting matchups including Mount Si/Glacier Peak, Ferndale at Bellevue, and Marysville-Pilchuck at Timberline. Bellevue appears to be a runaway train, heading for their 5th title IN A ROW! The bottom half of the bracket looks very competetive with O'Dea, Eastside Catholic, and Kennewick all hoping to advance. We will be carrying a live stream of the North Thurston-Kennewick game Saturday at 4PM so tune in to check that one out.
Down in 2A Prosser and #1 Othello appear headed for a quartefinal showdown, while Capital, Lynden and Archbishop Murphy hope to prove them both wrong.
1A looks extremely competitive as well with Royal, Cle Elum, an River View hoping to make theire dreams come true. Waitsburg-Prescott last years title holder looks to repeat in the 2B ranks. Full brackets for all classifications can be found on the WIAA website at http://www.wiaa.com/subcontent.aspx?SecID=614