Lakewood’s football team got an early look at their season-opening opponent on July 30. They faced Stanwood during the Cougar Championship Passing Tournament. 

“It’s fun to see the kids out here doing what’s normal again,” Lakewood football head coach Dan Teeter said.

Lakewood came up short against Stanwood 28-21 and went 2-2 on the day. 

“We got better today and found a lot of things to work on,” Teeter said. 

Lakewood and Stanwood were among the 20 teams competing in the tournament. Schools ranged in size from 1A school Kings to 4A schools Lake Stevens and North Creek. 

Marysville Pilchuck head coach Dalton Schwetz echoed Teeter’s sentiments. 

“It was good,” Schwetz said. “We’re really excited how far we’ve come in the last eight weeks of the program.”

The Tomahawks brought 29 players to the tournament, with 15 of them playing skill positions. Marysville Pilchuck went 1-3 in the passing tournament. 

In the tournament semifinals, Kennedy Catholic topped Bothell. In the second semifinal game, Anacortes came up short against Lake Stevens even though they didn’t give up a touchdown. The Seahawks, however, threw three interceptions, Teeter said. 

Lake Stevens defeated Kennedy to win the tournament. The Vikings also won the tournament in 2021. COVID-19 prompted the cancellation of the 2020 tournament.

The passing tournament draws around 20 schools of various sizes to Lakewood each year. 

“It’s kind of like basketball on grass,” Teeter said. “It’s really a fun day of football.” 

Teams start the day being divided into groups of four for round-robin games. A tournament kicked off in the afternoon and a championship game took place at 6 p.m. 

Teams start at the 40-yard line and have three downs to get to the 25-yard line and three additional downs to get inside the 10. Once inside the 10, teams have four downs to score. There’s no blocking, but basketball-type screens are allowed. Quarterbacks have four seconds to throw the ball. 

Touchdowns are seven points. If they choose to go for a PAT, they gain a point if successful but lose a point if they fail. Defenses are awarded three points for an interception. 

Linemen also participated in a skills challenge during the day. They competed in bench press, two-man sled push, hill tire flip, sled drive, tug-of-war, and the 4x100-meter relay. 

“It’s kind of fun to watch the big guys sprint,” Teeter said. 

North Creek, which is in Bothell, won the lineman challenge. 

Maclane Watkins of Kennedy Catholic was named offensive MVP, Cassidy Bolong-Banks of Lake Stevens was named defensive MVP and Naveer Kaile of Lake Stevens was named lineman MVP. 

The tournament took place when the temperature was around 90 degrees. 

“We were watching it constantly and people were hydrating a lot,” Teeter said. “It was definitely hot, but people were well prepared.” 

Football teams are taking a break for the next couple of weeks. Practices start Aug. 17 and the first games of the season take place Sept. 2 

The first games of the football season sees Lakewood hosting Stanwood, Arlington traveling to Kamiak, Marysville Pilchuck hosting Edmonds-Woodway and Marysville Getchell traveling to Everett.

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