2016 VFL Coach Interview
Eastside Catholic
Head Coach Jeremy Thielbahr



2016 Varsity Football Live Interview
Eastside Catholic Crusaders – Head Football Coach
Jeremy Thielbahr

Football season is back!

Join us as Steve Dion catches up with Coach Jeremy Thielbahr as his back-to-back state title team opens their season with Gonzaga Prep.He talks about last year’s 3A championship game which featured one of the most memorable comebacks in state history and how this year’s crop of talent will look to keep the winning tradition rolling. Coach Thielbahr points out the leaders on this season’s team and takes a look at the schedule including an overview of the challenging Metro League.


To catch the complete radio interview with Eastside Catholic Coach Jeremy Thielbahr,
simply click on the PLAY BUTTON below.



Eastside Catholic Erases 28 Point Deficit in 3A Thriller


Friday Dec 4th 2015 3A Boys Football
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Final
Eastside Catholic 7 7 14 14 6 48
Bellevue 7 28 7 0 0 42


See game recap below

Eastside Catholic Erases 28 Point Deficit in 3A Thriller
By Steve Dion

This is the game Washington high school football fans wanted to see. This is the game that seemed inevitable. The most dominant high school football program in the state during the 21st century against their neighbor that has gradually built a powerhouse of their own. A fourth straight matchup for the 3A title would match Bellevue who won the first two in ’12 & ‘13 and Eastside Catholic the victor a year ago.

The Crusaders received the opening possession and were forced to punt when the drive stalled deep in their own territory. The punt was mishandled and recovered by Parker Davidson to give the Cru the ball back before they could relinquish it. Two plays later, Chris Lefau burst into the endzone to give Eastside Catholic the first points of the contest. Benaiah Ellington made up for the punt return fumble by picking off EC quarterback Harley Kirsch later in the first. This set up Ercle Terrell for his first of four unanswered touchdowns including one from 54 yards up the gut. Brandon Wellington had seen enough and returned the kickoff 97 yards to cut the Wolverines lead to 14. Despite only having 1:38 to work with in the half, the Wolverines charged down the field once again and Tyson Penn who dropped what would have been a touchdown earlier made a spectacular diving grab to put BHS within striking distance. Wolverine quarterback Justus Rogers was content with feeding the hot hand so he went to Penn once again; this time in the corner of the endzone. Bellevue stampeded into halftime with a commanding 35-14 lead. They were led by Terrell’s 129 first half rushing yards and quartet of scores as part of their 232 to 53 total yards advantage over their counterpart.

A three touchdown deficit to Bellevue is a tall task to overcome. The prospects of a comeback became less of a reality when the lead extended to four touchdowns midway through the third when Christoph Hirota punched it in for the sixth Bellevue score. The Crusaders appeared to be at their breaking point. Harley Kirsch who had thrown a rare pair of interceptions in the game returned to their potent aerial attack immediately by finding Hunter Bryant on a 28 yard toss to the back corner of the endzone. The Cru defense did their part to get the ball back to their playmakers. Kirsch would find Bryant once more before the third quarter closed. Down 14 points with one frame remaining, could Bellevue hang on?

Coach Butch Goncharoff ran the ball 56 times in this game and even as his team’s lead dwindled, he did not stray from his game plan. On a crucial fourth and three, Wellington stopped Omar Dyles from moving the chains. Six plays later, Matt Laris pulled in a four yard toss to bring EC one score away from evening up the score. The Cru could taste it. With the pressure on Bellevue to hold on, their next drive was thwarted when Steve Moran stripped Justus Rogers to which Davidson recovered once again. At this point, Eastside was on a crash course to the endzone to which Wellington was behind the wheel. The senior tailback tied the game up leaving only 1:24 on the clock. Bellevue failed to advance the ball to field goal range in the final seconds and we were headed to overtime!

