Crusaders Defense Stymies Bullpups in Battle of Champions


Friday Sep 2nd 2016 4A/3A Boys Football
Eastside Catholic Stadium 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Gonzaga Prep 7 0 0 0 7
Eastside Catholic 14 0 7 0 21


See game recap below

Crusaders Defense Stymies Bullpups in Battle of Champions
By Steve Dion

Week one of the 2016 high school football season placed a pair of undefeated teams from last year on the same field to determine supremacy between the 3A and 4A classifications. Gonzaga Prep who claimed the 4A title over Skyline headed west to take on the Eastside Catholic Crusaders who are back-to-back 3A champs.

The new-look Crusader offense led by Ze’Shaun Lewis who coach Jeremy Thielbahr said he is very confident in on our interview earlier in the week opened the scoring early when he found scat-back Tyler Folkes up the seam from 12 yards out.

Dave McKenna who talked about his smash-mouth style of football in our exclusive game week interview demonstrated such by pounding the rock against the EC defense all night. Kasey Anthony evened the score with a 8 yard dash to the goal line.

Before halftime, Eastside found the endzone once more, a 7 yard strike from Lewis to Aiden Hector giving the home team a one-score leading heading into the locker room.

As the game wore on and Prep struggled to create big gains on offense, EC’s defense clamped down even more. Chris Lefau anchored a staunch front seven that kept the Bullpups of the scoreboard for the final three quarters of the game.

The Final Score:
Eastside Catholic 21, Gonzaga Prep 7.

Top Performer

Eastside Catholic
Tyler Folkes-2 receiving TDs (18, 23)

Gonzaga Prep
Kasey Anthony-8 yard rushing TD

Coach Interview with Gonzaga Prep Head Coach Dave McKenna



2016 Varsity Football Live Interview
Gonzaga Prep Bullpups – Head Football Coach
Dave McKenna

High school football has returned!

Listen as Steve Dion catches up with head coach of the 4A defending champion Gonzaga Prep Bullpups Dave McKenna. He talks about the offseason his team has had since the state finals last December and how his team has re-tooled to make another run in 2016. Also, he discusses the atmosphere at some of the top Eastern Washington football fields such as Joe Albi Stadium where his team plays under the lights on Friday nights in the fall. Have a listen!


To catch the complete radio interview with Gonzaga Prep Coach Dave McKenna,
simply click on the PLAY BUTTON below.

McKenna pic

Final 4A Boys Power Rankings

Final 4A Boys Power Rankings
By Steve Dion

With the 2015-2016 season in the books, here are the final top ten rankings for the 4A Boys classification!

1) Federal Way (29-0):
The Eagles defended their title by completing a perfect 29-0 season to capture back-to-back 4A championships.

2) Kentwood (22-7):
The junior-laden Conks went toe-to-toe with Federal Way through three quarters in the regular season and title game; an indicator of their strength.

3) Gonzaga Prep (23-4):
The Bullpups were mere inches from knocking off Federal Way in the quarterfinals as a three-pointer the buzzer for the win narrowly glanced off. Beware of GPrep next season!

4) Curtis (25-5):
Tim Kelly takes the Vikings on another deep playoff run to cap off another strong season as one of the top 4A squads in Washington.

5) Union (23-3):
Vancouver’s powerhouse fought back to capture a fourth place finish in the Hardwood Classic after a first-round departure to Gonzaga Prep on Thursday of the tourney.

6) Issaquah (21-5):
Champions of a tough KingCo conference and advancing to the elite eight secure the sixth spot for a quality Eagles campaign.

7) Lewis & Clark (18-7):
The Tigers faced the champs in round one of the tourney resulting in a quick departure but held their own against the best of the classification.

8) Cascade (21-2):
A memorable season in program history concluded in the regional round against the eventual runner-up Kentwood.

9) Woodinville (19-5):
The high-flying Falcons fell short of reaching the Tacoma Dome again, but were improved from the previous season.

10) Central Valley (20-6):
The Bears flew under the radar all season and when the dust settled finished at the Woodshed with a top eight finish in the state.

Head Coach Interview: Mike Arte (Gonzaga Prep) Part 1

Gonzaga Prep – Girls Head Coach
Mike Arte

Back-to-back 4A champions Gonzaga Prep are in the middle of a competitive Greater Spokane League race this season and we had a chance to catch up with head coach of the Bullpups Mike Arte in a two-part interview.

