Coming home to Gig Harbor
It’s a big year for Samuel Peacock and Brenden Rivera. The two Gig Harbor senior offensive linemen have college football in their future plans, with Peacock committed to Oregon State and Rivera having received an offer from Columbia University.
But with the Tides kicking off their season in a matter of days, the key to winning games may not be so big and daunting.
In fact, it’s the exact opposite.
“Little things,” Peacock said. “Snapping the ball, using the right feet to step as a lineman, running crisp routes. Just little things like those that add up on each other to win a game.”
Peacock and Rivera both acknowledge the details in winning. They know the little things are key in their pursuit of a league title in their final high school season. For Rivera, one goal outweighs the others.
“Our goal is to finish games,” Rivera said. “Last year, we had fourth quarter goal-line stands that we didn’t punch into the end zone. Our goal as a team is just finishing, and hopefully coming out on the winning side of games.”
The Tides finished last season with a 5-5 record, but Gig Harbor held a fourth quarter lead in two of their five losses -- including their 21-10 defeat versus crosstown rival Peninsula last October.
Yet this year, Gig Harbor enters the Fish Bowl game with more than just the little things -- home field advantage at Roy Anderson Field, where the Tides finished 4-1 last season.
“I think we have more focus at home,” Peacock said. “What can help us at away games is being focused and finishing out. I feel like every time we were away, we just lost focus.”
Gig Harbor’s home field advantage also extends beyond the team, according to both Peacock and Rivera.
“We have a great fan base,” Rivera said. “They always keep the energy up, and they’re great people. They give us great support.”
One could argue that the Tides’ biggest matchup of the season is the Fish Bowl against Peninsula. But Gig Harbor plays seven games before they line up against the Seahawks, and as Rivera notes, every game matters.
“You want to win league games, but we want to approach each game as if it’s normal,” Rivera said. “We don’t want to add any extra pressure.”
The Tides will prioritize finishing games this season. They’ll use their home field advantage in five of their nine contests. But what puts Gig Harbor over the top?
“Our competitiveness,” Rivera said. “We have a group of guys that like to compete and go out and play and work hard.”
“I think we have a strength in every position,” Peacock said. “Watching our skill players, they all look super solid. Working with the linemen, younger kids are stepping up, and it’s really cool to see.”
Rivera and Peacock are both prepared to make a significant impact on the Gig Harbor offensive line. At tackle, Peacock attributes his size and explosiveness to his success at the position.
And for Rivera at guard? Well, Peacock praised his teammate best.
“[Brenden’s] an awesome player. He’s big, can move, and is super strong. We have some younger guys moving up. And as an offensive line, we have good chemistry. We can talk well and have good communication. We’re working on the little things. If we can get those, I think we can be a great offensive line.”