Heritage Hawks continue dominant season with 81-17 win over Providence

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Heritage boys’ basketball team has been playing at a torrid pace all season, which has routinely resulted in lopsided wins over their opponents. Returning from holiday break with a (9-0 league, 11-1 overall) record, the Hawks were eager to pick up where they left off when they hosted Providence Classical Christian at Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium on Tuesday, January 8. 

Impact players Isaac Comenote, Alonzo Jones and Josh Iukes were scratched from the game day roster, leaving Coach Cyrus “Bubba” Fryberg to get creative with his starting five and player rotation. 

“It’s definitely good to get more playing time and reps for the younger boys,” said Coach Bubba about his roster adjustments. “This process helps our team by getting everyone ready when their number is called. This game will let us work it out the court and see who’s ready to contribute when they are needed later in the season.”

From the opening tip most onlookers weren’t able to notice a difference with several new faces inserted in the starting lineup because the team was scoring at will. In the 1st quarter, Leno Vela and Oliver Kallappa both connected on two 3-pointers each to give the home team an early 28-4 lead.

In the 2nd quarter, the Hawks ran a heavy post-based offense around their bigs Samuel Fryberg and Rodney Barber. Both boys had their way in the painted area, scoring multiple layups and converting on put-back offense rebounds. Their combined contribution of 20 points and 16 rebounds in the 1st half pushed Tulalip’s lead to 49-12 at halftime.

The rout continued in the 2nd half, ultimately resulting in an 81-17 blowout victory for the Northwest 1B leading Hawks. 

Following the game Coach Bubba said, “Offensively, we’re moving the ball really well and finally starting to gel. Defensively, we’re getting a lot better. Moving forward our focus will remain on our defense so that come playoff time we’ll be locked in, playing hard and competitively.”

Next up, the Hawks hit the road to play at Orcas Christian on Thursday before returning home and hosting Lopez Island for a 5:00pm tipoff on Friday.

Glimpse of Glory: Tulalip Hawks create legendary moments

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Twenty-one aspiring athletes recently returned from a once in a lifetime experience in which they not only represented their Tulalip community with pride, but did so while playing the sport they love, tackle football. For these boys, football is much more than just a game. It’s a passion that teaches discipline, perseverance and commitment. And for those fortunate to play at the highest level, they got a glimpse of glory on the national stage.

Such was the case with the Tulalip Hawks 12-u youth football team. With a loaded roster of thirteen talented Tulalip kids along with Anthony Najera (Port Gamble S’Klallam) and Michael Abbott (Alaskan Native), the Hawks squad made history all season. They went undefeated, being crowned North Sound league champs and Northwest Regional champs along the way, before receiving a highly coveted invitation to play in the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championship hosted in Canton, Ohio. The Hawks were one of only ten teams in the entire country within their age bracket to be invited to play for a national title. 

“This is a special place for football, where only the best are called to play,” explains Rich McGuiness, Director of the Hall of Fame World Championship. “We think football is the greatest team sport and more than that, it is the most democratic. Height and weight, speed and strength all have their value, but those qualities alone don’t win games. Football is a great equalizer that way, in that regardless of color or socioeconomic status athletes have to play as a team to create a game plan and execute it on the field versus quality competition.”

With team sponsorship covered by the Tulalip Tribes, and a devoted group of team moms that fundraised nonstop for weeks, the Hawks were able to afford the hefty price tag and ancillary costs that come with a national tournament.

“I was very impressed with our parents who went out of their way to help fundraise for the trip. In total, we raised $13,000 in a month’s time with a variety of fundraising events,” said Malory Simpson, one of two official team moms. “The community support we received was amazing! As parents, we’re so thankful to have had the opportunity to travel with the boys and support them on their Ohio journey.”

The team spent nearly an entire day traveling across three time-zones before arriving in Canton on the evening of Tuesday, December 11. They got a much needed night of rest ahead of their introduction to a national viewing audience at Media Day. 

At the team’s Media Day, the young athletes moved as one cohesive unit with coaches in tow while taking in a number of unique experiences. They glimpsed the custom championship belts that would be awarded to the winners of each age bracket before being put on stage and interviewed about all the hard work that got them to this point. In a random chance meeting, the boys got to meet and take photos with former NBA slam dunk champion and Seattle-area icon Nate Robinson. Another highlight of the day was getting a quick lesson by a Hall of Fame educator detailing the history of football. Nearly each Hawk player got their mind blown when viewing football equipment used in the 1920s through the early 60s.

