A look at the Falcons
by Russ Paris
The Woodinville Falcons have had a perfect season and are now heading to the State Playoffs.
"If you look at the kids on the team, they are led by a group of seniors who have a lot of experience," said head coach Terry Agnew. "The group played as sophomores, due to a number of injuries during that season." Marques Tuiasosopo, Pat Conniff, Ryan Prentice, Blair McIntosh, Brian Kertson, Brigham Tomco, and Seth Lopez are all three-year starters.
"The group has worked hard, providing leadership and examples for the younger players. Everyone has rallied together and have spent a lot of time in the off-season preparing," said Agnew.
Even though this team has many outstanding athletes (many of these players come from athletic families), Coach Agnew feels that they have developed a strong team which is reflected by the Falcons' undefeated record and their performance.
"They take care of business, they stay focused throughout the week. They don't spend much time on the rankings," he said. "Many teams have tried to stop Woodinville this year, but have found how versatile the team is."
Dee Hawkes, former Bothell High football head coach, is impressed by the team. "Having watched other playoff teams, it is my opinion that Woodinville is playing football as fine as any other team in the state. They can score on the big play, they can shut you down on the goal line, and you can't take a rest break when they are on the field. Also, their special teams are very good," said Hawkes, now an author of two football drill books and editor of another two.
"The uniqueness of the Falcon team is that it has so many offensive weapons. They are multidimensional with the option game. To defense them, coaches assign defenders and that becomes less reactional and more of a thinking process, which is to Woodinville's advantage. On the other side of the ball, Woodinville makes it a short field. Their turnover ratio is way ahead of the their opponents. If you break this all the way down, the design is for the defense to give the offense the ball to score. If they recover a fumble, intercept a pass, block a kick, put a team three and out, then they are doing their job," Hawkes said.
Falcon coaches aren't planning on changing the practice routine just because of playoffs. They will be preparing the same way as usual, breaking opponents down with film and putting together a game plan for the players.
"We have been scouting the South Puget Sound League (SPSL). They are very good," said Agnew. But the Falcons won't know who they play until late Tuesday or early Wednesday, when results from SPSL games determine their opponent.
Woodinville's last appearance in the state playoffs was in 1992 when they lost in the first round to Rogers of Puyallup.
The Woodinville Falcons have been led into the playoffs by their own "four horsemen:" Marques Tuiasosopo, Ryan Prentice, Pat Conniff, and Blair McIntosh. ("The four horsemen" was coined when sports writer Grantland Rice wrote about Notre Dame's success.)
The Falcons' first round game will be Saturday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at Pop Keeney. Fifteen other teams will be competing for the AAA title.
"The team would like to thank the community for all their support during the year. Woodinville has had good support for the leaque games," said Agnew.