Listen as Coach Arte talks about this year’s team and the challenges in maintaining state championship level play after a core group of talent including Laura Stockton, Otiona Gildon, Oona Harrington, and Lauren Weir graduated.

To catch the complete interview with Coach Arte, simply click on the PLAY BUTTON below.


Head Coach Interview: Matty McIntyre (Gonzaga Prep)

The Gonzaga Prep Bullpups have a big game tonight against Lewis & Clark who captured the first of two meetings this season in late December. We catch up with 2011 state championship winning Coach Matty McIntyre as Prep is having another strong season in the Greater Spokane League.

Listen as Coach McIntyre talks about the first meeting against the Tigers and how they are better prepared to even the score tonight. Additionally, he describes how the football state championship in December has carried over momentum to the basketball season. He closes by discussing the areas he is tuning up as playoff basketball approaches!

To catch the complete interview with Coach McIntyre, simply click on the PLAY BUTTON below.


Gonzaga Prep Captures 4A Crown in Convincing Fashion


Saturday Dec 5th 2015 4A Boys Football
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Gonzaga Prep 10 14 7 3 34
Skyline 0 3 6 7 16


See game recap below

Gonzaga Prep Captures 4A Crown in Convincing Fashion
By Steve Dion

In a classic battle of east against west, the Gonzaga Prep Bullpups traveled 300 miles over the mountains to take on the Skyline Spartans from the Sammamish Plateau. Sparty was fresh off a shootout at the Tacoma Dome a week ago against Lake Stevens which tested them from the opening kickoff to the final whistle. They busted through the gauntlet that was the bottom half of the 4A bracket taking down Gig Harbor, Camas, and the Vikings. The Bullpups used their staunch defense and efficient offensive attack to navigate to the title game including a grinder in the Tri Cities during semifinal week against the Richland Bombers. A packed Woodshed was set to close out a fantastic Gridiron Classic.

The first few minutes featured a pair of turnovers when an early Bullpup drive ended with a fumble into the Spartan endzone; a big momentum swing that erased what was nearly a quick 7-0 lead. However, the second play from scrimmage following the fumble was picked off by the Pups giving them the ball back in good field position. Later in the first, GPrep struck when Coach McKenna’s trickery caught the Spartans off guard, a double reverse to Devin Culp who glide to the goal line. On the ensuing kickoff, Conor McKenna knocked the ball loose from the Skyline kick returner to give his team the ball back in great scoring position. They walked away with three points off the foot of Jared Kutsch. Skyline’s enemic offense continued throughout the first half as they were limited to 102 total yards; the Bullpups had 358 in the same time frame. Before the teams entered halftime, Culp busted loose for a 59 yard rumble to the endzone. Also, the big running back/defensive end combo Evan Weaver capped off a late Bullpup drive to punch it in from a yard out. Many knew Gonzaga Prep had a tough defense, but limiting Skyline to three points in the first two quarters drove that point home on the biggest stage.

Trailing by three touchdowns entering the second half, Mat Taylor needed to rally the troops and craft a gameplan to score quickly before a comeback was out of reach. After failing to move the ball into Bullpup territory on their first drive, SHS caught a break by forcing a fumble after they punted. Unfortunately, they turned it right back over on the next play. The ball must have been covered in butter because Skyline forced another turnover two plays later. In 45 second and five plays, there were 3 fumbles! The Spartans took advantage of their gift by setting up Jake Pendergrast for a quick slant route for a touchdown. The Spartans were very much alive!

In a series that put a stamp on the contest, Gonzaga Prep drove down the field on a 15 play, 80 yard drive that culminated in a Weaver touchdown to put the Pups up 31-9. Skyline would find paydirt only one more time in the game; a fantastic one-handed grab by Danny Sinatro (see highlight video above). However, this was not enough to overcome the massive lead the Bullpups built early on. When the dust settled, GPHS outrushed their counterpart by 500 yards! Additionally, they dominated the time of possession game by controlling the ball over twice as long as Skyline. A stellar defensive effort by Gonzaga Prep neutralized Skyline’s running attack to only 22 yards. In his postgame comments, Coach McKenna said, “We faced adversity all year long, so when we had to travel over here against a great Skyline team, our kids came out firing.” The 4A crown will head east for until the first week of December in 2016!