“It was cool to see the history of football helmets and the evolution of footballs,” said 13-year-old wide-receiver Jayden Madison. “After seeing how small and different old school cleats, helmets and pads were, I think it must have been pretty hard to play football in that stuff.”

“When I first saw that old equipment I wondered ‘what the heck is that stuff?’” added 12-year-old Image Enick. “The first helmet didn’t cover the whole head or have a chin strap. I wouldn’t play football if that was the only gear we could play in.”

Luckily for youth playing today, they have loads of gear that can be considered revolutionary when compared to what was used at the sport’s inception. The boys’ equipment includes one-of-a-kind Native American designs that is only befitting of the first-ever tribal team to qualify for the Hall of Fame’s national tournament.

During the afternoon of Thursday, December 13 the undefeated and multi-championship winning Tulalip Hawks made their Hall of Fame tournament debut versus the Georgia Bulldogs. In near freezing temperatures, the Hawks were on fire early. As a team the boys were executing their game plan and playing with the same style that had garnered them national spotlight. Lead running-back Gio Hernandez rushed for a touchdown on the opening drive and the Hawk’s stifling defense came up with a 4th down stop on Georgia’s next possession. After running-back Gaylan Gray rushed for a touchdown early in the 2nd quarter, Tulalip jumped out to a 15-0 lead.

They say football is a game of adjustments. Georgia didn’t wilt after the early deficit and adjusted their game plan to make use of their near 6-foot tall pass catchers. In combination with a bunch of Tulalip penalties, including costly turnovers and some that were very iffy, Tulalip saw their lead disappear. Georgia would score 25 unanswered points to finish the game, handing the Hawks a 15-25 loss. The stunning defeat was the Hawks first ‘L’ in two years under Coach James Madison. 

“It’s tough because it was our first loss in two years, but we are using it as energy for the next game. I’m using that loss as motivation for sure,” insisted defensive end Ryelon Zackuse. “We’re representing Tulalip and that feels good because we’re a small tribe and we’re the only tribal team that made it here playing against teams from states like Georgia and New York.”

With a quick turnaround, the Hawks had no choice but to get over their disappointing first game ahead of an early morning matchup with the Las Vegas 49ers. The determined Tulalip football team did use the previous day’s loss as motivation to showcase their skill and game breaking ability. In 30-degree weather, versus a loaded Las Vegas squad, the Hawks earned an impressive 30-14 victory backed by a stellar defense that came up with two interceptions and two forced fumbles. They represented the Tulalip/Marysville community with pride, showing their resilience. With the ‘W’ the boys proved they can compete with the very best in the country.

“We stood tall, played hard, fought hard and gave both games everything we had. I couldn’t be prouder of any set of kids in my life,” beamed head coach James Madison. “The greatest thing I saw out of this whole trip is seeing these boys step up and play the best competition in the nation. To have the season we had, it’s beyond a dream come true. I want to thank everyone who has sponsored us and supported our kids all season long. It’s been one amazing achievement after another and we did it all as a family.”

Only teams that went 2-0 in their opening games continued to play. The Hawks’ 1-1 record left them out of the remaining tournament games, but even so they left the national platform with a top eight ranking among the best of the best. 

The boys had a lot of fun at Media Day, made memories galore exploring the Ohio area and Hall of Fame complexes with their family and teammates, and had their competitive spirits fulfilled with a historical win. The glimpse of glory allowed them to dream bigger and set loftier goals with their football futures. 

“It means a lot to me making it all the way to the Hall of Fame tournament and especially good when we were all on stage together at Media Day,” shared Hawks standout Gaylan Gray. “My goals are to return next year and win it all, then my focus will be to get good grades in high school and make it to the NFL.” 

“It’s been really cool to be in Ohio to play football and win a game with this team because we play as a family. We protect each other and always have each other’s back,” reflected 13-year-old cornerback Adrian Jefferson, who has played football since he was just 5-years-old. “What I’m going to remember most is how we worked so hard just to get here and experiencing Ohio as a team, but I’m ready to be back home. I’ve missed school, I mean football means a lot to me, but school is more important. Being gone a week means I have a lot of homework to make up.”

Joseph Davis and Jacoby James journey to Ohio

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The recent big buzz around the reservation surrounded the Tulalip Hawks 12-u team and their performance at the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championship. However, they weren’t the only Tulalip tribal members vying for a national title. Youngsters Joseph Davis and Jacoby James were also in Canton, Ohio at the same time playing under the Marysville Tomahawks banner.

