Hockinson’s bid for a third consecutive state title is over after a loss to Tumwater in the semifinals
TUMWATER — Instead of a traditional game report, how about a thank you instead?
A thank you to the Hockinson Hawks for being part of a special era of Southwest Washington football.
The two-time defending Class 2A state champions will not make it three in a row, not after going up against the juggernaut that is the 2019 Tumwater Thunderbirds.
No matter the outcome Saturday night, though, these Hawks made an impact, one that deserves a salute from Clark County high school football fans.
The scoreboard showed Saturday night: Tumwater 55, Hockinson 7.
It did not show this: These Hawks made it to the final four after a series of injuries, after being behind at halftime in the first round of the state playoffs, after being behind by 14 points in the fourth quarter last week in the quarterfinals.
These seniors, if you consider their careers as three years on varsity, went 38-2 and won two state championships.
Then, after a series of injuries to two Pac-12 recruits, they still managed to make it to the final four.
Senior Levi Crum threw a touchdown pass to sophomore Liam Mallory for Hockinson’s only points Saturday. It was a pass from this team’s lone healthy previously known star to a player who became a star earlier than expected and will be part of the program’s future.
“It’s been a dream come true,” Crum said of playing for Hockinson. “The opportunity to win two state championships and play with your best friends. Two state championship and then go to the semifinals. That’s a lot to be proud of as a program.”
After the game, Hockinson coach Rick Steele announced the name of every senior on the team, gave each one a hug. Then every senior went down the line to give hugs to each assistant coach.
“We’ve had a heckuva run with these seniors,” Steele said. “They are just a great group of kids. They battle every night they come out and play football. I’m just proud of them. Obviously we’re disappointed but couldn’t be more proud of this football team.”
Tumwater will play Steilacoom in the championship game next week.
Hockinson will start to focus on 2020 soon, with the hopes of winning Week 1 to make it 39 victories in 41 games.
Those back-to-back state titles? Never happened in Clark County before the Hockinson Hawks.
Thank you for those memories.