Bellevue took the first crack in extra time. On second down, Rogers passed to Penn in the endzone and Victor Guevara batted the ball away in a courageous effort. On fourth down, Bellevue lined up for a 39 yard field goal. The ball was mis-hit and all EC need now was a score of any kind. A pitch to Wellington resulted in a dive to the pylon that was one yard short of the game winner. Eastside Catholic hurries to set up into formation. Kirsch takes the snap, hands off to Wellington, initially stopped at the point of attack, but a second effort allowed for just enough room to dive past the plane of the goal line. Crusaders win! The team and coaching staff rush onto the field knowing they just completed one of the premier comebacks in the history of the Gridiron Classic. The trophy stays in the plateau for another year.

Moments after the game, a glowing Coach Thiebahr said, “I’m so happy for our seniors and for our community. I’m just really happy to show what we are; the resilience that our school has and the resilience of our football program. One of these seniors “Coach T” was referring to is Brandon Wellington who scored the game winning touchdown and when asked about his four years with Thielbahr, an emotional Wellington replied, “He’s a great teacher…he has pushed me to that next level. I’m gonna miss him.” After three years as the starting Crusader quarterback in which he collected two state titles, Harley Kirsch remarked, “It’s weird to think it’s all over…I was thinking a couple days ago ‘wow, that’s our last practice’ and now I’m thinking wow, that’s it.”

The Final Score:
Eastside Catholic 48, Bellevue 42

Top Performer

Eastside Catholic
Brandon Wellington- 3 kick returns, 143 yards, 97 yard TD, 2 rushing TDs (11 yards, 1 yard game-winner in OT)

Ercle Terrell- 31 rush, 225 yards, 4 TDs (1, 3, 24, 54)

3A State Football Rankings Week 7


3A State Football Rankings
By Steven Dion

The question we are asked each week is simply, who can defeat Bellevue?  Bellevue continues to be the team everyone is looking to beat.  We have broken down the top 10 Washington State 3A Classification Teams for you.

1) Bellevue 6-0, 4-0 League
It is no surprise to see the Wolverines perched at the number one spot in the rankings. Goncharoff continues to put an elite high school football team under the Friday night lights every week.

2) Eastside Catholic 6-1, 4-0 League
The victory over O’Dea last Friday earns the Crusaders the number two ranking. Thielbahr has the pieces to bring his team to the state championship game for the third straight year.

3) O’Dea 6-1, 3-1 League
The Fighting Irish roster is loaded, so the loss to Eastside Catholic will certainly not slow down Kohler’s march back to the Tacoma Dome.

4) Lincoln 7-0, 5-0 League
The Abes are averaging 56 points per game including a 91 point effort. Jon Kitna’s team may not have had any true tests yet, but they will get a chance to go toe-to-toe with the state’s best.

5) Marysville-Pilchuck 6-1, 4-0 League
Losing to O’Dea without your star running back doesn’t mean much when you take down a top 10 team in 4A (Lake Stevens) and beat everyone else by at least 27 points.

6) Peninsula 6-1, 5-0 League
After a thrilling victory over Auburn-Mountainview last week, the Seahawks have vaulted up to six on the rankings. The decisive win over Lakes was nice, and the lone loss is a 30-29 grinder to Gig Harbor.

7) Auburn-Mountainview 6-1, 4-1 League
Someone had to win the back-and-forth classic between the Lions and Peninsula. The margin was so thin that AMHS sits right under the Hawks in the rankings as they have proven their strength thus far.

8) Meadowdale 6-1, 5-0 League
It is fitting that the dark horse in the rankings are the Mavericks. They are undefeated in competitive league play and the one loss on the record was against Lake Stevens by a touchdown on the road.

9) Kennedy Catholic 7-0, 5-0 League
An undefeated record this late in the season is impressive even considering a strength of schedule that may be lacking. Until they even sniff a loss, the Lancers keep earning top ten consideration.

