"Senior power spurs 30-14 finale winThe Spartans doubled Sequim, and doubled last season's record."
June 9, 2008 · Updated 7:38 PM
"The Bainbridge High School football team celebrated their 30-14 season-closing victory over Sequim Friday night with some math homework.As defensive coordinator Jim West pointed out, the Spartans had just doubled their win total from the year before, turning a 2-7 campaign in 1999 into a 4-5 record this season.Next year, West shouted over increasingly hopeful whoops, we double it again and we get to eight!The coming talent, size and off-season conditioning regimen in the team's program will help Bainbridge achieve such a lofty goal. The rest depends on a matter somewhat out of their control - in which league the Spartans wind up playing after the Olympic League dissolves and Pierce County League rivals Sequim and North Mason fade into the 2A Nisqually League.That's all something to be sorted out at another time, however. Friday night, it was time to celebrate the Spartan achievements of the past season - particularly those of the seniors.Take Brandon Nall, for instance. The 5-8, 150-pound senior quarterback, too small to play varsity ball, has been the team's quietly faithful clipboard-holder, weight-room leader-by-example and junior varsity helmsman for the past three seasons.Friday, his ethic and efforts were rewarded with his first and last Spartan varsity start at quarterback - and his first and last touchdown pass, a fourth-down rollout strike from five yards out to fellow senior Lance Mazey for the game's first score at the 3:49 mark in the first quarter.Take Mazey. Stuck behind more experienced players his sophomore year, unable to get untracked his junior year, hobbled by injuries much of his senior year, the 5-9, 165-pound tailback put it all together in his last few games, capping his career with 18 carries for 113 yards against the Wolves.Take Clayton Wiggins. The 5-11, 160-pound blaster has led with his intensity for three varsity seasons, and was rewarded with 11 carries, 83 yards and two scoring runs of 7 and 5 yards.Take Chris Mandell. The 6-5, 195-pound two-way lineman, who has worn blue-and-gold since playing on the freshman team as an eighth-grader, has been the living personification of coach Andy Grimm's season-long theme of perseverance as he battled largely larger opposing numbers without complaint or serious injury for three varsity seasons.Nowhere did he persevere more than Friday night, when he recorded a key quarterback sack and a team-high nine solo tackles - including two instances in which he ran more than 50 yards downfield to flag down a Sequim runner who would otherwise have scored a touchdown.I don't want to take these pads off, an emotional Mandell said. Wiggins felt the same. It was just a wonderful experience, an awesome feeling, he said. I'm proud to be part of this dynasty, and it is building up toward dominance.And in the hands of a core of experienced returning talent - quarterback Clayton Hallum, runner/linebacker Andy Aversano, wide receiver Teddy Picha, kicker/receiver/defensive back Jeff Tracy, runner/linebacker Gary Duffner, linebackers P.J. Holton and Adam Smith, defensive back Scott Burkland, linemen Josh Fisher, Marc Rasmussen and Peter-Contesse - to name just a few, it's hard to imagine that the program will do anything but progress wherever it goes.For one night, however, it was time to turn the limelight onto those who won't be back, who built the foundation on which Grimm's three-year tenure has grown steadily from a shaky 1-8 campaign in 1998.Those contributions weren't lost on the coaches.The lesson I want you to take out of here is keeping the faith, assistant coach Jake Haley said. If you work hard, if you keep up your attitude, good things happen. It's a lifelong lesson. "