With the Gekko Chats series, our goal is to bring you closer to the action by sharing the backgrounds and perspectives of those who follow Husky sports and College Football the closest. We are not "news" and it is not our goal to "get the story". We are bloggers who have the objective of enriching the overall sports fan experience.
It dawned on me recently that despite the fact that many of us have become accustomed to all of the expertise that exists within our fan forums, we really have very little insight into the background and experiences of some of our most recognizable members. As such, I've decided to continue the Gekko Chats series with Q&A events with some of you - our UWDP members - as the season goes on. If you were looking for a more "known" personality, don't fret. I'm still working on some of those types. However, I think you'll enjoy this little experiment.
First up? How about our own OneWoodWacker. Many of you are familiar with "OWW" as he has been around our boards, as well as those of other forums, for quite some time. He is a grizzled Husky vet who also shares with many of you a passion for High School Football. He was gracious enough to do this Q&A with me last week. Here it is.
| ||OWW, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I'm sure that Husky fans would love to read a little about your background, in particular your experience with football and in service to our country.|
OWW: I started playing the game during my 6th grade year at Edgemont JR under the tutelage of Coach Gervais - father of Steve Gervais. In high school, I played for Coach Fred Roberts at Fife. After graduation, I worked a few years and got my AA at night before deciding to join the United States Air Force. Following Basic and Tech School, I was stationed in Utah at Hill AFB. Vietnam was done so I was allowed to go to college. Being on campus, that passion to play kept gnawing at me and I got the okay from my Commander to walk on at the University of Utah. I played mostly Scout/Practice squad stuff under Coach Howard. After graduating from Utah, I got into DL coaching at Clearfield, HS, Clearfield Utah. During my USAF career, I traveled / lived all over the US and World; Texas, Mississippi, Utah, Greece, Italy, Germany, Alaska and Washington and I coached at every duty station.
| ||That's great background. Can you recall when your interest in football really got stoked? What kind of role has it played in your life?|
OWW: 1960! ... after watching my first live UW game and then following Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts! (the Seattle Seahawks weren't even a dream then!)
As for the role it played in my life: while Coach Gervais, Coach Roberts were very good football coaches, Coach Howard was excellent. I don't know why he walked away from the game but, in my humble opinion, he could have been one of the game's best. He was smart, knew the game, knew how to prepare players; he was the person who really got me interested in coaching. As a result, I have seen/been involved with just about every event that could happen in a young person's life. Ironically, the game of football made me a much more gratuitous and happy person and I came to understand what the game could do for a kid who could really benefit from routine, self-discipline and guidance.
| ||What about UW Football? When did that become a real passion for you?|
OWW: October 15th 1960, UCLA came to Seattle as the #15 ranked team in the nation and my grandfather took me to see our then #13 ranked Huskies play them in Husky Stadium. I was mesmerized. It was an EPIC defensive battle; we won 10-8...I was HOOKED for life on Husky Football. It was the seed that spurned my love for defense and the LOS.
| ||You have a depth of knowledge in Husky history that rivals anybody in this forum. Who are your two or three players of all-time that the casual younger fan may not be familiar with?|
OWW: Wow, tough question. I don't know that I know anyone that someone here never heard of. I was a BIG fan of Caesar Rayford from Bethel High School. Caesar had talent dripping from every pore of his 6-7/270 body but just had the hardest time conforming to structure and being understood. Robin Earl and I spent a summer lifeguarding at 5 Mile Lake near Edgewood the summer before his Senior year at Kent-Meridian. What some may not know is that he was just one of the nicest, most humble, soft-spoken and unassuming guys you could ever get to know. He had a great sense of humor too!
OWW: I see a lot of kids play each year because I love High School Football. That said, there are a few that have caught my eye this summer. I really like the way DE Amandre Williams of Tahoma HS plays the game. I believe he is entering his junior year and this 6-3/225 just explodes off the snap. He has veteran moves already and will leave guys grasping at air. He can and will stand an opposing OL straight-up and knock him backwards when he wants to. He plays in the very competitive SPSL league so he is facing some pretty good competition each week, so I know he is doing his thing against better players. If he has his classroom work squared away, he could be one of the OKG's.
Another SPSL'er who really caught my attention is DE/DL/TE Josiah Bronson of Kentwood HS. This 6-5/260 has reported 4.75/40 speed and when you see him run on the field there is little doubt he can move that well. The only area of work I see needed is his "burst/first step speed; he has a slight hesitation once the ball is snapped. Much of that is experience/youth though and will only improve with confidence and reps. Other than that; he is just a VERY well built, powerful, skillful and quick footed young man.
Cody Kanouse is a junior-to-be at Peninsula High School. When I saw him as a freshman he was already 6-7/285. When I saw him during his Sophomore season he was 6-8/305. He can move, uses his hands very well and he understands the game. I don't think there is any question, if he keeps at his craft, I think he will get D-1/PAC-12 offers.
| ||Who do you consider the most "old school" player on this year's Husky squad?|
OWW: I could name a few; I think Shaq is pretty "old school"; not much flash there. No need I suppose, he just straps it up and plays the game quietly and completely professional. Hau'oli Kikaha is another. Just a very quiet humble young man who straps it up and MAKES you play the game of football on EVERY snap. Kaleb McGary graduated from my Alma mater so I had the chance to talk with him on a few occasions. This kid doesn't need an audience, doesn't need the lights, he plays out of pure love of the game. He will knock a opposing player on his backside and reach down a hand to help him up. Hands the ball to the ref after a great play, doesn't have to tell the opposition how gifted he is, he lets his play speak for itself. Once he acclimated to his DE position and the college game, he will be one heck of a baller for us.
Thanks to OneWoodWacker for agreeing to stop by the Gekko Chats room and sharing some Husky passion with us.