The Final Score:
Gonzaga Prep 34, Skyline 16
Top Performer

Gonzaga Prep
Evan Weaver- 24 rush, 133 yards, 2 TDs
Devin Culp- 4 rush, 79 yards, 2 TDs

Jake Pendergast- 9 rec, 98 yards, TD

2015 State Championship Preview: 4A/3A


2015 State Championship Preview: 4A/3A
4A & 3A
Dick Fain & Steve Dion

With the 2015 Gridiron Classic at the Tacoma Dome coming up this weekend, Dick Fain from Varsity Football Live on Sports Radio 950 KJR and Steve Dion break down the 4A and 3A title games to project what they expect to see at the Woodshed this weekend!

To catch the complete State Tournament Preview with Dick Fain & Steve Dion,
simply click on the PLAY BUTTON below.


Gonzaga Prep Wins 2 OT State Finals Thriller

Gonzaga Prep Wins 2 OT State Finals Thriller
By Colin Caruso

Saturday March 7 2015 Girls 4A State Final
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT 2OT Final
Inglemoor 4 15 14 12 4 3 52
Gonzaga Prep 15 16 12 2 4 8 57

Gonzaga Prep Bullpups

Gonzaga Prep was back in the state finals, defending their title against the Vikings of Inglemoor in 4A girls basketball. This was a classic contest of size vs. speed, with Gonzaga Prep possessing the speed, and Inglemoor living in the paint on both ends of the floor.

Inglemoor star Deja Strother got into foul trouble early, forcing her to sit for a good portion of the first quarter, a first quarter that Gonzaga Prep controlled. Inglemoor had a tough time finding the basket and trailed 15-4 after one.

Inglemoor’s offense opened up in the second quarter, distributing the ball more effectively and getting easy looks at the basket. Strother stayed out of foul trouble and was able to provide 11 points in the first half. But Gonzaga Prep was dominating the pace of play, and it was uptempo. Laura Stockton had eight points in the first half and Otiona Gildon added ten to take a 31-19 lead into the locker room.

Gonzaga Prep slowed their offense down in the third quarter, much to the chagrin of their coach. The speed change allowed Inglemoor to setup in the half court and control the paint. This allowed Inglemoor to go on a 9-2 run to start the quarter. Coach Arte of the Bullpups called a timeout to regroup, and it proved to work. His Bullpups responded and took a 10 point lead into the fourth.

Alex Hagen for the Vikings put in the first eight points of the fourth quarter to electrify the Inglemoor crowd. Down just two, the comeback was on. The run extended to 12-0, and Inglemoor took their first lead of the game. Laura Stockton stopped the bleeding with 30 seconds to go, the Bullpups first points of the quarter. That proved to be the last bucket of regulation and this game went to OT.

The Bullpups struck first in overtime with two free throws, answered by one free throw from the Vikings. With just 1:45 to play, the Bullpups held a one point lead.

The scoring subsided until 30 seconds remaining, when Strother hit a layup and was fouled. She hit the free throw, putting the Vikings up two. Stockton drove the lane on Gonzaga Prep’s next possession and found Gildon for an easy two to tie the game. Double overtime!

Gildon struck first from the line for the Bullpups, hitting one of two. Tayler Drynan followed up with a three for Gonzaga Prep to extend the lead to 4, but the Vikings came right back with a three of their own.

Another one for two trip for the Bullpups, followed by an offensive rebound gave them the ball back with one minute to play. Oona Harrington knocked down a jumper for the Bullpups to go up four, and that jumper would seal it. The Bullpups won 57-52! Congratulations Gonzaga Prep Girls!

Top Performers:
Deja Strother 22 points, 8 rebounds

Gonzaga Prep
Otiona Gildon – 17 points, 11 rebounds
Laura Stockton – 13 points , 9 steals

Gonzaga Prep Comes Back from 12 down to Win State Title


Saturday March 8th 2014 4A Girls Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Gonzaga Prep 17 10 15 11 53
Mount Rainier 16 18 13 4 51

Gonzaga Prep Comes Back from 12 down to Win State Title
By Colin Caruso

The Tacoma Dome was rocking for the 4A girls state final between the one loss Gonzaga Prep Bullpups and the Mount Rainier Rams. Mount Rainier is led by Brittany McPhee, a former Gatorade state player of the year and one of the states finest players.

