Football team falls in final game of difficult season

The Vashon Pirates football team wrapped up its season last Friday night with another tough loss at home, this time to rival Charles Wright Academy, leaving the Pirates with just one win this season — the Homecoming game against Chimacum. The Pirates fell to Charles Wright 24-0.

The game had a very similar trajectory to many of the Pirates’ previous losses this season, with the team starting strong and slowly unraveling as the game went on.

In the first quarter, the Pirates came out strong and showed good defense against the larger Tarriers. Highlights included senior Joe Ghigleri recovering a Charles Wright fumble and senior Will Hennessey stopping a long pass. However, the Pirates also fumbled the ball a number of times and allowed for a long touchdown off a fumbled hand-off. The quarter was full of penalties, including calls against Charles Wright for repeated poor sportsmanship. At the end of the first, the Pirates were down 7-0.

The second quarter also had a few bright moments, including junior Luca Kuzma recovering a Pirates’ fumble. Vashon struggled a great deal with snapping the ball to kicker Richard Rivas-Gutierrez when it was time to kick. The hard-working junior held it together though, running with the ball instead as the Tarriers descended upon him. The Tarriers incurred a few personal fouls in the game, the first one coming during the second quarter.

A final highlight in the first half came from sophomore Martin Ellison when he knocked a Tarrier out of bounds right before he was able to reach the endzone. Ellison, Ghigleri, senior Jess Leysath and junior Jack Cunningham all had great games defensively with plenty of tackles. And Rivas-Gutierrez had his usual powerful game, kicking and also recovering a critical fumble.

In the latter part of the game, the Pirates lost ground as the Tarriers figured out their strategy. At the end of three, it was 21-0 and at the end of four, 24-0.

Throughout the second half of the game, the Tarriers were stopped in what one bystander called a game with a “flurry of flags.” From pass interferences to repeated calls of poor sportsmanship, it got to the point where one Pirates fan referred to them as “sore winners.”

Another challenge in the game for the Pirates came from the lack of Vashon players. The Pirates coach had to move two of his strong players from their usual positions of RB and TE to the offensive line, as Vashon didn’t have the needed players to fight off the Tarriers’ pass rush and protect their QB. Still, standout runningback Zavier Delgado-Williams had a great game, as did receivers Sol Dehnert and Jack Cunningham.

Before the game Friday night, senior football players and cheer squad were thanked on the field, along with their parents. This game was the last VHS football game for eight players: Payton Bonaventura, Jake Carmen, Sol Dehnert, Jonathan Quintans, Zavier Delgado-Williams, Will Hennessey, Jess Leysath and Joe Ghigleri. Most of the seniors played both offense and defense for the Pirates.

The Pirates had a long, tough season. But true to form, they never gave up and are hoping they can rally and build a stronger team in the future.

— Lauri Hennessey is the mother of a pirate football player.

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