By LAURI HENNESSEY
For The Beachcomber
The Vashon Pirate football team gets one last game this Friday night at home, closing out a season that started slowly and ended up showing great promise. Proof of that came last Friday night when the boys dominated Charles Wright Academy for most of their game in Tacoma, but ultimately lost in a heartbreaking 14-6 score that shut them out of the play-offs.
The Pirates came out strong in Tacoma, continuing the momentum of the last couple of weeks of wins after a slow start to the season and kicked off the game with a score from senior running back Connor Hoisington in the first drive.
They then held the Tarriers to one touchdown, going into the half tied at 6-6.
The Tarriers ended up scoring their second touchdown on a punt return (and a two-point conversion) with just about two minutes left on the clock, and the Pirates never had a chance to get those eight points back. The game was a far cry from the last time the Pirates played Charles Wright (they lost last year 47-13) and also a far cry from their games earlier in the season. But the loss knocked the Pirates out of the play-offs, leaving them with a 2-7 record as they head into their last game, Senior Night, at home Friday against Bellevue Christian.
Stand outs of the game were Hoisington, both as a linebacker and running back, and senior Cody Whitman, who claimed a number of tackles.
Ray Rivas, Whitman and Hoisington played football all four years at Vashon High School, and will be wrapping up their careers along with a handful of other seniors. One of those seniors is Luke Larson, who joined the team half-way through the season after a few years away from football.
But the underclassmen also delivered in Tacoma. Junior Sol Dehnert had a clutch interception in the end zone right at the end of the first half to block a touchdown. Juniors Jess Jeysath forced a fumble in the second half; Joe Ghigleri had a number of tackles, and Will Hennessey had a sack, a blocked pass and an interception. And kicker Richard Rivas, a sophomore, showed great promise once again with a punt deep from his own end zone.
“We’ve improved a lot this year,” said Dehnert. “I think we have become a solid team. We are looking good for next year, and we will have a great group of seniors when we return. We are going to miss the seniors who are leaving us this week though, and will be looking to fill their roles on the team.”
“Morale is really high as we end the season,” said Hennessey. “We have improved so much. We would love to end it all with a win in our final game Friday night.”
Both Dehnert and Hennessey credit Larson with jumpstarting the team’s morale mid-season after a series of lopsided losses.
“We feel good. We think we have lots of promise next year,” said Dehnert.
Bellevue Christian has three league wins against the Pirates’ two.
The game is at 7 p.m. Friday at Vashon High School and will include senior ceremonies.
— Lauri Hennessey is a parent of a Pirate football player.