Tulalip Hawks win NW Regional title, next up World Championships in Ohio

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

“On offense and defense, this team is simply amazing!” boasts James Madison, head coach of the 12-U Tulalip Hawks youth football team. “It’s been an honor to coach this team. From the coaches and players, to the parents and extended families, there is a strong sense of pride we all have representing our tribe. We’ve stuck together all season as one big family, and the results really show that.”

The results have been impressive, to say the least. A brand new team playing in the competitive North Sound Junior Football League for the first time, the Tulalip Hawks ‘Bantams’ received high praise as they dominated their competition during their (8-0) regular season. Then in the postseason they made quick work of their first two playoff foes, posting back-to-back 50-0 and 40-0 shutouts. 

It wasn’t until the league championship game vs. Lynnwood that the soaring Hawks finally played in a competitive game. But even then, after being tied 19-19 early in the 2nd half, they would close out the game with two impressive touchdown drives to seal their first-ever North Sound league championship.

Led by a core of talented Tulalip youngsters, the Hawks to this point were undefeated and scoring on average a whopping 40.7 points per game while only giving up a paltry 5.5 points to their opponents. Those impressive numbers on both sides of the ball, plus the league title qualified them to participate in a Northwest Regional tournament with a chance to play in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s World Championships, hosted at Canton, Ohio in mid-December.

“The vision of the Hall of Fame was to create the little league world series of football, a postseason tournament that stacks up the best programs in the country to crown a true national champion ,” explained Gary Howard, Pro Football Hall of Fame’s national scouting director. Each winner of the fourteen regional tournaments automatically qualifies for the national tournament.

The Northwest Regional tournament kicked-off for the Hawks on November 24, when they hosted the Bellingham Knights at the Tulalip Youth Complex. In front of a raucous home crowd, the Hawks continued to showcase their skyrocketing potential on both sides of the ball with a 39-6 dismantling of Bellingham. The win catapulted the young Hawks into the Regional championship game played at Archbishop Murphy High School. Their opponent was the Sedro Woolley Cubs, a team who hadn’t lost a game in two years.

  With two undefeated teams set to matchup for a regional title, the game was expected to a barnburner. However, as they’ve done all year, Tulalip made quick work of previously unbeaten Sedro Woolley with a series of game breaking athletic plays and timely defensive stops. The Hawks won the highly anticipated matchup 34-12. With the victory they were crowned Northwest Regional champs and earned the opportunity to play in Canton, Ohio for a national title. 

If the team success wasn’t enough, individual accolades were achieved by five stand-out Hawks players. 00 Ignacio Vega-Hillaire, 3 Gaylan Gray, 7 Ryelon Zackuse, 13 Jayden Madison, and 48 Gio Vega-Hernandez each received a hand delivered invitation to participate in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s elite three-day training camp. This invitation-only training camp features the best of the best in their age division, while offering a once in the lifetime opportunity to develop and train under the guidance of former NFL coaches and players. 

7 Ryelon Zackuse, 3 Gaylan Gray, 48 Gio Vega-Hernandez, 00 Ignacio Vega-Hillaire, and 13 Jayden Madison all received hand delivered invitations to participate in an elite three-day training camp sponsored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“This year is the first of many yet to come. We strive to get the most exposure at the National level for all youth in the Northwest,” said Board of Director Marlin Fryberg, Jr., who also serves as a Pro Football Hall of Fame regional scout. “Having teams and players represent us in Canton, Ohio will be a great thing for our youth football programs. It’ll be a once in a lifetime experience for the kids and their parents.”

Junior Hawks crowned North South champions

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The North Sound Junior Football League is the most competitive and officially coordinated league in the area for youth eager to showcase their skills on the gridiron. This season North Sound welcomed five new teams into the league; Pee-Wees, 89ers, Juniors, Bantam, and Seniors all proudly represented the Tulalip Hawks program over the last several months. 

The Bantam (12-u) team, coached by tribal member James Madison, separated themselves from all other teams thanks in part to an explosive offensive and lockdown defense. Loaded with talented, young Tulalip athletes, the Junior Hawks Bantam squad had Championship or bust expectations from the get-go. 