Marysville Pilchuck’s feeder team, the 11-u Tomahawks, won-out in their age bracket at Northwest Regionals and in doing so earned an invitation to the Hall of Fame tournament. The Tomahawks feature Joseph at lead running-back and middle linebacker, while Jacoby plays special teams and back-up safety. 

“It’s been really fun traveling with the team and just exciting to be here in Ohio,” said Joseph at his team’s Media Day. “We’ve been practicing in the cold weather back home to get ready for the games here. We’ve gotten used to it and I’m looking forward to having fun and kicking some butt.”

“It’s good to get our program on the map and make it so we get more good football players,” added Jacoby. “I’m excited because it’s a once in a lifetime experience to play football in Ohio.” 

From December 11-16, Joseph and Jacoby, along with their families, got in on the Hall of Fame experience both on and off the field. Their first game was played against the Louisiana Knights. The 1st half was all defense as neither team found the end zone, leaving the score tied 0-0 at intermission.

At halftime, Jacoby’s grandmother Verna Hill shared her thoughts on what Ohio meant to their family. “For both boys to represent their family name and their tribe is a wonderful thing,” she said. “I have twenty grandchildren and Jacoby is the only athlete out of all of them. Watching him play is amazing! He is one of the two smallest players on the team, but his energy and quickness give him an edge.”

Moments into the 2nd half, tragedy struck for the Tomahawks when their do-it-all player Joseph absorbed a helmet to helmet hit that knocked him out of the game with concussion-like symptoms. Without Joseph his team wasn’t able to compete at the level they are used to. The Tomahawks went on to lose to Louisiana, and struggled again without Joseph in their next game versus the Columbus Bucks.

  Off the field, the Davis and James families made the most of their time in Ohio, no more so than when together they toured the Hall of Fame museum and were awed by Native American sports legend, Jim Thorpe’s exhibit and bronze statue. 

“It was an amazing trip and I’m thankful to spend the time with my boys,” reflected Joseph’s father, Sam Davis. “Ohio was something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. It meant a lot to Joseph to travel with his team and play on the national level. It was a proud dad moment for me to watch my son lead his team because he works so hard all year round to be in that position. Football has allowed him to grow not just into a well-rounded athlete, but a leader as well. Even injured, he was on the sidelines with his teammates cheering them on and keeping his guys pumped as best he could.”

Joseph’s final message before departing Ohio was, “Thank you to everyone back home for all the support in getting us here.” He’s already looking forward to next season and coming back to lead his Tomahawks team to victory. 

High octane Hawks soaring over competition

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Buckets, buckets and more buckets. The Tulalip Heritage boys’ basketball team exceeded expectations last year by advancing all the way to the State tournament in Spokane. This season, with nearly every player returning and joined by several talented playmakers, the expectations are not only to get back to State, but to win-out this time and earn the coveted title of State Champion. 

In the early stages of the 2018-2019 season, the Heritage boys are displaying a level of play that warrants such lofty expectations. In their season opener, they made quick work of Shoreline Christian by playing at a scorching offensive pace that resulted in an 80-27 win. Heritage newcomer, sophomore guard Leno Vela scored a game-high 22 points, Alonzo Jones added 17 points and Isaac Comenote chipped in 14 points.

Two day later they didn’t shoot the ball nearly as well, but still easily outpaced Concrete, 58-22. Alonzo led the team with 17 points, while Isaac added 12 points.

With four days off between games, the team not only got in quality practice time but also saw their already deep roster get deeper with the return of guard Josh Iukes and forward Sam Fryberg. 

Providence Classical Christian had no idea what was in store for them, as the Hawks put on an offensive clinic on Tuesday, December 4. The boys drained 3-ball after 3-ball when they weren’t scoring easily at the rim. Tulalip finished only points shy of hitting the century mark in the blowout, winning 94-14. The scoring touch carried over days later when the Hawks traveled to Lopez Island and put a hurting on the Lobos. Behind a high octane offense, the boys cruised to a 92-45 victory. 

Undefeated at (4-0), the Heritage buzz was growing in anticipation of the always competitive rivalry game with the (2-0) Lummi Nation Blackhawks played on Saturday, December 8. Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium was jam-packed with spectators and rowdy fans representing both teams. 

