His legacy is his special attitude

Down 48-12 against Bethel High School with seven minutes remaining in the state quarterfinal football game, SK’s Ryan Cole sprinted nine yards on a third down and three to give SK a first down.

Quietly, SK junior Victor Valle went into the huddle and Cole jogged off the football field for the last time.

It marked the end of a prep career for SK’s most accomplished running back.

After setting the West Sound rushing record with 2,175 yards last year, Cole surpassed his own mark this year with 2,235 yards and moved into fifth place on Washington’s all-time list.

Cole, who currently has scholarship offers from the University of Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, and Northwestern, said it’s hard to believe the run at state is over.

“I remember my sophomore year when we lost to Bethel and I just looked in (former player) Bryan Lefler’s eyes, and he said, “Don’t let this happen to you,’ ” Cole said. “Now I know what he means.”

SK coach D.J. Sigurdson said losing Cole, the player, will be tough. But what’s tougher is losing Cole, the person.

“He is tremendously talented, but the best thing about him is his tremendous work ethic, tremendous commitment to his team, his coaches, and his family,” Sigurdson said. “That’s the best thing about him. His attitude was special.”

Band of brothers not broken

Senior lineman Chris Krueger said the loss to Bethel hurt, but playing his last game with his teammates is what pains him the most.

“The hardest thing is taking off this jersey and leaving all my brothers (teammates),” Krueger said. “The good thing is that I got to have some fun with a bunch of guys I wanted to play some South Kitsap football with.”

Senior quarterback and defensive back Travis Vetters said a loss won’t alter the relationships the players have developed over the last three years in the program.

“I love these guys,” Vetters said. “They’re my family. We had a great season and we grew so close together. We’re always going to be there for each other.”

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