EVERETT — He was a professional football player for three years and before that, was renowned as one of the best defensive backs in University of Washington football history.
But he never forgot where he came from.
Shane Pahukoa graduated from Marysville-Pichuck in 1989. He played many sports there but was a standout in football.
He was named Sept. 16 to the Snohomish Sports Hall of Fame.
“At every level, you learn something new — meeting different people, the coaching, they teach you life lessons and not necessarily football stuff but living life and how to take care of a family,” Pahukoa said.
He was M-P’s star running back and free safety. He would take his defensive talents as a freshmen to UW, starting 29 games.
He led the team to three Rose Bowl appearances and a National Championship.
He eventually took his skills to the highest level, walking on for the New Orleans Saints playing on special teams and occasionally starting at safety.
Pahukoa has lived in Los Angeles for 15 years, but still keeps in touch with his Marysville coaches.
“Football is football, and I love the sport, but it’s really the relationships I made throughout the years,” he said.
One of which is Scott Stokes, who now coaches the offensive line for M-P. He was Pahukoa’s coach his senior year.
“I’m still really close to my coaches,” Pahukoa said.
Even in L.A., Pahukoa was affected by M-P’s shooting tragedy last year. Many of the first responders are friends of his. He called them right away.
“I heard it right when I flipped on the TV,” he said. “It was horrific. It really touched home.”
The main lesson Pahukoa took away from his football tenure is perseverance.
“A lot of it had to do with persevering whether it was a loss or injury,” he said. “Buckle down, keep your head up and just persevere through different adversities.”