Sorry for the lack of UW news here today. We'll have some notes in the Friday paper from TNT reporter Wendy Carpenter, who filled in as I took the day off to drive up to Ferndale to do a few interviews for a Jake Locker feature we'll be running Aug. 30 in our special college football preseason section.
I hadn't been to Ferndale before, but from my day here, the town certainly seems to bleed the blue and gold of the FHS Golden Eagles, and to take great pride in the accomplishments of the state championship team quarterbacked by Jake. And absolutely everyone I've met here seems unable to say enough good things about him.
Here's a quick a sample of things I heard:
VIC RANDALL, Ferndale athletic director and coach in Locker's freshman season:
"His leadership skills are very good because he's even-tempered, and he's genuine. What you see is what you get. When he talks to you he's listening and he's attentive. He's got those intangibles you look for."
CASEY LOCKER, Jake's cousin and current Ferndale quarterback:
"I didn't try to follow him. His shadow is too big."
JAMIE PLENKOVICH, the current coach on Ferndale's state championship season:
"We were a good team. But with his leadership, we didn't play down to our competition. You could see that from the scores of our games. It's kind of amazing over the course of 14 games, typically you're going to have some peaks and valleys, but we just didn't have that, we just kept getting better and better and better, and he had a large part of that. He was clearly our hardest-working player, and that makes kids respond to him. Regardless of what he may say in the huddle or otherwise, he has that immediate respect because of how hard he works. He raised everybody's level."
SUE REMARLUS, owner of 2nd Ave. Sports in downtown Ferndale, remembering the team's return to town after winning the state championship in the Tacoma Dome:
"I guess it started in Bellingham with the police escorting the kids on the busses. And then when they got to (Ferndale) there were fire trucks and local police escorting them through town.
And all the families and the fans lined up at the beginning of town on Main Street with their lights flashing so when the kids came home ... it must have been 1 or 2 in the morning and the busses stopped and everybody swarmed them. It was really a cool scene. We were really proud of them."
SCOTT LOCKER, Jake's dad:
"When I talk to him he's very upbeat and very confident that (the Huskies) are going to be just fine. And I guess that's the way you have to be if you're going to lead a team. If you don't believe that you're probably not a very good leader, and from everything he's ever done that I've seen, he's a great leader. They'll figure out a way to get it done."
Meanwhile, I'll be back on campus Friday and should have update in both football and basketball.