Submitted by Shawn Kleine
Juniors Tigers football coach
There have been a lot of great teams in any sport to go undefeated. It is another thing to go undefeated and never allow your opponents to score a single point. That is what the Friday Harbor Junior Tigers Football team has done this year. The team ended the season 9-0 and scored 380 points with 0 against them.
The Tigers played La Conner in the North Cascade Youth Football League Superbowl on Nov. 10 at Mount Vernon High School for the Valley championship. The Tigers pounced early and never looked back as they have done all season, defeating the Braves 51-0. The win made them the 2018 champions.
It was apparent during the first practice in July that this was going to be a special season. This was the same group that had won a championship together two years prior and were back together and ready to do great things — everyone didn’t realize just how great. The junior division is made up of sixth- and seventh-graders. The sixth-grade group was looking for their third straight championship in a row.
As the first practice ended, the coaches looked at each other and said: “Wow, this is going to be fun!” Many of the kids on this team have been coached by the same group since they were 5 and 6 years old; same system, same positions, same coaches. Players were often correcting coaches on how plays were run, disciplining themselves. Coaches didn’t have to give them a goal, they already had one.
The coaches thank everyone that helped make this happen, most importantly, the cheerleaders. Rain or shine, the squad was always there to pump up and cheer on the boys. Thank you to the coaches Kasey Anderson, Shawn Kleine, Justin Nibler and Jason Garcia for countless hours invested in practice and games and everything in between; all of the volunteers at the bake sales, fair parking, concession stands and more; the Martinez family, Bethany and Chuck, for their countless hours at the concession stands and cooking food for hungry fans, and Darcy for making the boys look sharp and putting names on jerseys; Taylor and Carrie Musburger for filming and editing every game to review on Mondays; and Don Gault Sr. for making this program happen in 1991 and all the energy and commitment he has put in to start this program. Lastly, thanks to the parents that trust these coaches to help raise their boys.