The Takeaway: Sept. 21-22
Inspiring, unusual or otherwise noteworthy stories from the world of high school football.
National football power Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.) is used to making headlines. But the Spartans, who have won state titles five of the last seven years, would have preferred to stay out of the news this week.
On Thursday, Skyline was forced to cancel school after an anonymous threat of gun violence was posted online.
The Seattle Times reports:
According to screenshot pictures circulated on Twitter and Facebook, a threat apparently made by a Skyline High School student said, "I am going to open fire on the people in the commons in the morning until I am either taken down by our school's police officer, or until I run out of mags." A picture of the gun, which the writer described as his father's Erma sub-machine gun, was posted next to the threat.
The threat went on to identify "jocks" as a specific target.
Authorities were unable to identify who made the threat, and Friday's game went as planned.
Skyline beat Roosevelt in typically dominant fashion, 57-14, but if the game was in some ways an afterthought, it was also a welcome distraction, a return to normal.
And while Roosevelt came out on the losing end, its fans endeared themselves to the Spartan faithful with a classy show of support.
Fennville, Martin put heart disease in the spotlight
In March 2011, Fennville (Mich.) star basketball player Wes Leonard collapsed and later died from cardiac arrest after hitting a game-winning shot to complete his team's undefeated regular season. If there can be any solace taken from the gut-wrenching tragedy, it may be the resulting heightened awareness of the causes and symptoms of heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death in America.
On Friday night, the Fennville-Martin football matchup turned into an opportunity to spread that awareness.
Both teams and their fans, cheerleaders and coaches participated in a "red-out," wearing red shirts reading "Saving lives is a real sport!" The event was spearheaded by "Martin's Owen Jones, a young survivor who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (or half a heart), and his mother, Jean Jones."
Proceeds from shirt sales will go to the American Heart Association.
Maine team wins amid coaching turmoil
A day after its coach resigned amid vague circumstances, a Maine high school football team won in dominant fashion.
Police are investigating an incident at a Messalonskee (Oakland) practice that resulted in ninth-year coach Wes Littlefield's suspension and eventual resignation. Specifics are slow to come out, but the Portland Press Herald reports that Littlefield said it stemmed from "a little incident with a kid that was blown out of proportion."
Despite playing without even an interim head coach, Messalonskee defeated Oxford Hills 41-0 on Friday night. Corey McKenzie ran for 160 yards and a touchdown in the first half, while Jake Stinson added two TDs as the Eagles improved to 4-0.
Enough to keep an coordinator up at night
Is defense passe?
Huge scores indicative of offensive dominance continue to pour in from around the country. Last week it was Prestonburg (Ky.) defeating Pike County (Ky.) 83-49. (While Pike lost big, that's still a ton of points in a losing effort.)
This week it was a pair of Texas schools putting up big numbers, as Rogers defeated Mart 84-58.
Brody Malovets rushed for 368 yards and Carson Skala added 279 rushing yards for Rogers, which led 49-39 at halftime.
These games are hardly unusual. As high school offenses continue to get more intricate and precise — often relying on college- or pro-style passing attacks — the D is often left it the dust.