High School Sports

Family tradition kicks off prep football

North Thurston senior lineman Antonio Sitama warms up with his Ram teammates before Thursday night's season-opening football game victory over Shelton at South Sound Stadium in Lacey.
North Thurston senior lineman Antonio Sitama warms up with his Ram teammates before Thursday night's season-opening football game victory over Shelton at South Sound Stadium in Lacey. The Olympian

Ben Broeker became the third member of his family to start at quarterback for the North Thurston Rams when they kicked off their season against Shelton.

“It’s exciting,” Broeker said. “My brothers have done it. Now, it’s my turn.”

Thursday’s games were the start of high school football across the state. It was a day when optimism met reality.

Going into Thursday’s game, North Thurston coach Rocky Patchin couldn’t hide his optimism despite returning only two offensive starters.

“I don’t know what it is,” said Patchin, who begins his 18th season at North Thurston. “But we’re cautiously optimistic.”

Fans began showing up early at South Sound Stadium when North Thurston renewed an old rivalry in a non-league game.

Elsewhere, Capital, among the preseason favorites to win the new 3A Narrows League, played at O’Dea on Thursday in its season opener.

Tonight, the local version of “Friday Night Lights” debuts as Olympia hosts Tumwater, matching student against teacher. Bill Beattie, the Olympia coach, will face his high school coach, Sid Otton, Tumwater’s coach since 1974.

“He’s a great coach,” Beattie said. “He’s a big reason why I got into coaching.”

In Tumwater, Black Hills hosts Montesano, a mighty-might among 1A schools and a favorite to win a state championship. In Lacey, a quick-strike River Ridge team hosts Washington at South Sound Stadium.

On Saturday, Timberline plays Camas at 3 p.m. in the Emerald City Kickoff Classic in Qwest Stadium.

Gail Wood: 360-754-5443 gwood@theolympian.com www.theolympian.com/sports/blog

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