Home USA News Enumclaw defeats Olympic in 2A state football tournament

Enumclaw defeats Olympic in 2A state football tournament


When the 2A state tournament bracket was released last Sunday after the seeding committee concluded deliberations, group text chats among Enumclaw players were buoyant, ranging from disbelief to anger as the undefeated Hornets checked in as the tournament’s No. 4 seed.

“We got snubbed, big time,” Enumclaw receiver Carson Holt said. “How do you go undefeated — being the No. 4 seed, you feel slighted.”

The Hornets put away that disappointment with a 55-0 rout of visiting No. 13 Olympic Friday night at Pitts Pool. It was over before halftime, maybe even earlier. The Enumclaw offensive line imposed its will against a huge, overmatched Olympic front from the start. Enumclaw led 28-0 at halftime.

“We really preached all week, let’s blow them away,” defenseman Gunnar Trachte said.

It just so happened that Enumclaw’s opponent was an Olympian, but the opponent’s uniform colors wouldn’t have mattered on Friday night; Enumclaw was motivated to step out and make a statement.

“Our hair is on fire right now,” Holt said. “We’re playing with a chip on our shoulder, big time.”


Emmit Atero was his usual self, rushing for 172 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. His teammates and coaches are at a loss for ways to describe the Enumclaw workhorse back.

“I feel like he’s unbeatable,” center Zeke Lucci said. “He’s probably the key to our attack. He’s an absolute unit, an absolute dude.”

Holt went with “unstoppable.” Whatever the description, one thing’s for sure: Enumclaw coach Mark Gunderson is glad to have Otero on his side.

“He’s a whole different breed of cat,” Gunderson said. “He’s so smart, so mobile, he sets his blocks, uses positioning to his advantage in a lot of unique ways. It’s hard to pin him down other than he’s a special dude.

“He’s not the fastest kid, not the biggest kid. There are probably teams coming up and saying, “Is that number 31?” And then he just cuts you.”

Enumclaw has long prided itself on toughness and the game of football, a brand synonymous with the city’s blue-collar identity. However, this year the team feels more balanced than ever. Trachte completed 12 of 17 passes in the win for 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Holt and Beau Dodds.

“I think the balance definitely spreads it out, it keeps the defense honest,” Trachte said.

Holt, the receiver, isn’t going to complain about the passes that await him this year.

“I would say that pretty much opens up the play,” he said. “Just giving us that shot to throw the ball, we definitely threw the ball a lot more this year. We show the coaches that we can play. Hopefully we’ll keep throwing the ball.”

Enumclaw will play the winner of Saturday’s Washington vs. Othello game, with a possible 2A SPSL meeting in the state quarterfinals if Washington can pull off the upset on the road. Olympic finishes the season 8-3.

John Manley covers high school sports for The News Tribune. A McClatchy President’s Award winner and Gonzaga University graduate, Manley has been lighting up the South Sound sports scene since 2013. Born and raised in Tacoma.

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