10) Oak Harbor 5-1, 4-0 League
The Wildcats are yet to face their strongest opponent of the year as Marysville-Pilchuck makes a visit, but they have accomplished enough this year to grab a top ten nod.

Crusaders Cruise Over Blanchet in Saturday Showdown


Saturday Oct. 11th 2014 3A Boys Football
Auburn High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Eastside Catholic 7 21 14 7 49
Bishop Blanchet 0 0 6 6 12

Game Recap below


Crusaders Cruise Over Blanchet in Saturday Showdown
By Steven Dion

The high school football season is at the halfway point and the weather has behaved nicely for virtually the entire duration. Saturday would be a surprise at kickoff as rain hit hard an hour before kickoff following morning sunshine. Regardless, there was a game to be played between perennial goliath Eastside Catholic led by Jeremy Thielbahr and Aaron Maul’s up-and-comer Bishop Blanchet.

On the opening drive, ECHS coughed up the football giving Blanchet early momentum. However, minutes later Daniel Carlton picked off Davine Tullis which set up an 18 yard slant to Matt Laris for a touchdown. At this point Harley Kirsch was just getting warmed up. In the second frame, he connected with Laris again and Hunter Bryant for 53 and 7 yard scores respectively. A powerful goal-line run by Dominique Fetui capped off a 21 point second quarter for the Crusaders. Blanchet was yet to score at the break.

The Eastside onslaught continued in the third as Kirsch found Matt Kveck and Jake Jackson in the endzone for two more of his five touchdown passes on the day. Bishop Blanchet played an inspired second half starting with a pick by Oshea Trujillo midway through the quarter. That set up a play which was improvisational brilliance by the Braves’ featured halfback Trujillo. A shotgun snap sailed over BB quarterback Alex Freeman’s head. Trujillo, who was the lone man in the backfield sprinted to the loose ball. As the swarm of defenders rushed to pick up the football, the BB back picked up the pigskin and let it fly toward the endzone. The act of desperation resulted in Blanchet’s first points of the game; a 10 yard touchdown reception for Elijah Davis in the corner of the endzone.

Despite a running clock from a Crusader lead of forty points or more, the home team continued to battle. The final play of the contest was a 20 yard dart through multiple defenders from Freeman to David Gats who moments prior hauled in an extraordinary one-handed grab. However, Eastside Catholic would claim a 49-12 victory heading into next Friday against league powerhouse O’Dea. Maul’s Braves will put this one behind them and build on a much better second half of a runaway contest.

Top Performers:
Eastside Catholic
Harley Kirsch- 5 touchdown passes (7,15,18,36,53)

Bishop Blanchet
Oshea Trujillo- 10 yard touchdown pass, Defensive INT

2014 VFL Coach Interview
Eastside Catholic
Head Coach Jeremy Thielbahr



2014 Varsity Football Live Interview
Eastside Catholic Crusaders – Head Football Coach
Jeremy Thielbahr

Ahead of Schedule on a Great Journey

Join us as Dick Fain chats with Coach Jeremy Thielbahr about 4th ranked Eastside Catholic’s football program, being in the playoffs 3 years in a row, and in 2 state championship games the last 2 years.

Since Coach Thielbahr and his staff took over in 2011, it seems the road to winning in 3A always goes through Bellevue, so he hopes this is the season his Crusaders can win it all.

“We had to do some things to get our minds and our kids to this level of competitive camaradarie and aggressiveness on the field – and I think we’ve done that.”

How is Coach Thielbahr able to focus on the Metro league instead of the upcoming state championship game ? “We’ve got great talent, smart kids who understand what we’re asking them to do, have faith in their coaches, and believe in what we do.”

With a healthy program of good senior, junior, sophomore and freshman players, they are excited to see where the season will take them and looking forward to being able to win year after year.


To catch the complete radio interview with Eastside Catholic Coach Jeremy Thielbahr,
simply click on the PLAY BUTTON below.