By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
From last-minute comebacks to stunning punt returns, this has been a magical season for the Lake Stevens football team.
And thanks to Tony Soper. the whole thing has been recorded for posterity.
Soper, video camera in hand, has been on the sidelines of every Vikings game this season, recording the action and turning it into some jaw-dropping highlight films for a high school football team.
“It’s outstanding for the kids,” Lake Stevens football head coach Tom Tri said. “He does a great job. I can guarantee we have the best highlight videos at the end of the season.”
Soper started videotaping Lake Stevens football games three years ago because his stepson, Bryson Daggett, was on the team. Before that, he filmed games for a local youth arena football team that included current high school stars Jake Nelson and KeiVarae Russell, and former Lakewood quarterback Justin Lane.
Since he’s started, Soper said, he’s gotten better and learned different tricks to shooting football. He’s even started his own company, Game Time Video Productions, which he hopes to work at full time one day. Besides highlight videos, Soper also puts together recruiting videos for players, including Nelson, the Vikings’ QB, and WR Christian Gasca.
Last year his breakthrough was the “Ike Special” video, which went viral online. The video of Snohomish special-needs student Ike Ditzenberger scoring his first varsity touchdown against Lake Stevens drew national attention and got Soper interviewed on CNN and other news organizations. He’s also done work for MaxPreps, Varsity News and the former Fox Sports Northwest.
This year, with Daggett no longer on the team, Tri knew he had to convince Soper to come back. So Tri and Soper sat down and hammered out an agreement to keep Soper and his camera on the sidelines. Soper couldn’t be happier that he decided to come back.
“It hasn’t really set in,” Soper said of how special this season is. “It’s the biggest season of football ever. . … To be a part of that is really special.”
To view Soper’s videos, visit www.vimeo.com/gametimevp/videos or Soper’s Game Time Video Productions website at www.gametimevideoproductions.com.