Week 6 Preview: The End of an Era
By Matt Baide
Last Sunday, the end of an era occured in Glendale, Arizona. Seahawks safety Earl Thomas fractured his leg on a play in the third quarter in a win against the Cardinals — the same leg he injured back in 2016.
He was carted off the field and had a choice gesture to the Seattle sidelines. I can understand why fans might be upset with Thomas’ decision in that moment, but I have to say I agree with Thomas and would hope the Seahawks would be open to signing him after the season, considering his injury is presumably season ending.
I have been a Hawks fan my entire life, and I have nothing but love and respect for Earl. He helped bring the Seahawks a Super Bowl win, two NFC championships and an era of Seattle football that I never thought was possible.
I was able to attend a game during the 2013-14 Seahawks Super Bowl winning season. My friend Sheridan and I bought tickets to the Vikings game in the nosebleed section, my first time seeing the Legion of Boom in person.
I hadn’t bought a Seahawks jersey in a while and my Shaun Alexander jersey needed to join him in retirement, so I had to buy a jersey from a member of the LOB. It came down to Richard Sherman and Thomas, and I went with Sherman because I was more of a fan of the number 25 than 29.
The Seahawks won 41-20, and the defense was so good, they contained peak Adrian Peterson.
I’ve seen Earl play a few other games in person and have always been impressed with his talent and work ethic.
Yes, I know we paid him in 2014 with a contract that made him the highest paid safety at the time and I understand that football is a business, but at what point do we see the human side of this over the business side?
Earl has been nothing but loyal to the Seahawks’ organization for the eight years and has been one of the better players at his position during that time period. If I’m an employer and I have an employee who continues to excel at their job despite some bumps in the road, I would want to reward them.
I hope Earl realizes as well that his injuries restrict him from earning the money he feels he deserves and I believe there is hope the two sides can come to some sort of deal.
I don’t like seeing Richard Sherman in a 49ers’ jersey, but the NFL is a business and I understand it. I would have loved to see the Hawks keep him so he could end his career in Seattle, but that wasn’t the case.
For the final member of the LOB that is still with the team and has three interceptions in the first three games, he’s still got it and I would hope that we can keep this piece from the dominant years for Seahawks fans everywhere for as long as we can until he hangs up his cleats.
Nostalgia sells, and while the relationship between the organization and Thomas seems unrepairable, there’s nothing like remembering and reflecting on the days when everything was sunshine and titles.
As for the prep football preview, here we go:
We have our first meeting of local 2A schools this Friday when the Warriors hit the road to face the Bearcats in Chehalis.
Rochester has lost four straight games after an opening game win against Tenino, and have been outscored 185-42 during the four-game losing streak. The Warriors lost 63-0 at home against Tumwater last Friday to open the EvCo schedule.
W.F. West returns to Bearcat Stadium and looks to remain undefeated at home. The Bearcats lost 25-17 to No. 10 ranked Black Hills in Tumwater last Friday. W.F. West has outscored opponents 74-41 at home in two games.
Centralia hits the road to face Black Hills in Tumwater on Friday. The Tigers are coming off an opening EvCo loss to Aberdeen 21-14 at Tiger Stadium.
Tenino will make the long trip north to face Forks on Friday. The Beavers are seeking their first win and have been outscored 213-56 this season. Tenino opened league play last Friday at Hoquiam, falling 48-12.
There are two big ranked divisional matchups on the 2B slate this Friday. No. 4 will face No. 5 in Onalaska on Friday with the Loggers hosting the Mountaineers. Onalaska averages 52 points per game this season and is coming off a 46-6 win against Morton White-Pass last week.
Rainier is coming off a 53-12 win at home against Life Christian and has averaged 39.2 points per game this season. The two teams have one common opponent so far in Toutle Lake, with Rainier winning 53-7 in Week 4 while Onalaska won 56-0 in the season opener.
The other matchup between ranked teams is in the River Division, with No. 10 Toledo traveling south to face No. 3 Kalama. The Indians are coming off a 53-0 win over Toutle Lake in Toledo last Friday. Although Toledo is 2-3 this season, their losses have come against No. 4 Rainier, No. 7 Napavine and No. 1 Adna, by a combined total of 26 points.
The Chinooks defeated Winlock 62-8 last Friday and are above .500 for the first time this season. The defending state champions defeated Toledo 42-21 last season in Toledo.
