It was already an unusual day at Foss High School. Receiver-turned-quarterback Chris “Scooby” Reynolds had misplaced his normal practice jersey at home, and ended up taking to the offensive huddle wearing No. 99.
And while his passes sometimes wobbled and veered off line, coaches cheered as if NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana was working behind center.
Then came the truth — the reason Reynolds was anointed the starter midway through summer. With a play breaking down, the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder darted through a crease, juked a couple of teammates and had an unsuspecting free safety waiting to stop the action.
Reynolds plowed right over him, and took off down the field until the whistle stopped play.
Never miss a local story.
“It was a (junior varsity) dude,” the soft-spoken Reynolds said afterward. “I am not trying to hurt anyone.”
Ask anybody in the program, all will agree — Reynolds gives Foss the best chance to contend in what should be a very competitive 3A Narrows League this season.
“Our kids follow him,” Foss coach Patrick Johnson said, “because he is our best player.”
Last season, Reynolds — a Canadian native who was given the “Scooby” nickname by his mother because his big, brown eyes as a baby reminded her of cartoon hero Scooby-Doo — hauled in 25 passes for 366 yards and a team-high five touchdowns.
If he plays college football, he likely will be on the defensive side. He had four interceptions last season at cornerback.
Incumbent Isaiah Littlejohn was expected to retain the starting quarterback job, but he left school before spring camp.
Johnson immediately tabbed Michel “Mike” Cocke’, who was one of Littlejohn’s backups but also played wide receiver, as his new starting signal-caller.
And for the one day Cocke’ attended the Fife High School summer camp with his teammates, he looked poised to keep the job. He then took off to attend individual camps at Central Washington and Eastern Washington universities.
Needing somebody to run the offense, Johnson asked Reynolds to fill in.
“I didn’t have any (repetitions),” Reynolds said. “But I used to play quarterback from fifth to seventh grade.”
Reynolds showed enough promise to give Johnson something to mull over. And when Cocke’ returned as the most valuable player in the receiver group at the Eastern camp, roles began falling into place.
Reynolds became the No. 1 quarterback, and Cocke’ became the top receiver.
“It will probably be tough on him at first,” Cocke’ said. “It’s a totally different position. But I think he will get the hang of it. He is a good enough athlete with a good enough arm.”
Johnson wants to keep Reynolds’ workload simple: Make clean handoffs to running backs, make one-read decisions in the passing game, and, above all, protect the football at all times.
“That should take the thought process out of it,” Johnson said.
Foss is ready to live with the ups and downs of a new quarterback, but should benefit from a few big plays, too.
“I feel like this will show I can run in the open field and make cuts, and show I have some football smarts,” Reynolds said. “And I am not worried about getting hit. If I get hit, I get hit — as long as I first get my receivers the ball.”