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Best Seat in the House

Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

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October 11, 2008 12:47 AM

High School Football: Homecoming Curse, Part III.

Posted by Rod Mar

Well, the curse strikes again.

I mentioned last week that my record at shooting high school homecoming games is less-than-stellar (that is, if you consider an "0-fer", as in the Washington Huskies 0-5 start, less-than-stellar).

For the third week in a row, I was assigned to a homecoming game. To be fair, I don't think the good people of Lake Stevens knew about the curse (they'd have to find this blog to know about it), but after shooting two homecoming blowouts in a row (sorry, Kentlake, 48-6 losers to Federal Way, and sorry, Juanita, 33-12 losers to Liberty), maybe we should have warned them.

I didn't realize it was homecoming when I initially arrived. I did, however, make a decent frame as Marysville-Pilchuck was walking to their locker room after pregame warmups. It's time like these that I wish I lived in Arizona or Texas so the sky would dramatically lit and full of color. No such luck in the Pacific Northwest.



(Nikon D3, VR 70-200mm/f2.8 lens @ 75mm, ISO 6400, 1/3200th sec., f2.8 -- yes, I know, nice exposure -- what can I say? It was a grab shot as I was taking the cameras out of my car...)

Upon seeing Jennifer Buchanan, a photographer from the Everett Herald, I asked for some local knowledge since she covers the area teams. "Should be pretty close", she said, "Marysville will pound it out on the ground, and Lake Stevens will air it out".

I was in the middle of thanking her when I saw the decorated golf carts along the track that circled the field. They'd be used for transporting princesses and queens at the halftime homecoming ceremony was my educated guess.

"Hey, Jenny," I asked, "is it homecoming?".

"Heck if I know - why do you care?", she replied.

"Well, it looks like homecoming to me, and that means Lake Stevens is probably going to go down in flames tonight", I laughed, telling her about the "curse".

She gave me a look that basically said, "Dude, whatever", and headed off to shoot kickoff.

Marysville Pilchuck's Andy Abadam (2) got his face-mask grabbed by Lake Stevens' Jason Mendel on the first play of the game but no flag was thrown.



(Nikon VR 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 6400, 1/500th sec., f2.8)

First drive, Lake Stevens throws an interception. Couple of plays later and Marysville-Pilchuck's Ryan Sterly broke off a 32-yard touchdown run that came right at me.



(Nikon D3, VR 70-200mm/f2.8 lens @ 160mm, ISO 6400, 1/500th sec., f2.8)

After that, it was pretty much total domination for Marysville-Pilchuck.

Marysville-Pilchuck's Brennan Steinbaugh sacked Lake Stevens quarterback Nick Baker during the first quarter. The Tomahawks' speed on defense forced Baker to run for his life for much of the first half.



(Nikon VR 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 4000, 1/500th sec., f2.8 -- it was brighter than I had previously thought, so I lowered the ISO to 4000)

And when Lake Stevens did complete a pass, they still paid for it. Marysville-Pilchuck defenders Ryan Sterley (left) and Colton Smith (right) sandwiched Lake Stevens receiver Tyler Bryant.



(Nikon VR 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 4000, 1/500th sec., f2.8)

On offense, Marysville-Pilchuck got an early lead and then protected it, choosing to chew up the clock by keeping the ball on the ground. Marysville-Pilchuck's Devin Peterson keeps the ball and darts upfield for a first down in the third quarter.



(Nikon VR 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 4000, 1/500th sec., f2.8)

Lake Stevens threatened to score late, but Marysville-Pilchuck forced a turnover and ran out the clock instead of trying for a final touchdown.

Final score, Marysville-Pilchuck 28, Lake Stevens 0.

Tally of the three homecoming games I've shot in the past three weeks:

Visitors 99, Homecoming Home teams 18.

Like I said, if I'm coming to your game next week, hide the floats, put away the fireworks and tell the princesses they'll have to wait until basketball season.

By the way, Lake Stevens might have lost their homecoming game, but their halftime fireworks show was sweet. And I'm glad that the spent shell that landed on my car didn't leave a burn mark.


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