Eastside Crusaders Junior Football capped a 9-0 shutout season on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Highline Stadium, with a 27-0 win over the Mountlake Terrace Hawks. It's the second time in three years that the Crusaders have captured the title of Northwest Junior Football League champions.
Fifteen members of this year's Junior team were part of the 2011 championship teams.
This year, the team scored 256 points, had only 25 points scored against, went 9-0, and ran 7,200 flights of stairs in 42 practices, equaling two-thirds of the height of Mount Rainier.
The Crusaders are not a school-team.The team includes five players from the Valley: Andrew Yan, Jacob Keller-Rusch and Owen Stoutt from Carnation, Jacob Cooper from Fall City, and Benjamin Lombardi of North Bend.
"A championship in middle school should not and will not be the highlight of these boys' lives," wrote assistant coach Jen Heger. "It is, however, a great template in moving forward. I hope that these young men have learned to work hard with goal-oriented determination, bounce back and learn from mistakes, to handle pressure with grace, to have fun, lead, follow, adjust, be part of a larger group and win with both pride and humility."