La Center senior Evan Honore will be going out in style as a high school football player.
He intends to dress up, wear a tie.
There might be a podium involved.
His teammates are expected to act like reporters and ask him questions.
Honore is planning to hold a “press conference” Saturday morning to announce his “retirement” from the game, just prior to the Wildcats leaving for Bellingham for the Class 1A state semifinals against Meridian.
The Trico League’s co-defensive player of the year learned this week that he had one break and one fracture in the transverse process – a back injury.
While he did play more than a half last week with the injury – he had no idea how severe it was at the time – medical professionals have advised him not to play this week nor next week should La Center make it to the championship game.
“It didn’t look like anything crazy,” Honore said, noting that he made a tackle and another player’s knee drove into his back in the second quarter of La Center’s win over Cascade Christian last week.
“I just played with it. Didn’t think anything was wrong,” Honore said.
Honore scored the tying touchdown in the second overtime. La Center went on to win 41-35 in three overtimes..
“It hurt the whole time,” he said. “I just tried not to focus on it.”
He thought it might be a deep tissue bruise and hoped a massage could help ease his pain. But X-rays were ordered as part of his evaluation. At first, the experts found one fracture. After a closer inspection, there was another break, too.
“I just started crying. I was upset I couldn’t finish what the whole team started,” Honore said. “After a little bit, after I talked to coaches and the players, I got a new job now. Pretty much a coach.”
Honore said he will be helping Thomas Dreyer as Dreyer takes over at free safety for Honore.
La Center will be without its star in the defensive backfield. Honore has eight interceptions this season. On offense, he is the team’s leading receiver with 42 catches for 625 yards.
He said the key to his individual success has been the coaching and the players around him, putting him in the right position to make plays. That will stay the same, he said – his coaches and teammates will do the same for Dreyer on defense and quarterback Hayden Williamson will find the right teammate to throw the ball to on the passing plays.
Honore would rather be playing, but now he will have a sideline view of what he hopes will become a historic season for the Wildcats. La Center has never made it to the championship game.
“It means the world,” Honore said of wearing the La Center uniform, of representing the community. “We’ve accomplished everything besides a state title. That’s what we’re hoping for this year. Glad to be part of it.”
His football days on the field are over, and as he looks back, he said his best memories are not actually all the wins with the Wildcats.
“All the camps before the season, getting closer to my teammates, everyone just hanging out together,” Honore said.
This football team will be hanging out at least for one more game, possibly two.
Evan Honore cannot be on the field anymore. But he is right there with the Wildcats. They hope to be together in the Tacoma Dome next week.