In the opening minutes, the Hawks found themselves in an unfamiliar position as they trailed 0-6. They responded by finishing the 1st quarter on a 23-9 run behind timely outside shooting by Isaac and Sam Fryberg bulling defenders in the post.  As they often do, Tulalip and Lummi both raised their play especially on the defensive side to tighten the game through the 2nd and 3rd quarters. 

With four-minutes to go in the 4th quarter, the Hawks had a slim 63-60 lead. Chants of “Tulalip power!” echoed through the gym as the home crowd did their best to pump up their Heritage team. The boys responded by finishing the game on impressive 12-6 run fueled by a series of made jumpers by the team’s go to one-on-one scorers, Alonzo and Leno.

The decisive run sealed a 75-66 win over a quality Lummi team and kept the Hawks’ undefeated record intact. Leno had a game-high 18 points, while Alonzo and Isaac scored 14 points each. 

At (5-0), Tulalip has soared over all their opponents thus far by making full use of their roster’s rare combination of speed, shooting and pure athleticism. Their blistering pace has made it extremely difficult for teams to keep up with, let alone make it a close game. Through their first five games, the Hawks are scoring 80 points per game while only giving up a measly 35 per to their opponents. That differential makes for a whopping 45 point average margin of victory, domination at its finest.

Lady Hawks basketball returns

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Heritage girls’ basketball team returned for the 2018-2019 season with a bunch of new faces, both on the team and on the coaching staff. Marc Robinson is the new head coach, while Jeff Monsegur and Adiya Jones join him as assistant coaches. Only three girls from last year return; junior guard Deachae Jones, Tavionna Jones, and sophomore Krislyn Parks. They are joined by newcomers Jacynta Myles, Hazel Black-Tomahawk, and sophomore Anndraceia Sicade. 

Knowing a new team identity has yet to be crafted and several players need in-game experience to develop confidence, Lady Hawk players and coaching staff went into the season with realistic expectations. 

A home-opener played on Tuesday, November 27 versus Shoreline Christian gave Heritage spectators their first look at the new group. Krislyn put on a show, displaying her point-forward capabilities, while scoring a game-high 17 points. The rest of her teammates combined only managed 4 points however, as the home team lost 21-39.

Two days later, Tulalip hosted the Concrete Lions and quickly put their home-opening loss behind them. Veteran Deachae was out with injury, so the Lady Hawks had to play Iron-5 style, which they did valiantly. Krislyn’s again played as the primary ball handler, while managing to score 13 points. This time she got big contributions from her teammates. The freshman duo of Jacynta and Hazel both got hot from the floor at opportune times. Jacynta led all scorers with 17 points and Hazel chipped in 14 points. Tulalip earned their first W of the young season with a 48-31 victory.

“The biggest difference from our first game was that we played much better on defense by communicating with one another,” said Jacynta after the win. “We played as a team and didn’t let any bad plays get down.”

Next up, the Lady Hawks travelled to Lopez Island and faced off against an undefeated Lobos team. Nothing on offense was clicking, and the defense struggled to matchup against a Lopez starting unit that moved the ball really well. Tulalip was on the wrong end of a lopsided score, 20-48.

Returning to their home court in front of a large audience, Tulalip hosted Lummi Nation on Saturday, December 8. In the first half, the Lady Hawks jumped out to an early 13-5 lead behind a series of 3-point buckets. Lummi adjusted their defense and full court pressed Tulalip, who were once again playing with only one primary ball handler in Krislyn. Against the press defense that forced the ball out of Krislyn’s hands, the Lady Hawks were thrown completely out of their game. As a team, the Lady Hawks turned the ball over 32 times, which led to easy transition buckets for Lummi. That difference would be too much to overcome as the girls lost 32-42, dropping to (1-3) on the season.

“We will continue to work hard at getting our players to feel more comfortable on the basketball court,” explained assistant coach Adiya of the team’s biggest area for improvement. “We have players who are very shy on and off the court, so working with them and helping them find their comfort zone is a work in progress. We knew coming in it would be a slow start for us, but after more practice and a few more games we’ll be better.”

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.  

 

Lady Hawks on four match win streak, ready for playoffs

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks have found their groove at the perfect time. After consecutive victories over Muckleshoot, Orcas Christian and Fellowship Christian, the Lady Hawks volleyball team was riding a wave of winning momentum into their final regular season game played on Monday, October 22, versus the Lummi Blackhawks.

