Kamiak back in quarterfinals

Knights say they believed all along they’d get this far

By AARON COE

Herald Writer

MUKILTEO — When Dan Mack talked about a return to the playoffs before the season started, some wondered if the Kamiak football coach had taken too many hits in his playing days.

After all, three players had moved on to play for Pacific-10 Conference teams, including quarterback Ryan Kanekeberg, who holds every major Kamiak passing record. Only two starters were back, and folks figured the Knights would return to the middle of the Western Conference 4A pack.

Yet here they are, back in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs, same as last year.

"I guess I’m always the optimist," Mack said. "We knew we were young, but we believed all along we could do this."

The Knights are 10-1, which means Mack is no longer an optimist. He is a realist. A victory tonight over Tahoma on Kent’s French Field would put Kamiak in its first-ever state semifinal game.

Surely this Mack madness couldn’t have spread to his players. They couldn’t possibly have believed they’d be back, right?

"We really thought we could go further than last year," running back Reid Wilson said. "Our coaches always remind us of last year’s team. Our goal is to have our coaches not mention them any more."

To go where no Knight has gone before, Kamiak will have to get past a tough 10-1 Tahoma team that is making its first trip to the state playoff since 1995. Tahoma actually lost two games on the field, but one was turned into a victory when it was learned that top-ranked Kentwood had used an academically ineligible player in its 15-13 victory.

The Bears are led by twin brothers Casey and Randy Robbins in an offense that features the run with an occasional pass mixed in. Both are running threats who have combined for more 1,000 yards rushing. Fullback Casey Robbins gets the bulk of the carries, and quarterback Randy Robbins can run and throw. Tahoma lines up three running backs in a line behind the quarterback, a formation the Knights have never seen.

"They have a pretty creative offense, and they’re dangerous," Mack said. "They have three guys who can get a ton of yardage."

The Knights counter with Wilson and Justin Washington in the backfield, a duo that has combined for nearly 1,400 yards. Quarterback Ryan Jones has put up similar numbers to Kanekeberg’s 1999 totals. His favorite target is senior Mike Boyle, who was second in the conference in receptions in only his first year of high school football.

The Knights may not have had a recognizable cast of characters at the season’s beginning, but people are learning. Wilson hopes to burn his name and his teammates’ in Kamiak history with a few more victories.

"I think we can go far," Wilson said. "We’re already headed on our way."

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Glacier Peak’s Mateo Ganje wins the Boys 200M 4A dash during the Class 4A, 3A, 2A track and field state championships at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Washington on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
State track: Glacier Peak’s Mateo Ganje claims 200 gold

Ganje, Everett jumper Shukurani Ndayiragije each take home three top-three medals.

The Jackson softball team poses with the Class 4A state tournament trophy after a 10-1 triumph over Emerald Ridge Saturday, May 25 at Columbia Playfield in Richland, WA. (Aaron Coe / The Herald).
Domination: Jackson repeats as 4A state softball champion

The Yanina Sherwood-led Timberwolves top Emerald Ridge 10-1 in the title game.

Snohomish’s Hannah Siegler becomes emotional after striking out in the final inning of the 3A state softball championship game against Auburn Riverside on Saturday, May 25, 2024 in Lacey, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish softball falls in 3A state championship game

The Panthers lose 11-6 to Auburn Riverside, marking their second straight championship-game defeat.

State roundup: Murphy’s Balen, Jackson boys win tennis titles

Grace Academy’s Pearce Hess sweeps the sprints in the Class 1B boys track and field meet.

Snohomish players move their teamname up the bracket after a 3A softball game between Snohomish and Seattle Prep at the regional athletic complex in Lacey, Washington on Friday, May 24, 2024. Snohomish won, 8-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish softball advances to state semifinals

Abby Edwards’ pitching, Camryn Sage’s hitting lifts Snohomish to an 8-0 quarterfinal win over Seattle Prep.

The Jackson softball team greets Yanina Sherwood after her sixth-inning, two-run homer put Jackson ahead 4-1 a Class 4A state playoff first-round game May 24 at Columbia Playfields in Richland, WA (Aaron Coe / The Herald).
Jackson softball halfway to defending its state championship

The Timberwolves beat Eastmont, Olympia to move into the Class 4A semifinals.

X
Lake Stevens’ Brown, Pilchuck’s Velasquez win state titles

How did locals fare at state in track and field, baseball and tennis? Find out here.

Mariners report card: ‘A lot of positives’ at 50-game mark

Does Seattle have enough to maintain its lead in the AL West through the rest of the season?

Snohomish players celebrate beating Garfield in the 3A state softball semifinal game to advance to the championship on Saturday, May 25, 2024 in Lacey, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish beats Garfield to advance to state championship

The Panthers punch their ticket to the state championship game with a 9-8 win over Garfield.

Cascade’s Mia Walker, right, cries and hugs teammate Allison Gehrig after beating Gig Harbor on Thursday, May 23, 2024 in Lacey, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Seniors Wilson, Tripp power Cascade softball past Gig Harbor

The pair combined for three homers as the Bruins won the Class 3A state softball opening-round game.

Everett’s Ndayiragije claims Class 3A boys high jump title

The favorite cleared 6-8 to highlight locals on day one of the track and field championships.

Jacob Rohde surveys the area at Everett Golf & Country Club during last year’s final round of the Snohomish County Amateur golf tournament. The three-time champion is among this year’s favorites. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
It’s out with the old, in with the new at the County Am

The 93rd Snohomish County Amateur golf tournament takes place Saturday through Monday.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.