As each week has gone by, Mount Si senior captain Gale Kamp and his teammates have become more fulfilled at what they’ve accomplished on the football field.
Playing against some of the top teams in the state, the Wildcats have rattled off a 3-1 record in 4A KingCo Crest action and a 7-2 overall mark. They defeated Inglemoor, 39-0, in the 4A KingCo playoffs on Nov. 2 and will continue postseason play at Monroe at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9.
“At the start of the season, no one really expected us to do what we’ve done, no one expected us to be where we are right now, and I think we kind of showed the Valley and everybody else that we’re here to play,” Kamp said after a recent practice.
“It’s a lot of work, but if everyone does their job, it pays off in the end,” added the 6-foot-3 left tackle and nose guard who weighs in at 256 pounds.
Junior captain and center Cooper McQuay noted that the first few games of the season kept the players on their toes and the fans on the edges of their seats. Those contests have prepared the Wildcats for the postseason.
“The biggest thing is when you start getting into the playoffs and you start facing the tougher teams, you need that experience ‘cause they’re gonna be nail biters. You know when you gotta start nailing it down and getting tough and start getting dirty,” said McQuay, who stands 6-2 and weighs 197 pounds.
As a captain, Kamp possesses a positive and energetic demeanor and aims to get others on board with that mindset as well. Every day won’t be easy and that’s when players will have their character tested on their journey to succeed, he added.
McQuay’s modus operandi is all about living in the moment and staying level-headed in his leadership role.
“You don’t want your leader doing crazy stuff, right? ‘Cause then everyone else is gonna do the same thing and that’s how you get a loss, basically. My biggest thing is to try to stay cool, try to stay calm and try to get the plays executed,” he said.
The Record asked McQuay and Kamp a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lives:
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
McQuay: Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.
Kamp: My freshman year, my dad sat me down and said, “These next four years are gonna be amazing and you’re gonna love ‘em, but it’s not gonna be easy.” You gotta get up every morning when you don’t want to, you gotta go work out hard when you don’t want to and you gotta go to practice when stuff hurts. It’s gonna be worth it in the end.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
McQuay: Loud eaters. Oh my gosh, if I’m in a quiet room with a loud eater, I’m gonna have to leave immediately. It’s so bad, I can’t handle it, I don’t know why.
Kamp: When people think they’re all high and mighty, and then you challenge them on it and they don’t have anything to prove it.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?
McQuay: The Iron Duck, I work there. They got really good pizza. It’s what us young kids would say, it slaps.
Kamp: The North Bend Bar & Grill takes that one for sure. I’ve been going there since I can remember
What’s something unique about yourself that someone doesn’t know about?
McQuay: I collect blankets. I have seven blankets at my house and I’m very proud of ‘em. I have a couple Value Village finds and then I have three Pendleton blankets.
Kamp: I was born two months premature. I weighed five pounds when I was born.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
McQuay: Alicia Keys, she’s my celebrity crush.
Kamp: I think it would be really cool to sit down and have a conversation with Bo Jackson. Just ask him about what the whole experience was like and how it was to go from one season to the next, playing professionally.
What super power would you like to have?
McQuay: I know it sounds weird, but invisibility.
Kamp: Either infinite endurance or super strength. It would be very good for the football field.