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Lakewood hosts passing challenge
MARYSVILLE — In 2008, Lakewood High School football coach Dan Teeter gathered five teams to participate in a 7-on-7 football passing challenge. This year the competition had more than tripled in size with teams coming from as far away as eastern Washington.
Defending champion Issaquah defeated Lakewood in the quarterfinals and then went on to defeat Kamiak to win the Fourth Annual Cougar Championship Passing Tournament and O-Line Challenge, Saturday, July 30, at Lakewood High School.
“The competition level this year was at an all-time high,” Teeter said. “I was very pleased with the tournament today. It could never have been pulled off without the tremendous support of the Lakewood parents and the community’s support, as well as the Snohomish County Officials Association, who all donated their time as volunteers.”
Lakewood finished fifth out of 19 teams with a 2-2 record. The Cougars defeated Prosser 38-28 and Lake Stevens 43-21. Aside from the loss to Issaquah, the Cougars’ other loss came from Mount Vernon 35-28. In the end, Kamiak finished second and Bethel from Spanaway finished fourth.
The event had six Class 4A teams including Bethel, Bothell, Kamiak, Issaquah, Lake Stevens and Stanwood. There were five Class 3A teams including Glaicer Peak, Juanita, Liberty, Mount Vernon and Marysville Getchell. The event also included five Class 2A teams including Bellingham, Port Angeles, Prosser, Sultan and Lakewood. Also participating were Class 1A teams Coupeville and Kings, and Class 1B team LaConner.
Teams were placed in five divisions and played up to five games. The top eight teams overall advanced to the championship round and the remaining teams played in a consolation bracket.
Teams’ offenses started on the 40-yard line and had three downs to gain 15 yards for a first down. When they reached the 25-yard line they had three additional downs to reach the 10, where they had four downs to score. Touchdowns were worth seven points, not six. If a team attempted a PAT and failed, it would lose a point. The defense earned three points for an interception and seven points if it returned the ball past the 40.
For the first time, Teeter included an O-Line Challenge. Offensive linemen, who didn’t play in the 7-on-7 games, competed in bench press competition, tire toss, tug-of-war and a tire and 400-meter relay.
“This was the first time we ran the lineman challenge and it was really fun watching the big boys getting a chance to have fun and compete,” Teeter said.
The passing challenge comes two days before the high school no-contact rule begins. Coaches are not allowed to practice or workout with players until Aug. 17 when practices officially begin. So, according to Teeter, the passing tournament gave coaches a final chance to go over various offense and defensive strategies and principles.
At the end of the tournament, coaches awarded offensive, defensive and lineman MVP awards.
Lakewood junior defensive back Brandon Stott won the Defensive MVP. Issaquah senior quarterback Ethan Kalin won the Offensive MVP and Stanwood junior Carlos Vilchis won the Lineman MVP.