Gateway: Sports

Peninsula quarterback isn’t sure if he’s a junior or senior. So he’s treating this season like his last

Peninsula quarterback Burke Griffin started much of last year for the Seahawks and is confident he'll retain the starting spot in the fall.
Peninsula quarterback Burke Griffin started much of last year for the Seahawks and is confident he'll retain the starting spot in the fall. Staff writer

Peninsula High quarterback Burke Griffin might be playing his final year of high school football this fall.

But he might not be, either.

In a strange eligibility situation, Griffin will technically be a senior during the 2017-18 school year. He spent a year in Ireland during his sophomore year, as his dad accepted a job abroad, before coming back the following season.

So Griffin is appealing with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association to be reclassified. It would seem like he has a strong case, as the move to Ireland was out of his control. He will also be graduating with the 2019 class.

The problem?

His case won’t be heard until after the football season concludes.

“While it was awesome (to live in Ireland) and I wouldn’t trade it for the world — I made lots of great friends there — I love football and I want my four years of eligibility,” Griffin said.

So for now, Griffin, who started at quarterback most of last season for the Seahawks, has no choice but to treat this season as his last, even though it remains likely that he’ll be able to suit up for the Seahawks the next year, too.

“I’m going to go as hard as I can,” Griffin said. “It’s a little weird, but if anything, it’s extra motivation. What else can I do besides play?”

Griffin is competing once again for the starting quarterback job, alongside 6-foot-3 sophomore Jack Hanisch and sophomore Peyton Bice.

While the competition is likely to extend into the fall, Griffin has the benefit of starting experience on his side. He won the starting job early in the season last year and generally improved as the season went on.

“I was grateful for the opportunity to go out and compete early in the season,” Griffin said. “I was happy with my season. I missed some throws that I know I wouldn’t miss now. I plan not to miss those this season. We had a fantastic team last year which took a lot of the pressure off me, which was super helpful as a young quarterback.”

Everything is easier now for Griffin, who feels immensely benefiting from his experience as the starter last year.

“The biggest thing for me is the speed of the game,” Griffin said. “It has slowed down so much. It’s a lot easier to go through my progressions and reads and execute the throw. As the season went along last year, it was the same thing. You get tossed in young and you’re competing with some of the best athletes in the state, and you learn quickly.”

Griffin and the Seahawks are making the most out of the sunny weather lately at Roy Anderson Field during the spring football session. And while spring football isn’t quite the same as the actual football season, it means the team is one step closer to strapping on the pads on Friday nights.

“It’s all I’ve been wanting to do since last winter,” Griffin said. “I was itching to get out onto the field and now we’re out here with the guys, having a blast. There’s no place I’d rather be than at Roy Anderson Field with the guys.”