First-ever Spartan Bowl kicks off season

The action was fast and furious at Bainbridge
The action was fast and furious at Bainbridge's first-ever Spartan Bowl.
— image credit: Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review

There was no tackling during the first-ever Spartan Bowl football tournament, as it was strictly a kid-friendly, two-hand touch affair.

The hamburgers and meatballs, however, got slammed pretty good.

The first-ever Bainbridge High School Spartan Bowl was held Saturday, Aug. 16 at Strawberry Hill Field.

The inaugural event, which Bainbridge High School football team Head Coach Andy Grimm said is intended to become a new yearly tradition, officially kicked off the 2014-2015 playing season and included a punt, pass and kick contest followed by a four-team scrimmage tournament and cookout.

Teams were made up of a mix of aspiring, current and former Spartan football players.

Grimm said that the event was a fun way to get the community involved in the school’s football program, and perhaps the last chance for the current players to relax and bit and just have fun with the game before they head back to school and the start of the season.

“This is the first,” Grimm said.

“It just kind of came about,” he explained. “A couple of the coaches kind of kicked it around. I think the tough part’s always been figuring out when to do it, when you’re trying to integrate not only the little guys [but] the high school kids and the kids being home for summer.”

With mandatory practices already begun and the team’s first game — 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5 at North Kitsap High School — fast approaching, Grimm said it was important for everyone to have fun before really buckling down.

“I think it’s a great turnout for the first time,” Grimm said Saturday. “The boosters took care of bringing the main food in, and it was just potluck for the rest of the stuff.”

The members of the winning team at the inaugural Spartan Bowl were alumni players Connor Teddy, Kiyle Playter, Nick Bierly, Carson Zajonc, current high schoolers Zac Escalante,  Nathan Eaton, Jakob Mathison, Emerson Van Dyk, Oskar Dietrich and junior players John Devlin and Alex Ledbetter.

The Spartan Bowl is just one of several new additions to island football culture this season, which coaches and booster club members hope will increase community involvement and add to the playing experience for the students. Also new this season is the official unveiling of the Spartan shield plaque, upon which has been inscribed the names of every Bainbridge football player to have been on the team for all four years of high school.

Also new this year is the creation of the Agate Cup, the title being applied to the team’s to-be annual season kickoff contest against North Kitsap.

Once steadfast rivals, BHS and NK have not played each other in several years due to changes in league assignments, Grimm said.

The Agate Cup title and trophy, which the winning team will get to keep in their school for the entire year, is the coaches’ way of stirring things up again now that the teams will get to play each other.

The team’s first home game of the season is slated for 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19 against Everett High School.

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