Family ties forever connect pair of state powerhouses

mwochnick@theolympian.comDecember 8, 2013 

TACOMA — Names such as Petersen aren’t too uncommon on high school football rosters, but there is a connection between Lynden junior safety Lucas Petersen and a Petersen on Tumwater’s late-1980s football teams.

Lucas’ father, Eric, was an all-league tight end for Tumwater and started on the 1987 team that beat West Valley of Yakima, 21-14, for the program’s first of five state titles.

Lucas Petersen said he knows all too well about the Thunderbirds — not just from facing them for the second consecutive year in the Class 2A state championship game, but from his father’s high school glory days, too. Eric Petersen graduated from Tumwater in 1989.

“He says good things about them — he loved them,” said Lucas Petersen, who had 3.5 tackles in Lynden’s 38-28 title win over Tumwater on Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. “I respect them a lot. The coaches are amazing. The players are amazing. It’s a great program.”

Petersen wasn’t a main contributor during Lynden’s state title run a year ago, but he got the starting nod at quarterback and safety at the beginning of 2013. A broken wrist sidelined him in Week 7, but he returned on defense two weeks ago to help the Lions beat Sumner, 54-21, in the 2A state quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, Tumwater senior quarterback Jayden Croft’s father was one of the best high school athletes to come out of Lynden.

Derric Croft, who graduated in 1991, was an all-state defensive back in ’90 before leading the Lions to the 1991 Class A state title in boys basketball.

TUMWATER SENIORS BOW OUT GRACEFULLY

The two-dozen Tumwater seniors who played their final high school game Saturday leave as one of the most successful classes in school history.

In four years, they were a part of three state title game appearances, including a championship in 2010, and went 44-6 in football. Tumwater’s class of 1991 won three state titles in four years (1987, ’89, ’90).

Tight end Zach Delucco takes away more than just the victories from his time at Tumwater.

“Football has changed me — not only as a player … but as a person, too,” he said. “The lessons I’ve learned are going to move on for 10 years from now, 20 years from now. The decisions I make for the rest of my life will definitely come back to the Tumwater football program.”

BACK AGAIN

The Tumwater-Lynden 2A title game wasn’t the only rematch of 2012 state finalists at Gridiron Classic this weekend.

Bellevue beat Eastside Catholic, 52-20, on Friday night for its sixth consecutive 3A state title. Last year, the Wolverines beat the Crusaders, 35-3.

Lind-Ritzville/Sprague defeated Morton-White Pass, 7-0, in the 2B final Saturday to cap an unbeaten season. Lind-Ritzville/Sprague won last year’s title game, 21-19.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 mwochnick@theolympian.com theolympian.com/southsoundsports @MegWochnick

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