September 15, 1997
WHS football coach suspended
Team on probation
by Andrew Walgamott
KingCo Conference officials suspended Woodinville High School head football coach Terry Agnew and placed the varsity team on probation for two years following rules violations seen pictured in a local newspaper last month. According to Mike Thomas, KingCo Conference athletic director's chairman, the football team appeared in shoulder pads during the first three days of practice which began August 25. Doing so is a violation of Washington Interscholastic Activities Association rule 54.2.0.
Mike Colebrese, WIAA executive director, said his office became aware of the violation after seeing WHS football players pictured in pads August 26 as published in the Eastside Journal. Colebrese said the no-pads rule, approved by all member schools, was to prevent players from having contact before they were in good physical condition.
Mark Briggs, a sports reporter for the Eastside Journal, said when he was interviewing players for the article, the entire team was in shoulder pads, and that the photo of quarterback Brad Kertson wasn't staged.
The incident, initially investigated by the school's principal, recommended that Agnew be verbally reprimanded, according to Thomas. The school termed the mistake an "oversight" in written documents to the league's games committee as well as verbally, Thomas said.
The games' committee decided a reprimand wasn't enough and gave Agnew a two-game suspension and placed the team on two years probation. The league later reduced the suspension to one game. According to Thomas, WHS can appeal the decision to KingCo principals, then to the SeaKing District Two and then to the WIAA.
"We're not going to comment while this is in due process," Eric Barnum, Northshore School District Director of Student Services and Athletics said. WHS will appeal. Elsewhere in KingCo, Redmond High head coach Rik Haines was suspended for two games and the football team was placed on two years probation for practicing out of season.
Agnew, who can still coach while the penalty is under appeal, led the Falcons to a 22-0 win over traditional rival Juanita last Friday night. If Woodinville or Redmond's programs commit another violation while under probation they could have postseason and revenue-sharing privileges revoked.
Last year, Agnew coached the Falcons to #1 in the state and #25 in national ranking on the way to a 10-1 season. The team lost to South Kitsap in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. Agnew has been a teacher at WHS since 1989 and has coached football there since the early 1990s. He teaches P.E. and traffic safety at the school as well.