The Odessa Record -

Tigers take 1B football title again

 

December 12, 2019

Stan Dammel

Odessa's ecstatic Tiger boys celebrate their win over Naselle on December 7 in Tacoma to capture the 1B football championship trophy for the second consecutive year. They won the championship last year for the first time in 25 years. Despite the fact that six seniors will graduate this year, the outlook for 2020 isn't so bad. There is plenty of talent among the underclassmen.

The Odessa Tiger football team completed their second consecutive unbeaten season to retain the 1B traveling trophy. For the senior boys especially, it was the culmination of an unbroken string of victories that had them pumped up for every game despite knowing that the eight-man, small-school league offered them very little real competition. The cheer squad was also with them all the way, encouraging fan support all season long.

For local fans who have watched these kids grow from pre-schoolers first learning the alphabet into the accomplished young adults they are today, it was a journey followed over the years with avid interest. As children, they were present at every home game, playing their own game beyond the goal posts or along the sidelines. These were four- and five-year-olds with well developed motor skills.

Almost every team member was a multiple-sport athlete. No sooner was one season ended than practice for the next one began. Sometimes post-season interfered with the next season's first few games, since a certain number of practices are required for eligibility.

Although senior quarterback Camden Weber and the two senior running backs Josh Clark and Marcus King got the most touchdowns and therefore the most publicity, the other seniors on the team are not to be forgotten. When neither running back was open, the pass play often went to Brady Walter, who invariably brought the pass in for a gain in yardage or a touchdown. Jakob Starkel also contributed frequently on both offense and defense. And Jaden Hunt, who missed the first several games of the season due to ineligibility following a failed Running Start class the previous spring (who'd have thought it would matter?), made the most of the last few games and the post-season by also contributing major efforts on both sides of the ball.

These six will certainly be missed next year, but there are still plenty of current juniors, sophomores and freshmen eager to fill those spots once next fall rolls around.

As the Tigers proceeded to completely overwhelm every other team they played this season, the press coverage from around the state increased with each passing week. Some writers called the 2019 Odessa Tigers the "Best B-8 team ever" (247sports.com). Others paid frequent and lavish attention to Marcus King, who did, indeed, have a spectacular senior season. But by season's end, according to his family, Marcus was finding it all a bit embarrassing.

Not to be forgotten is also the fact that this team won the 2019 Academic Championship for football. That also says a great deal about this team.

 

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