The journey ended for good Saturday, and that was plenty on the mind of Jackson High School standout Jason Todd.
As soon as he slipped out of the team’s locker room, he was overcome by emotion.
It is understandable – the touted Timberwolves netted a pair of state trophies in four consecutive trips to the Class 4A championships with this group of nine seniors.
Their legacy should be recalled for two things – remarkable consistency and unfulfilled promise.
The Timberwolves lost a close game to Curtis in the state title game a year ago and were talked about most of the summer as the team to beat in Washington.
They backed that up by winning the MaxPreps national tournament in California over the winter holiday. They arrived in Tacoma this week ranked No. 1 and as the tournament co-favorite with Garfield.
And on Thursday, it all came to a crashing end, losing in the 4A quarterfinals to Issaquah.
“You have high expectations, dreams and aspirations of … possibly winning a state championship, so it is tough,” Todd said. “Issaquah deserved to win that game.”
Jackson rallied to defeat Kentridge and Gonzaga Prep to place fourth in the state Saturday.
“People put pressure on everything. Every game, we were scrutinized. We’ve been talked about the beginning of the season – in preseason rankings and all that (stuff),” Todd said. “Whether you deal with it good or not, that is up to you.”
As far as what is next for the 2013 Gatorade state player of the year, and University of Portland signee – Todd said Saturday he will not play a senior season of baseball. Considering he is a pitcher who throws 90 mph or faster, that is a pretty significant decision.
“I really want to enjoy (spring semester) with my friends … and get ready and start training,” said Todd, adding he will have to go to summer school to finish off all of his credits. “College is a whole another level. I am going to be ready when I get down to (Portland).”
TWEAKS TO PLAYOFF FORMAT COMING?
Mike Colbrese, the executive director of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, said he thought positive steps were taken this season in making the regional basketball format more equitable across the board.
The next issue? Examining pre-determined regional brackets.
“We still hear some concerns about coaches knowing beforehand on who they are playing, and they might win or lose (at districts) based on that kind of thing,” Colbrese said. “Do you pander to that or not? I don’t know.”
IN GOOD HANDS
Standout sophomores and ninth graders dotted the state girls championships in 4A and 3A this week.
Worth noting in 4A are Lynnwood sophomore Mikayla Pivec and ninth grader Kelsey Rogers; and Moses Lake sophomore Jessie Loera. And highlighting 3A were Bishop Blanchet ninth graders Jadyn Bush and Taylor Chambers; Lincoln’s Tamia Braggs; Sunnyside’s Emilee Maldonado; and Wilsons Josie Matz.
“There are just a lot of talented kids in the state of Washington playing basketball,” Lynnwood coach Everett Edwards said. “Whether it’s freshmen or sophomores … it’s just good basketball that they’re playing.”
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442