It was “Senior Night” for 12thgraders Yesenia Araiza and Nancy Enick. Prior to the match, family and friends of both players took to the court with balloons and flowers to recognize the occasion.

“My family shows a lot of support all the time, but it still felt really great sharing that moment with them,” said Nancy.

“I felt sad at first realizing this would be my last home game here,” added Yesenia. “Having so many fans come out to support us made the night special and got me excited to play.”

With emotions running high and the bleachers full of cheering Tulalip fans, the Lady Hawks took to the court. In the opening game Nancy served her team to a 5-0 lead. Lummi battled back eventually tying the game at 14-14, but the home team wouldn’t be denied. Tulalip went on an 8-0 run to take a 22-14 lead and closed out the game 25-16.

In the 2ndgame, Lummi jumped out to a 6-3 lead. Freshman Jacynta Myles served up several aces to give the Lady Hawks a 12-7 lead. It would be a back forth game for several points, but the home team would close it out strong, winning 25-20.

Team captain Deachae Jones displayed her solid serving abilities in the 3rdgame. Behind her, Tulalip jumped out to an overwhelming 13-4 lead. Lummi was unable to muster a counter attack, yielding the final game 25-14 and giving Tulalip yet another win in straight sets.

Deachae spoke for her squad following the “Senior Night” victory by saying, “We’re looking forward to playing in Districts because every game we’re having fun and continue to improve.”

Now, riding a four match win streak, the Lady Hawks (8-6) are primed for a quality showing in the upcoming District playoffs. They’ve been seeded #6 in the playoff bracket and will be hitting the road to play games on October 24thand

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.

New team identity, new winning vibes for Lady Hawks

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

After opening the volleyball season with a subdued 0-3 record, the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks were anything but disappointed. They understood that this year’s squad was full of new faces that required a few games, a lot of practices, and some line-up tinkering before success would be found the court. 

Behind the scenes, the new look Lady Hawks were working diligently to craft a team identity; one that each player was able to participate in and be proud of even when working through an early season rough patch. With seven underclassman on the team, it was important for the junior and senior girls to lead by example and remain uplifting whenever possible. 

“We’ve really been stressing the importance of communicating on the court at all times, never giving up on a play, and always fighting hard,” said team captain Deachae Jones.

“We’re coming together and realizing what everyone’s strengths and weakness are so that we’re in the best position to help our teammates,” added co-captain Krislyn Parks. “We’ve definitely grown as a team. Everything is starting to fit together.”

Playing for one another and keeping high spirits allows the new faces to find a comfort zone. As the team identity forms, so does the contributions of each Lady Hawk player. 

Tulalip displayed their new team identity on September 19 when they played Cedar Park Christian. The Lady Hawks would win their first match of the season in convincing fashion. They won in three straight sets. Then they kept the momentum going when they took on Skykomish days later in another straight set victory. 

With back-to-back wins under their belt the girls felt really good going into a matchup with the undefeated Lopez Lobos. Tulalip got humbled by Lopez in straight sets, but took the loss in stride. They were eager to get back to practice and work on the holes in their game Lopez was able to exploit. 

After a few practices the Lady Hawks (2-3) hosted the Knights of Arlington Christian (0-4) at Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium. Plenty of fans came out to cheer on the home team.

In the opening set, the score was tied 4-4 when Deachae and Martie McLean showcased their service games by combining for one ace after another. They served their team to a comfortable 18-5 lead. The Lady Hawks went on to take the first set 25-8.

The second set saw Tulalip run out to an 8-1 lead before the Knights battled back to tie the score at 9-9. With the home crown getting lively and the bench players cheering them on, the Lady Hawks settled into their game and took control. They went up 21-13, before a mass substitution to get the bench players some reps, and closed it out 25-21.

Coach Tina Brown left the bench players in to start the third set. The back-ups played well and were consistently cheered on by the starters in between points. Tulalip trailed 17-20 when the starters were put back into the game and quickly dispatched the Knights 26-24, winning the match in straight sets.

“Our new rotation is working well, but most importantly this group of girls has taken it upon themselves to pump each other up and really focus on teamwork,” said Coach Tina. “Even  in the games we’ve lost, you would think we are winning by how the girls cheer each other on. Their sportsmanship and teamwork is the best I’ve seen.”

Having won three of their past four matches, the Lady Hawks (3-4) hit the road to play at Grace Academy and at Muckleshoot before returning home to play Providence Classical Christian on Monday, October 8.