The first half showed a lot of McPhee, who worked hard to get her shots and scored a half high 17 points. Hannah Caudill for the Bullpups led her team with 11 points in the first, and kept them within striking distance for the second half. Mount Rainier took a seven point lead, 34-27 into the locker room.

McPhee kept up her scoring in the third quarter. She added nine more in the frame and Mount Rainier began to pull away from the Bullpups, ahead by ten points with three minutes remaining. But Gonzaga Prep put together a much needed 6-0 run to cut the lead back down to four. The Rams led by five, 47-42 going into the fourth.

Early in the fourth belonged to the Bullpups. Otiona Gildon converted on back to back pick and roll layups, trimming the lead to just one with four minutes remaining. With two minutes of no scoring, Gildon converted on two more layups, going on a personal 8-0 run and putting the Bullpups up by three with under a minute to play.

Kaiti Freeberg finally ended the Rams drought, converting on a layup with 17.5 seconds on the clock. Still trailing by one, the Rams were forced to foul to put the Bullpups on the line. Unfortunately they only committed three team fouls and there was less than one minute remaining. So when they finally got to a bonus situation, there were just three seconds on the clock. Caudill converted on one of two from the line for the Pups and Mount Rainier was unable to get a good shot off before the buzzer. Congratulations to the Bullpups in a 53-51 win!

Top Performers:
Gonzaga Prep
Otiona Gildon – 18 points, 15 rebounds
Laura Stockton – 11 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks

Mount Rainier
Brittany McPhee – 28 points, 19 rebounds, 5 blocks, 2 steals

Beamer Fever Advances to State Semis


Thursday March 6th 2014 4A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Gonzaga Prep 14 14 10 11 49
Todd Beamer 12 4 19 22 57

Beamer Fever Advances to State Semis
By Colin Caruso

In one of the bigger size mismatches of the day, the Todd Beamer Titans faced off against the Bullpups from Gonzaga Prep to secure a spot in the 4A state semifinal. Beamer started the game on a strong 8-2 run, utilizing their size and strength to get shots close to the hoop. But Gonzaga Prep answered with a 12-4 run to close the quarter with a two point lead 14-12.

The Bullpups made up for the size differential with a higher level of intensity. Gonzaga Prep added a 7-0 run on top of their 12-4 run in the first to take an early nine point advantage, 21-12. Beamer seemed very stagnant on the offensive side, too much standing around and not enough screening and cutting. Gonzaga Prep took a 28-16 lead into half.

Beamer finally adopted their diamond full court trap to start the second half, which completely stifled the Bullpup offense. Beamer’s length was in the passing lanes on every possession and they started the quarter on a 15-2 run to take their first lead since the first quarter. Gonzaga Prep recaptured their lead on back to back threes, but Beamer was back in the game, trailing by just three going into the fourth 38-35.

Beamer closed the three point lead in a hurry, and the teams repeatedly exchanged leads down the stretch. The Titans snagged the lead by two on a Bogdon Bliznyuk three with two minutes to play. Quadir Williams added two free-throws for Beamer, extending their lead to four. Sam Dowd answered for the Bullpups with two free-throws of his own, trimming the lead to two with one minute to play. The Titans answered with a Charles Frazier layup, a defensive rebound, and two more Quadir Williams free-throws to take a six point lead. Another miss for the Bullpups led to two more free-throws for the Titans, extending their lead to eight with less than thirty seconds to play. But a quick two and a turnover for the Titans led to a three pointer by Brendan McClary. The Bullpups were within three with just 22 seconds remaining. Frazier hit one from the line to extend the lead to four, and Williams added two more from the stripe to take a six point lead with ten seconds to play. The Titans put together a great comeback, winning 57-49 and advancing to the state semifinal.

Top Performers:
Gonzaga Prep
Sam Dowd – 12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals
Brendan McClary – 12 points, 4 steals

Todd Beamer
Quadir Williams – 18 points, 6 rebounds
Trey Burch Manning – 15 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals