LACEY - The Blazers’ first huddle of the season, of sorts, came far from the football field, but amid plenty of traffic.
The Timberline High football players held a fundraising car wash in June. Spencer Crump, the team’s top offensive player and appointed leader, saw one of the incoming ninth graders messing around.
It happened to be his younger brother, Connor.
While others were scrubbing grime off cars, Connor was sending text messages from his cellphone to friends. Spencer approached and asked Connor to hand over the phone.
Instead, Connor tried to give it to a classmate – only to have it intercepted by the senior captain.
“He gave it to his friend with wet pants on,” Spencer said. “I grabbed it before it could be ruined.”
That is how the Crump lineage has been represented at Timberline – from the time oldest brother, Trevor, graduated in 2009, all the way to Connor, who is entering high school now.
“It is definitely the brotherly bond you see in the movies where we didn’t get along,” said Trevor, who works for AT&T in Moscow, Idaho. “I was always the bully.”
The three Crumps were born in Germany, where their father, Phillip, was in the Army. That is where they all got their first taste of football.
When the family moved to Lacey in 2003, all the brothers played for their father in the Black Hills Junior Football League:
• Trevor, regarded as a better basketball player than football performer, was a wide receiver.
• Lightning-quick Spencer plays the position his father did – running back.
• The biggest of the three, Connor prefers defense – and plays middle linebacker.
“They all have that mentality, ‘If I am not working hard, somebody else is,’ ” Timberline coach Nick Mullen said. “They are always trying to make themselves better at what they are doing.”
After rushing for 472 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore in 2010, Spencer exploded for 1,010 yards and 15 scores as a junior. And he anticipates even more this season.
“I want 2,000 yards,” he said, “and 25 touchdowns.”
As for Connor, he is slated to start for the ninth grade squad. His goal is make steady progress in his first season.
“Hopefully I can get moved up,” Connor said. “That would feel really good. It would mean I was doing my job.”
But first, he has to listen – then lead.
“At his age, I was just like him. I wanted to just hang out,” Spencer said. “But the older he gets, he needs to learn how to look after himself.”
Home games in CAPS. All games at 7 p.m. unless noted.
Friday, Aug. 31: RIVER RIDGE
Friday, Sept. 7: at Tumwater
Friday, Sept. 14: OLYMPIA
Friday, Sept. 21: at Wilson
Thursday, Sept. 27: LINCOLN
Friday, Oct. 5: at Foss
Friday, Oct. 12: MOUNT TAHOMA
Friday, Oct. 19: at North Thurston
Friday, Oct. 26: SHELTON
About the blazers
Coach: Nick Mullen, sixth year
2011 record: 4-6, 2nd in league; lost in 3A districts.
Offense: Coordinators (set) – Jeb Dorn, Anthony Hicks (pistol). Returning starters – 5. Top players – WR Justace Buhl, 6-0, 190, sr.; RB Spencer Crump, 5-10, 200, sr.; OL Dayne Haddon, 6-3, 235, sr.; WR Levi Lambert-Wilson, 6-3, 185, sr.; OL Ethan Metzger, 6-0, 225, sr.
Defense: Coordinator (set) – Nick Mullen (multiple). Returning starters – 6. Top players – DB Mitch Cone, 5-7, 180, sr.; DL Dayne Haddon, 6-3, 235, sr.; DL Cole Stevens, 6-2, 265, jr.; LB Brandon Wetzel, 6-0, 205, sr.; DB Jeff Winstead, 5-6, 185, sr.
Outlook: If running the ball and stout defense is what you like, this is the place to look for it. Crump is the league’s reigning offensive MVP – and he should get more help from Cone and Asan Neil, along with run-game coordinator Hicks, a former All-American running back at Pacific Lutheran. And Wetzel stops everything at middle firstname.lastname@example.org 253-597-8442 blogs.thenewstribune.com/preps @ManyHatsMilles Todd Milles and Meg Wochnick, staff writers