TACOMA -- Christian Cummings exited the Tumwater locker room at the Tacoma Dome, cradling his pads and jersey, already determined for the 2013 season.
Im looking forward to next year and see what happens there, the junior halfback said.
Even though the sting of Saturdays 41-7 loss to Lynden in the Class 2A football state title game was still evident on players faces, many feel preparing for next year begins immediately -- as in Sunday.
Yes it does, said Cummings, one of 12 starters who will be back in 2013.
As the Thunderbirds 2012 season progressed, racking up victories week after week following its Week 1 loss to Class 3A Shelton by three touchdowns, they began to silence the doubters -- even some in its own team -- to make the state title game for the second time in three seasons against a Lynden squad that was the defending state champions and a senior-laden team with 19 of its 22 starters being seniors.
And for many of Tumwaters players, including senior Andrew Brown, this was their second time playing for a state title.
I didnt think wed make it this far, but we made it and Im happy for all the guys, said Brown, who was held to nine yards rushing but had a team-best 64 yards on four catches. We all love each other and thats the reason why we made it this far. I really wish we could play them (Lynden) again, though.
Tumwater (12-2) simply had no answer for Lynden (13-1). The T-Birds were manhandled up front with its bookends on the offensive line of WSU-bound Matt Meyer (6-5, 280) and Caleb Newman (6-3, 220) helping limit the T-Birds on the ground with just 88 rushing yards. Cummings led the rushing attack with a team-best 69 yards on 13 carries.
Lynden outgained Tumwater in total yards (559-203) behind a record-setting day from senior wide receiver Zach Vis. Vis, missed the first six weeks of the regular season with a broken collarbone, set a new all-classification record with 271 receiving yards on nine catches and three touchdowns of 71, 12 and 27 yards. Quarterback Josh Kraght was 16 for 27 for 376 yards and four touchdowns, but was picked off twice. He also led the rushing attack with 68 yards on 14 carries and a rushing touchdown.
PHOTO GALLERY: Tumwater v. Lynden
Reporter's note: Read the rest of Meg Wochnck's game story in Sunday's Olympian.
CLASS 2A TITLE GAME
Lynden: 10 17 14 0 -- 41
Tumwater: 7 0 0 0 -- 7
Lyn: Alex Otano-Guenther 26 FG
Lyn: Zach Vis 71 pass from Josh Kraght (Otano-Guenther good)
Tum: David Durden 24-yard interception return (Elijah Hill kick)
Lyn: Alex Otano-Guenther 29 FG
Lyn: Kraght 1 run (Otano-Guenther kick)
Lyn: Vis 12 pass from Kraght (Otano-Guenther kick)
Lyn: Dak Shagren 2 pass from Kraght (Otano-Guenther kick)
Lyn: Vis 27 pass from Kraght (Otano-Guenther kick)