In other 2B action this Friday, Morton-White Pass will try to bounce back from their first loss of the season in Napavine. Napavine lost to Adna last Friday 50-13 in Adna. This will be the second home game of the season for the Tigers, with the other a 39-20 win against Wahkiakum in Week 4. The Tigers play three of their final four games in Napavine.
The T-Wolves lost to Onalaska last Friday after starting the season 4-0. MWP lost to Napavine 60-21 last season.
After four of the first five games at home, Adna will hit the road in three of their final four games, starting this Saturday in Tacoma against Life Christian. The Pirates are ranked No. 1 in the state and have averaged 35.8 points per game this season. The Eagles forfeit against the Pirates last season.
There’s a potential big game happening in Mossyrock on Friday when the Vikings welcome Winlock to town. The Vikings fell to Wahkiakum 58-21 in Cathlamet last Friday and have lost two in a row. Mossyrock is coming off three straight road games and will host three of their final four games.
Winlock was dominated by the defending state champions last Friday in egg town. The Cardinals have lost four straight after winning the season opener at home 21-6 against North Beach.
This game could have big playoff implications, with Kalama, Toledo and Wahkiakum looking like the top three in the River Division and the fourth and final spot into the crossovers up for grabs between Mossyrock, Winlock and Toutle Lake.
Pe Ell-Willapa Valley will actually play a Coastal Division opponent this week when the Titans head to South Bend. PWV defeated Lyle/Wishram last Friday in Pe Ell in a non-league game after Chief Leschi forfeited due to a lack of players. South Bend’s only win this season came against Winlock in Week 2, 32-14.
PWV is battling for the top spot in the Coastal Division with Ilwaco and Ocosta, both of which are undefeated within the division so far. The Titans travel to face the Wildcats in Week 8 before hosting Ilwaco in the regular season finale.
Associated Press Prep Football Poll
As of Oct. 3
1. Union (6) 5-0 78
2. Mount Si (2) 5-0 73
3. Lake Stevens 5-0 59
4. Puyallup 4-1 55
5. Graham-Kapowsin 4-1 50
6. Woodinville 4-1 35
7. Lewis and Clark 5-0 20
8. Bothell 4-1 17
9. Camas 3-2 16
10. Enumclaw 5-0 14
Others receiving 6 or more points: Glacier Peak 7
1. Eastside Catholic (6) 4-1 77
2. O’Dea (2) 5-0 73
3. Bellevue 5-0 64
4. Lincoln 4-1 56
5. Mountain View 4-1 36
6. Mt. Spokane 4-1 34
7. Bethel 4-1 32
8. Oak Harbor 5-0 24
9. Hermiston, Oregon 4-1 16
10. Peninsula 4-1 10
Others receiving 6 or more points: Mercer Island 9
1. Hockinson (8) 5-0 80
2. Tumwater 5-0 72
3. Lynden 5-0 62
4. Steilacoom 5-0 53
5. Liberty (Issaquah) 5-0 44
6. Prosser 4-1 38
7. West Valley (Spokane) 5-0 27
8. Cheney 5-0 25
9. Black Hills 5-0 15
10. Archbishop Murphy 1-2 14
Others receiving 6 or more points: none
1. Royal (7) 5-0 70
2. Montesano 5-0 58
3. Zillah 5-0 53
4. Lynden Christian 5-0 48
5. Connell 4-1 35
6. Newport 4-1 25
7. Okanogan 4-1 23
8. Mount Baker 3-2 20
9. Cascade Christian 5-0 16
10. Hoquiam 5-0 15
Others receiving 6 or more points: La Salle 9. Meridian 7
1. Adna (7) 5-0 70
2. Tri-Cities Prep 5-0 63
3. Kalama 3-2 50
4. Rainier 5-0 49
5. Onalaska 5-0 40
6. NW Christian (Colbert) 4-1 34
7. Napavine 3-2 31
8. Reardan 4-1 15
9. Asotin 3-2 12
10. Toledo 2-3 5
Others receiving 6 or more points: none
1. Almira/CH (6) 5-0 60
2. Odessa 5-0 53
3. Garfield-Palouse 5-0 49
4. Sunnyside Christian 4-1 35
5. Naselle 5-1 30
Others receiving 6 or more points: Liberty Christian 7