“Our kids are out here representing Tulalip the best way they can,” said Coach Madison prior to the season opener’s kick-off. “They all know each other, most are family, and they get out on the field and just play hard. We know, as a program, we’re brand new but we’re determined to show every week that we’re Tulalip and proud of it. These kids have set a goal from day one to win a championship, and we expect to do just that.”

With lofty expectations, this group of youngsters played at a championship level by steam-rolling their competition week after week. During the regular season, they routinely exploited defenses with their overpowering running game, while stifling their opponents’ best players. Producing blowout victory after blowout victory, these Junior Hawks outshined everyone in the Bantam division. 

Going into the postseason they averaged 40.8 points on offense, while giving up just 5.1 points on defense. That whopping margin of victory increased after a 50-0 victory in their 1st round playoff game, followed by a 40-0 win in the semi-finals. The pair of playoff Ws setup the North Sound championship game between the Tulalip Hawks vs. Lynnwood Royals on Saturday, November 10 at Arlington High School.

The kick-off temperature was around 40 degrees, which made the 200+ fans in the stands layer up with winter coats and blankets galore. But on the field, the boys’ blood was running hot with excitement knowing they were just one more victory away from reaching their championship goal. 

In the opening quarter, Tulalip scored first when running back Gio Hernandez took a direct snap from center and scored on a 25-yard run. Lynnwood quickly countered with a score of their own, which Tulalip then topped with another Gio touchdown, this time off a 38-yard run and score. 

Lynnwood again matched the Junior Hawks with a running touchdown of their own, marking the first time since their first game of the season that Tulalip gave up multiple scores to their opponent. It was obvious that Lynnwood had brought their A-game and Tulalip would have to take their play to another level in order to win.

Midway through the 2nd quarter, running back Gaylan Gray added to his highlight reel with 37-yard touchdown run that included a sweet spin-move to break a tackle. The touchdown put Tulalip up 19-13 going into halftime.

To start the 2nd half, Tulalip coaches watched from the sidelines as Lynnwood was again moving the ball well against their defense. The Royals tied the game at 19-19 after a punch in from the 1-yard line. The game tightened up from that point, with both teams’ defenses coming up with multiple 4th down stops. The score remained 19-19 for the remainder of the 3rd quarter and most of the 4th. 

With only minutes left in the title game, Tulalip marched down the field with an impressive drive. Lynnwood’s defense finally buckled when running back Gaylan took a 14-yard hand off to the left sideline, broke two tackles and dove towards pay dirt. His touchdown put Tulalip up 26-19 with three minutes left to play. The Junior Hawks defense came up huge on Lynnwood’s subsequent drive when they forced a fumble and several Tulalip defenders jumped on the loose ball.

With the ball back in the hands of their explosive offense, the Junior Hawks iced the game with another direct snap to their running back. Once again it was to Gaylan who followed his blockers up the right sideline for a 29-yard score. With a mighty 32-19 advantage and just two minutes remaining the game was all but over. Moments later, a pair of quarterback sacks by Gio and Ryelon Zackuse sealed the Junior Hawks victory. Tulalip had achieved their preseason goal and was crowned North Sound division Champions!

“The 1st half was a real battle between two good teams. When we were tied up, the coaches kept telling us to keep playing hard and stick to the game plan,” reflected 12-year-old Gio following his two-touchdown game. “In the 2nd half our defense really stepped up and set the tone, which got us fired up on offense.”

“Last time we played Lynnwood we shut them down, so we were surprised they played so well to start the game,” added Gaylan, who also scored two touchdowns. “But we came together as a team during halftime and hyped each other up. It was a great game and I feel really good because this is my first football championship.”

Looking forward, the Champions from Tulalip will be playing in a Northwest Regionals tournament Thanksgiving weekend. That will be their final test before they travel to Canton, Ohio where they’ve been invited to play in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s World Youth Championship. This is a once in a lifetime experience for these boys who are making memories they’ll never forget.  


Jr. Hawks make list for best teams in WA State

Junior Hawks 89ers

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

We’re midway through the North Sound Junior Football season, and two Tulalip Junior Hawks teams are garnering state-wide attention. The latest update to the Western Washington Junior Football power rankings have the fourth-grade level 89ers (4-1) ranked 8th in state, while the seventh-grade level Bantams (5-0) are all the way up to 4th. 

