Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Mud Match, the annual golf showdown between crosstown rivals Cascade and Everett, and it will feature a father and son looking to come out on top.
The problem is only one of them can.
Darrell Olson, the coach at Everett, leads his Seagulls against his son Chris Olson, a senior captain at Cascade, in the Mud Match today at 3 p.m. at Legion Golf Course.
“It’s developed a little bit of competition around the dinner table and a little trash talking,” Darrell Olson said.
Said Chris: “We did a little smack talking around the house. We have some fun with it.”
It will be the final Mud Match for Chris, who has never lost an individual match in the tournament that pits each teams’ No. 1 golfers, No. 2 golfers and so on down the line against each other. He said that while it was nice to be the medalist for Cascade last year — each teams’ low scorer gets a medalist trophy — Chris wants to finish his high school career with another Bruins’ victory.
“This is the 30th year of the Mud Match,” Chris Olson said. “Cascade has won it the majority of the time. We need to get that trophy back for Cascade.”
Last season provided the ideal finish for the elder Olson, whose team won for just the seventh time in the match’s history.
“Last year I had the best of both worlds. My son was the match medalist and we won the Mud Match,” Darrell Olson said. “It was a great night at the dinner table. That’s my best scenario. That’s a win-win.”
Chris ended up at Cascade through a combination of chance and a pretty big decision. While he was in seventh grade, the Everett School District redrew the boundaries, putting him in Cascade territory. He had friends going to Everett, as well as Jackson and Cascade High Schools, but in the end decided to be a Bruin.
“That’s where all my friends were going,” he said.
The Everett coach said he never tried to recruit Chris away from his school. Once he was a Bruin, that decision was final as far as Darrell was concerned.
“I didn’t want to pull him. He was elected captain (of the golf team) his junior year,” Darrell said. “It would not have been fair. He’s had a really good experience at Cascade. There’s nothing bad about him playing there. I would have loved to have had him, but that’s where he belongs.”
Darrell was fulfilling a comment he had made when Chris was younger. While making his decision, Chris remembered something his parents told him.
“I remember my parents telling me, wherever you go we’re going to support you,” Chris said. “But whatever school you go to freshman year, that first school you step foot on, you’re going there for four years. We’re not going to play the transfer game.”
Darrell Olson said even though he’s not his coach, Chris will still ask him for advice from time to time. And Darrell is quick to determine what kind of advice Chris is seeking.
“I try to be really careful in that I’ve really backed off lastly the last couple years,” Darrell said. “I try to be there as a sounding board. If or when he asks for advice I say, ‘Do you want coaches’ advice or dad advice?’”
The Bruin captain still has some friends on the Everett golf team. The Seagulls finished ninth at state prompting one of Chris’ friends on the team to point out that if Olson was there, “Man, we’d be stacked.”
Despite that fact, Chris looks on his years at Cascade very fondly.
“I have no regrets,” Chris said. “I honestly love Cascade.”