The Anacortes High School football team closed its season with a 3-3 record after two final wins.
The boys won the first, against the Port Townsend Redhawks, 45-0 on Tuesday, March 13.
They defeated Meridian High School 27-14 on Saturday, March 20.
The game against Meridian was one of the best of the season, Coach Chris Hunter said. The Seahawks were down 14-0 at halftime but stepped up and scored 27 unanswered points, he said.
“Our players willingly took on the roles that the team needed them to take on,” he said. “It was a pretty fun season to watch.”
The team competed at the varsity level this year after pausing the varsity program in 2019.
“It played out much like we anticipated and were hopeful for,” Hunter said.
The team grew even stronger and was competitive in many of the games.
“We were able to see some programs that were bigger and better than us, allowing us to set some team goals,” he said. “We were also able to collect some victories out on the football field. All in all, I am very happy with how the season turned out.”
Another great game this year was the first game, which the team won 33-7 against Bellingham. It was the first official varsity victory for Hunter, who started coaching at Anacortes in 2018.
There was a breakout play by senior Brock Illston, who stepped up and set the momentum for the team to win the game, Hunter said. Illston also helped set the tone for the season.
Illston and senior quarterback and receiver Joseph Cutter will likely be the most difficult to replace next year, Hunter said. They have been instrumental to success this year and have been great leaders for a young team, he said.
Eight seniors are graduating this year, but some strong players will be ready to take to the field, he said.
“I’m really excited about next year,” Hunter said.
The team participated in 67 practices and played six games in this abbreviated season. That compares to 11 games and 42 practices last year.
As the COVID-19 pandemic forced a juggling of sports seasons, the team started practicing in October and just kept practicing, through wind and freezing rain.
“It was the world’s longest off-season, but we were able to make that time productive and become better football players,” Hunter said.