Both teams excellent play on the field and growing hype, as far as championship expectations go, has led to extra attention from opposing coaching staffs. It’s often the case lately that coaching staffs of soon-to-be opponents are coming out to video record the Junior Hawks’ games in order to scout formations and particular players. It’s respect of the highest honor really; youth football teams playing so well that extra time and attention is being given to them like a high school or college program. 

On Saturday, October 6, the Tulalip 89ers hosted Oak Harbor in a week six matchup. Coming into this game, the 89ers defense has been tremendous. In fact, they’ve only allowed one team to score all season. That level of defensive play would continue and overwhelm Oak Harbor.

The 89er defense was relentless, putting a lock on Oak Harbor’s offense in every way. Meanwhile the 89er offense was focused on using their ground game to move the ball up and down the field. In the red zone, running back Jesse Voss ran in a touchdown to give his team their first lead at 6-0. Later in the game, once again in the red zone, quarterback J.J. Gray scrambled for a touchdown of his own to push their lead to 13-0.

The defensive would hold it down from there. Once again holding their opponent to zero points, the Junior Hawks’ record moved to (5-1) with the 13-0 victory. Bryson Fryberg, one the leaders on defense, had several QB pressures and several key tackles during the game. Bryson shared it felt good to hold Oak Harbor scoreless, but that his favorite moments were the hard tackles he dealt out. 

Following the victory Coach Omar Gray said, “Our kids stepped up big against a quality opponent. Offensively and defensively our players are really focusing on playing as a team and that allows us to play great football.”


JR Hawks Bantam

Later that Saturday, the undefeated Junior Hawks Bantam squad took the field in a matchup with Arlington at Arlington High School. The Bantams are led by a high-octane offense that averages nearly 45 points per game, while their opponents only average a single touchdown.

“The most important thing for us as a coaching staff is to make sure our boys play for each other and as a family,” shared Coach James Madison prior to kick-off. “We’ve had several key players go down with injury, but it’s up to our players to step up and show the quality of our depth.”

Tulalip took it to Arlington early and often. At halftime they led 26-0 and piled on several more offensive highlights in route to a 34-0 victory. Wide receiver Jayden Madison led the Junior Hawks with three touchdowns. After the win he said, “I thought it would be a closer game, but our passing attack was just too good. My favorite play was when Gaylan threw me a perfect pass in the corner of the end zone and I caught it over two defenders.” 

With two more regular season games before playoffs start, both the Junior Hawks Bantam and 89ers teams are playing great football and keeping their eyes on the prize: a Junior Football League Championship.

Tulalip Jr. Hawks make statement with dominant Ws

89ers Bryson Fryberg and Derek Wilson forcing a QB sack.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Last year, for the first time in nearly fourteen years, Tulalip began an initiative to have its own youth tackle football program. Under the careful guidance of Youth Services employees Lonnie Enick and Josh Fryberg, the Junior Hawks program kicked off with a single team of 9-12 year olds who played during the 2017 season. That lone team was the spark that ignited a flame, attracting many more aspiring Tulalip football players for the 2018 season.

Now in its second season, the Junior Hawks youth football program has grown from having just the single team to having five teams, each separated by age level; Peewees, 89ers, Juniors, Bantams, and Seniors. Each team is comprised of mostly Tulalip tribal members. These youth, who before were only able to play football under the banners of Marysville or Everett, now proudly sport stylish uniforms that read Tulalip Hawks.

Tulalip sought and received acceptance into the North Sound Junior Football League, legitimizing the program as a whole and establishing themselves as the official feeder program for the reservation’s Heritage High School. 

“We have a lot of very dedicated players, coaches, parents and volunteers who are ready for football season to start,” noted Junior Hawks president, Bantam team coach, and Tulalip tribal member James Madison. “It takes a lot of hard work for it all to come together, but we’re ready and we’re excited.”

89er coaches reviewing the game plan at halftime. Right – Bryson Fryberg and Derek Wilson forcing a QB sack. Below – J.J. Gray throwing for a TD.

This season’s campaign kicked-off on Saturday, August 25, with four of the Junior Hawks teams playing home games at the youth center versus Lake Stevens teams.  

The 89er division got things started with a 9:00am game. Quarterbacked by tribal member J.J. Gray and coached by his father O’Mar Gray, the Junior Hawks executed their game plan flawlessly by dictating tempo on both sides of the ball. Offensively, J.J. looked like a young Mike Vick running quarterback options and routinely juking multiple defenders as he left the pocket for long runs. Meanwhile, the defense was giving up nothing on the ground or through the air. Several Junior Hawks players, like Bryson Fryberg and Derek Wilson, were able to overpower their Lake Stevens counterparts and come up with multiple quarterback sacks. 

At halftime the Jr. Hawks were up 21-0, giving the home crowd much to cheer about. They would tack on another touchdown for good measure in the second half on their way to a well-earned 27-0 victory.

“For this being our first game, I thought it went great,” reflected Coach Gray after the season opening win. “For them to play in front of their families and friends, here in Tulalip, was a big energy booster for the team. All of the kids stepped up and you could see each player was hungry for a win.”

Bantam squad’s Gio Vega-Hillaire shreds Lake Stevens with the ground game.

Following the 89er game, the Junior Hawk Bantam squad took to the field. Prepared by long-time coach James Madison and led by a crop of highly talented 12-year-olds, this team walked on the field with high expectations.

They set the tone early unleashing a variety of offensive formations that Lake Stevens was unprepared to defend. Players Gaylan Gray, Gio Vega-Hillaire, and Jayden Madison all scored touchdowns early as their team took a commanding 26-0 lead. Their defense would force several 4th-down stops and the offense never let off the gas, eventually winning with a lopsided score of 57-14.

“Our offense came easy because our O-line did a great job blocking for us and opening up running lanes,” said do-it-all player and tribal member Gaylan Gray. He accounted for five Jr. Hawk touchdowns on the day. “My favorite play was catching a pass and going for a 50+ yard touchdown.”

“Both our defensive and offensive lines did good,” added lead running back Gio Vega-Hillaire, who chipped in four touchdowns himself. “It was a lot of fun winning the way we did at home.”

Jayden Madison coming up with a clutch interception.

The dominant victories by both the 89ers and Bantam teams give the Junior Hawks program high hopes for the season and expect to see a champion crowned at the end of the season. All in all, the program consists of five teams, over 125 athletes, and thirty volunteers. 

“Our kids are out here representing Tulalip the best way they can,” said Coach Madison. “They all know each other, most are family, and they get out on the field and just play hard. We know, as a program, we’re brand new but we’re determined to show every week that we’re Tulalip and we’re proud of it. These kids have set a goal from day one to win a championship, and we expect to do just that.”

To follow the Junior Hawks progress over the season visit www.northsoundjrfootball.org 

Football University: technique by position

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

During the hottest weekend of the year, the mid-80 degree days of May 27 and 28, six inspiring athletes from Tulalip were having their athletic prowess put to the test at Football University’s two-day camp. Hosted at Eastside Catholic School, located in Sammamish, the intense football skills camp delivered by the heralded Football University provided an intense, no-nonsense offseason training experience for 200+ student-athletes.

Among that pack of talented athletes were Tulalip’s own Shoshone Hollen, Noah Fryberg, Arnold Reeves, Quinton Yon-Wagner, and brothers Jeremiah and Jacob Diaz. All eager and ready to become better players, Football University was their primary destination for the best coaching from a staff of NFL-experienced coaches.

Since 2007, Football University has seen 40,000 student-athletes improve on the field and in the film room, learning position-specific techniques and fundamentals from the best and brightest. Promising prospects from grades 6-12 learn how to be better football players at a FBU camp, unlocking their potentials and eventually playing at the highest levels in high school, college, and the NFL.

“We believe every football player, at least once in their football lifetimes, should be coached by someone with NFL-level experience,” says Eric Medeiros, Pacific Northwest Scout for FBU. “Every single one of our FBU coaches possess a true passion for teaching elite technique to the younger generation. The fundamentals all FBU athletes learn are the same being practiced at all 32 NFL minicamps and in the film rooms of all 32 NFL teams, the same techniques on display every Sunday in the fall.”

Football University is built on the truth that technique plus talent beats talent alone. A truth the Tulalip youth learned by experience, as they were led by coaches and scouts in a variety of drills and trainings on the scorching hot gridiron. The camp tested their mental and physical football ability on the field and in the film room with an intense curriculum of technique training and film study.

It is a proven belief that the competitive difference-maker at high levels of football is technique. Every weekend in the fall, positional battles are won on the field with superior technique.

For their impressive showing at the camp, Noah, Shoshone, Quinton, and one of the Diaz brothers were recipients of a very exclusive FBU Top Gun Showcase invite.

“It was a privilege being by their side at this FBU Combine Camp. I see these young men every day here at the Teen Center working hard in the weight room, practicing drills outside on the field, and just pushing themselves every day to improve themselves,” says Lonnie Enick, Youth Services Activities Specialist. “I’m glad they got this one-of-a-kind experience because they benefited big time. I’m so proud of them all!”

Friday Night Lights Brings Communities Together



By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

The Tulalip Tribes and Marysville School District kicked off Tulalip/Marysville Unity Month (#TMUnityMonth) on October 7, 2016, with Friday Night Lights. The event, hosted by Youth Services, is a flag football tournament that sees over 60 participants on the field every Friday.

An all-ages event, Friday Night Lights participants get to play live, fast-paced football, while bonding with family and community members of Tulalip, Marysville, Everett, and Arlington. The event consists of four teams that will play each other every Friday night during the months of September to November.



Youth Services provides snacks on the busy Friday nights to participants playing football, the young adults skateboarding the new skate park, and also caters to additional people taking part in indoor events such as open gym and movie nights.

Friday Night Lights is held 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Friday night during the first few months of football season. Josh Fryberg, Youth Services Activities Coordinator, believes that building relationships is a major key to growing together as a community.




He states, “We have people coming from neighboring communities to play football and to have some fun. The main objective of Friday Night Lights is bringing the community together, that’s what it’s all about.”

For more details about Friday Night Lights and #TMUnityMonth, please contact Youth Services at (360) 716-4909.



Hawks run over Bruins, 51-26



By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The Tulalip Heritage Hawks (0-1) held their home opening football game on Saturday, October 1, when they hosted the Bruins out of Clallam Bay (2-1). The game was played at the newly built Alpheaus “Gunny” Jones, Sr. ball field.

These two teams previously faced off on September 9 at Clallum Bay. That was a highly competitive game in which the Bruins pulled out a 28-26 victory.

The Hawks were determined to get their first win of the short season and did what they could to show off for their home crowd. Everything seemed to go the Hawks way on both sides of the ball. The offense was clicking and had no trouble moving the ball. Meanwhile, the defense came up big by forcing three interceptions and a couple fumbles.



After four quarters of solid play, the Hawks won by the score of 51-26.

The twenty-five point victory is sure to be a shining spot on a season that has seen two games cancelled thus far. On Monday, October 3, it was announced Tulalip Heritage has forfeited its next game against the Lummi Blackhawks.

Saturday, October 29, is the next and last home game on the schedule for the Hawks.



Tulalip Hawks lit up by the Neah Bay Red Devils, 12-72



by Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Coming off their first win of the season, a 78-48 victory over Crescent High School, the Tulalip Heritage Hawks (1-3) were looking forward to a competitive game against one of their rivals, the Neah Bay Red Devils (3-0). The Red Devils are the back-to-back WA State 1B champions, currently ranked #32 in the nation, and ranked #1 in the state. The Red Devils have been destroying teams by an average margin of 37 points per game and appear prime to repeat again as 1B champions.

The game was played at Quil Ceda stadium on Saturday, October 10, where clouds opened up to rain showers just before kick-off.

On the opening kick-off the Red Devils scored on an 87-yard kick return, completed the 2-point conversions, and took an 8-0 lead over Tulalip Heritage less than 15 seconds into the game. On the Hawks ensuing possession they went 3 and out, but their 4th down punt attempt went awry as the snap was low and the ball was fumbled. The Red Devils took over on downs at the Hawks 22-yard line and on 1st down scored an easy touchdown to take a 14-0 lead.




It would be that kind of day for the Hawks, as the Red Devils were just too good, took advantage of every Hawks miscue, and continued to pile on the points.

Down 0-44 with 90 seconds left in the 1st quarter the Hawks got on the board. From their own 45-yard line, quarterback Willy Enick dropped back and connected to Robert Miles on a 15-yard throw. Miles shed a would-be tackler and was off to the races for a 55-yard touchdown.

The Red Devils would add another touchdown right before the end of the 1st quarter, giving them a 50-6 lead over the home team after the opening quarter.

Early in the 2nd quarter Willy Enick again connected with wide receiver Robert Miles for a 74-yard catch and run touchdown for the Hawks. This time it was a well-timed throw by Enick that caught Miles in stride and led him past the Red Devils secondary for the score. The 12-50 score was the closest the Hawks would get unfortunately.

The Hawks would be held scoreless for the remainder of the game and would go on to lose 12-72. It was definitely a humbling experience for the home team who with the loss now sit at 1-4 on the season. Next up is an away game at Clallam Bay on Friday, October 23.



Tulalip Hawks light up 1st half, but fall to Seattle Lutheran 34-65 in home opener



By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 



On Saturday, September 26, the Tulalip Heritage Hawks (0-2) football team played their first home game of the season at Marysville Pilchuck field versus the Seattle Lutheran Saints (2-1). Last year the Hawks beat the Saints in dominate fashion, winning 58-0.

In the Hawks opening game of the 2015 season, played on September 3, they traveled to Evergreen Lutheran and came away with a 32-62 loss. After a week’s worth of practice the team was looking forward to playing Entiat on Saturday, September 15. Instead they had to forfeit the game due to having more than half the team academically ineligible to play, resulting in not having enough eligible players to field a team.

Against the Saints of Seattle Lutheran, the Hawks were able to field nine players, just enough to field a team and have one substitute player. Important to note, that with only nine players that meant all of the boys would be playing both offense and defense for pretty much the entire game.

On the second play of the game the Hawks sent #24 Robert Miles on an inside blitz and he tackled the Saints running back in the back field for a 3-yard loss. Two plays later the Hawks came away with a clutch 4th down stop and took over on the 48-yeard line, in Saints territory.

It didn’t take long for the Hawks to capitalize on the turnover, as Rob threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver #82 Braxton Lake to score the game’s first points. The Hawks opted to go for a 2-point conversion and Rob connected again with Braxton to take an 8-0 lead only three-minutes into the opening quarter.

The Saints responded in kind by marching down the field and scoring on a touchdown pass, then converting the 2-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8. Attempting to catch the Hawks by surprise, the Saints attempted an on-side kick, but #22 Nate Hatch managed to corral the ball and possession at the Saints 45-yard line.

Using a mix of short dink and dunk passes with their running game, the Hawks were able to get into the red zone. On a 2nd down play from the 16-yard line, Rob dropped back to pass, not seeing anyone open, threw a pump fake, tucked the ball and ran it into the end zone. The Hawks again went for 2-points and Rob connected on a pass to #15 Nashone Whitebear to give the Hawks a 16-8 lead.

Less than 20 seconds later the Saints tied the game at 16-16. Their star player #23 J.J. Young had a 60-yard kickoff return to put his team in the red zone. On the next play the Saints would score a touchdown and follow it up with converting the 2-point conversion.

On the Hawks next offensive possession they were forced to punt, and the Saints scored quickly to take a 22-16 lead over the home team. The Saints 2-point conversion failed as Braxton tackled their running back just short of the goal line.

Opting to go for the onside kick once again, the Saints managed to recover the ball after it bounced over the outstretched hands of Nate and #17 Dominic Joseph. Fortunately for the Hawks, in this division the ball is marked down where it’s recovered (runner is not allowed to advance after recovery) otherwise the Saints would have scored an easy touchdown off the recovery.

The Hawks defense did a great job on the next series containing the Saints skill positions and tackling on first contact, but the Saints still managed to work the ball down the field. After a nice throw and catch, the Saints easily scored from 1st and goal from the 1-yard line. Opting not to follow the Seahawks lead in the last super bowl, the Saints ran the ball from 1-yard line to score and go up 28-16. The Hawks defense stepped up and prevented the 2-point conversion to keep their deficit at 12-points.

Yet again, the Saints attempted an onside kick that was collected by #57 Lloyd McLean, giving the Hawks good starting field position at their own 47-yard line.

The Hawks ran it on back-to-back plays before Rob dropped back on a key 3rd down and bombed out a 40-yard throw to Braxton who caught it and looked to have a for sure touchdown, but was tackled just short at the 2-yard line. On the very next play Rob switched to running back and took the handoff in for an easy score. The 2-point conversion was unsuccessful, but the Hawks had cut into their deficit now only trailing 22-28.

In an interesting move to keep their momentum going, they took a page from the Saints book and attempted a surprise onside kick. Unfortunately, a Saints player recovered the ball and ran untouched to the end zone, followed by a successful 2-point conversion. Just like that, in a matter of seconds, the Hawks were now trailing 22-36.

The Haws leaned heavily on the playmaking abilities of Rob on their next offensive series. He seemingly accounted for every yard on the drive and picked up two 4th down conversions with his legs. After a personal foul penalty on the Saints, the Hawks were in business in the red zone, having a 1st down on the 15-yard line. There was no doubt what the play call would be, as Rob took the hike and immediately ran to the left edge and running right by four Saints defenders and stiff arming his way in for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion was unsuccessful, but the touchdown capped off a great drive for the Hawk. The score was now 28-36 with under 2 minutes remaining in the 1st half.







#24 Robert Miles scores his 4th touchdown of the game, none more impressive than this 15-yard scamper with a stiff-arm at the end.
Photo/Micheal Rios


Considering how many big plays the Saints had and the Hawks playing with only one substitute player, it was amazing to see the Hawks keep grinding away to keep the game within reach.

Notably absent on the Hawks next defensive series was Rob, who was on the Hawks bench receiving attention to his left side. He had taken a nasty hit going for the failed 2-point conversion and immediately walked gingerly to the sideline afterward.

The Saints wasted no time taking advantage of Rob being on the sideline as they ran three straight run plays right into the heart of the Hawks defense to score a touchdown and complete the 2-point conversion.

At halftime the Hawks trailed the Saints, 28-44.

Coming out of halftime there was bad news coming from the Hawks side as it was announced Rob was out for the remainder of the game, leaving an already short-handed team without its best player on offense and defense.

The 3rd quarter was an absolute disaster for the Hawks as they allowed two punt returns for touchdowns and threw a pick-6 on offense. Fatigue was for sure a factor at his point in the game and having to switch players in and out of QB in Rob’s absence made it difficult to get any momentum going. At the end of the 3rd quarter the Hawks were now trailing 28-65.

The Saints, having 20+ players on their active squad, and 37-point lead used the 4th quarter to give them 2nd string players some game action. Meanwhile the Hawks having no subs at this point had to dig deep to finish the game out strong.

Taking advantage of very good field position following a 50-yard kickoff return by Braxton, the Hawks’ Dominic Joseph turned a broken play into a rushing touchdown. Following a failed 2-point conversion, the score was 34-65. That would go onto be the final score, dropping the Hawks to 0-3 on the season, while the Saints moved to 3-1.

For the Hawks, their next home game will be Saturday, October 10, when they host the Neah Bay Red Devils.

As a reminder, all Tulalip home games can be viewed on Tulalip Broadband TV channel 99 or be streamed live at TulalipTV.com


Contact Micheal Rios, mrios@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

One-on-One with stellar student-athlete Drew Hatch

Photo: Eighty8images

Photo: Eighty8images


By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Many know Drew Hatch from his record-breaking athletic accomplishments on the football field and wrestling mat. For football, he was honored as the Everett Herald Defensive Player of the Year and earned 3A second-team honors on the 2014 Associated Press all-state football teams. For wrestling, he broke record after record on his way to becoming the most winning wrestler in Tomahawk history.

Yet, others know Drew from being a member of the Tulalip Canoe Family. He honors his Tulalip heritage by drumming and singing at community events. Many don’t know that Drew was one of five Marysville Pilchuck students honored with the Moyer Foundation’s annual Kids Helping Kids Award.

He has been an active member in his high school community, while remaining true to his roots as a Tulalip tribal member. Following his graduation from Marysville Pilchuck High School, the time has finally come for Drew to try his talents as both a student and an athlete at the next level, college. In order to do that he will be leaving the confines of the only home he has ever known. He is both prepared and excited to being his next journey.


Photo: Eighty8images

Photo: Eighty8images


When you look back at your high school years, what are some of your favorite memories?

