Sports

SK’s Cole closes out prep career

Having amassed more than 4,500 career yards at South Kitsap High School, Ryan Cole never rushed for less than 90 yards in a game as a starter.

On a night where his all-star team totaled 90 yards on offense, Cole refused to be negative about the experience.

Cole, a 2002 SK graduate, played his final prep football game in the East-West 3A/4A football all-star game in Everett Friday night. For the first time in his career, the Oregon State-bound running back finished a game with negative yards rushing.

Of course, the minus-2 yards came on just five carries.

Having to split time with other all-state standouts, Cole said the game itself was frustrating to play.

“I was used to getting the ball a good 25 to 30 times a game,” he said. “This time only about five, and I think I rushed for negative yards. You basically have to swallow it. I wish I could have had the ball more. But it didn’t work out that way so you just move on.”

The West took a 3-0 lead into halftime, but the East reeled off 13 second-half points to win the game.

When the final buzzer sounded, the disappointment wasn’t in the score but in the official ending of a week of memories.

For a week, the players stayed in a hotel and got to know each other.

“To be honest with you, I think we did more eating and socializing than football,” Cole said.

After doing a walk-through of plays on the first day, the coaching staffs held a double day the next day.

After that, the coaches were laid back with the practices, Cole said.

“Coaches canceled one practice,” Cole said. It wasn’t a heavy-duty time. It was real easy, laid back. I didn’t wake up sore the next day. At South Kitsap, I always woke up sore.”

The West lineup consisted of six players going to either Washington or Washington State, while Cole was the lone out-of-state Pac-10 player on the roster.

Cole said the players talked a little bit about meeting each other during the season. He affirmed there was no trash talking amongst the Pac-10 players.

“We just chit chatted here and there,” Cole said. “We all respect each other. I told (the UW recruits) I’m always going to be a UW fan. There’s going to be some friendships going on.”

Cole said the biggest adjustment was donning football gear for the first time in almost seven months. “It was a real adjustment putting on the shoulder pads, the gear, and the helmet,” Cole said. “It felt weird but it felt great at the same time.”

Though upset he couldn’t get more touches, Cole said he’ll look back on the positives. “I have great memories and great friendships.”

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