It wasn’t an easy decision, but during his junior year at Peninsula High, Dawson Hallock decided to step away from football to get a job at Ace Hardware. He felt it was his duty to provide for himself and his family financially.
“I just like to be able to provide for myself so that my parents don’t have to as much,” Hallock said. “It makes it a little easier on everybody.”
So he worked — and watched from the sidelines on Friday nights — while Peninsula enjoyed an undefeated league record in the Class 3A South Puget Sound League and a run into the state playoffs.
“It was hard,” Hallock said. “I was happy to see all my teammates and everyone be successful last year. That’s the first time I haven’t been a part of that. Being on the side, it was not the same kind of joy. It was hard. But I’m still happy they did well.”
Now, he’s happy to be back. Hallock, who still works at Ace, made the decision to roll back his hours to just weekends during the season so he could play football again. Through seven games, Hallock is third on the tackle chart, behind senior linebacker Chance Stolz and strong safety Blake Cantu. He has an interception return for a touchdown, and another interception that went for 66 yards to the opponent’s 1-yard line.
“I think I’ve done well,” Hallock said. “I can definitely work on a lot of areas. I’d like to be more physical and hit harder. I’m happy with how I’ve done so far, but there’s always room for improvement. Especially as we get further and further into the season.”
Playing alongside Stolz at linebacker fires Hallock up.
“He’s such a great guy — he’s such a good role model on and off the field,” Hallock said. “He loves what he does and brings a certain passion to the team that you don’t find in many players. Everyone kind of rallies around him. He’s a critical member of our squad. He’s definitely a defensive leader and a great captain.”
After linebacker Luke Holsinger graduated last season, Stolz was happy to hear Hallock was coming back.
“It’s really good,” Stolz said. “He’s stepping up.”
Stolz knows it was tough for Hallock to sit out, but is happy to have him back.
“I’m sure he missed it, but he was doing what he had to do,” Stolz said. “That’s just life.”
The Seahawks have been a tough team to figure out this season. After playing Sumner tough and losing by only one point, Peninsula dropped a game on the road to Enumclaw. But last Friday, Peninsula knocked off Auburn Mountainview, led by Montana-commit quarterback Gresch Jensen, 34-20.
“I feel like things are moving in a better direction,” Hallock said. “I feel like a big part of it was (Peninsula quarterback) Ryder (Johnson), his confidence. Last week, he did a fantastic job. He made great decisions. Instead of forcing the ball sometimes, he just tuck it and ran it. He had two rushing touchdowns. When Ryder is confident, our offense is confident. The defense, we do what we can and we do a pretty good job. I feel like it was turning point.”
Hallock also plays catcher for the Peninsula baseball team and is hoping to reel in a scholarship offer or two.
“I’m hoping to attend a four-year college and play some baseball there,” he said. “That’d be my dream.”
Who: Auburn Riverside
Where: Roy Anderson Field
When: 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 22
Outlook: Even with Peninsula’s inconsistent play this season, it would be a shock to see the Seahawks drop this one. Auburn Riverside comes into Thursday night’s game with an 0-7 record and an 0-5 record in the Class 3A South Puget Sound League.