“Most of them will definitely be sports related. Being able to play football and participate in wrestling with my friends and having fun being a part of that brotherhood. Both sports I enjoyed doing, they are what I’m most passionate about.”


You opted to attend Marysville Pilchuck High School (MP) instead of Heritage High School, were there any specific reasons as to why?

“My dad has been a wrestling coach at MP since I was in 5th grade. I practiced with their wresting team from 5th grade to 8th grade, so I had an established relationship with the wrestling coaches and football coaches long before I was high school age. One of my counselors at Totem Middle School was Brian McCutchen. He was also a football coach at MP and was one of my favorite people, so he also had a big influence on me to attend MP and be under his coaching.”

Following the MP shooting you really stepped up and took more of a leadership role at school, on your teams, and in the community. What made you step up like that?

“I saw how many people, friends, family and community members were down about everything. I knew that my whole football team had lost friends or relatives, I did too, but being a captain on the football team I’m responsible for holding that position. I wanted to be the person who had a hand out to help people in any way I could. Whether it was bringing someone to practice or just putting a smile on someone’s face, it’s all part of the healing process.”


What are your immediate plans following high school?

“I’ll be attending Oregon State University to play football and hope to receive a degree in Business Management.”


I’m sure you received a few different offers from colleges. Why did you choose Oregon State?

“I chose Oregon State because it felt the most like home. Corvallis is a small town where everyone knows each other but still offers everything that’s appealing about going to a university. It’s a good fit for me.”


Did you receive a football scholarship from Oregon State?

“I did not receive an official scholarship to play football, but I can earn one though. I’m on the football team as an outside linebacker and will be playing Pac-12 football, just not on a scholarship.”


Do you plan on wrestling at the collegiate level?

“I don’t plan on it. I might step in the room a little bit, but I won’t be committing to wrestling. Between the two sports, football is the one I’m more passionate about. Plus my focus is going to be split already between my studies and football.”


Being a student-athlete, you’ve been able to successfully carry that title. Most people know you from your success as an athlete, but you have remained dedicated to your studies as a student to the point you were recognized as the Male Student of the Year at the 2015 graduation banquet. How were you able to manage school with sports? 

“It not easy that’s for sure. I struggled with my grades the first two years of high school. I was too focused on things away from school, like video games and hanging out with friends. As I matured, I realized I could still do those things but they’d have to come second to doing homework and studying. Once I realized that and made homework the priority and then did everything else after, things got easier. My study habits got better, which made taking tests and completing homework not as challenging.”


Are there any counselors or tribal liaisons who helped you stay the course, keep you motivated, or help you along the way?

“Matt Remle and Ricky B. played huge roles in me succeeding in and out of school. They were always checking on me and making sure I was keeping up my grades. They were always there to keep me in line and help me in any way they could, both academically and sports wise. They opened up doors that I didn’t even know were there, like with learning about tribal funding and tutors. They did a lot for me my entire high school career.”


Drew Hatch gives MPHS Native Liaison Matt Remle a hug at the 2015 Tulalip graduation celebration. Photo: Micheal Rios

Drew Hatch gives MPHS Native Liaison Matt Remle a hug at the 2015 Tulalip graduation celebration.
Photo: Micheal Rios



You’ve recognized already that there will be huge differences from the high school level to the college level. What’s more important, playing college football or getting a degree?

“It’s been a lifelong goal of mine to play a college sport and I hope to accomplish that early on after my first OSU game. Being on that football field for the first time as an OSU Beaver will mean so much to me, but at the same time I know that sports aren’t the world. A degree is far more important because the likelihood of going pro in a sport is really low, but I know if I work hard and keep up my focus I can receive my Business degree and then use that accomplish more goals as an adult.”


Unfortunately, for many Tulalip tribal members their formal education stops at the high school level. You’ve chosen to take advantage of the Tribes ability to pay for your college education. What would be your message to those high school graduates of this year and in years to come in regards to taking full advantage of education after high school?

“I would say the Rez will always be here, your family will always be here. I’m not advocating going away forever, but go experience the world and achieve your goals as an independent adult. Then, when you have achieved your goals and experience life outside of Tulalip, you can come back with the knowledge and brain power to start your life back here. A high school diploma can only get you so far today. Getting an A.A. or B.A. will open so many more doors to you and give you options that wouldn’t otherwise be there.”