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Northwest Football Loses Original "Big Man"
The GNFA is sad to report the passing of former Seattle
Rambler and Seattle Ranger Richard Hard. The original
Big Man, Richard was courted by every pro league in the
1960's even though he had limited collegiate playing
experience. The 6'4" 313 lb tackle was one of the
largest and most athletic big men of the day. Signing
with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964, Richard's heart was
really with the kids at the Seattle YMCA where he returned
but continued to play football with the local Seattle clubs.
A 1994 inductee to the Pacific Northwest Football Hall of
Fame, Mr. Hard's resume was set to be voted on by the GNFA
Hall of Fame board in 2013. We send our condolences to
the Hard family and friends.
Last season an epic GNFA Championship shoot-out took place
between the PFL Champion Portland Monarchs and the WWFA
Champion Seattle Stallions. In 2013, the Stallions are
going to be members of the elite Pacific Football League
making the PFL the strongest league in the Northwest and
possibly the entire West Coast. With a potential
alliance between the PFL and the Eastern Washington based
WFL, the best teams in Oregon and Washington will reside
under one umbrella when the GNFA and the respective leagues
kick off around March/April.
Some reshuffling of teams has already occurred with the
Snohomish Vikings moving to the WFL. The Oregon
Outlaws announced they would cease operations earlier in the
fall causing a player movement which could strengthen the
South Lane Buzzards enough to put them back in contention
for the PFL South crown. The PFL North loses the
Vikings and the South Sound Shockers, while picking up the
Stallions. The North wins with these changes, as the
Stallions will expect to be immediate challengers to the
Bulldogs top spot in the North while the Vikings and
Shockers were near the bottom of the league in 2011 and 2012
On sponsorship notes, the Shoe U logo on this page is the
new weblink to the official athletic shoe supplier to the
GNFA teams. Players should check with their teams for
in-season specials from Shoe U or contact Ed and tell him
you saw Shoe U on the GNFA site.
Jason Pabillano, a defensive back with the Vancouver
Vipers this past season has been indefinitely suspended
from competition in the Pacific Football League.
Pabillano (2) seen below taking a cheap shot on Monarch
QB Russ Schneider and then taunting as he walks away,
has had a number of run-ins with league officials in the
past. He was indefinitely suspended from the OFL
during the 2010 season, but the ban was lifted after the
formation of the PFL in 2011. Pabillano joined the
Vipers and has had issues throughout the season with
unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and involvement in
altercations on the field and making threats after
With the banishment by the PFL, the GNFA will also
uphold the suspension and extend it to any involvement
in GNFA Supported Games and Events. Any teams in
the Northwest accepting Pabillano onto their roster will
likewise face sanctions by the GNFA.
Pabillano (2) Makes a Late Hit on QB Schneider
Chris Dixon Leads Storm to Indoor Championship and 17-0
For the fourth year in a row, the Indoor Football League
has named former Eastside Hawks QB Chris Dixon to the
1st Team while handing out All-League honors.
Dixon's team, the Sioux Falls Storm are 14-0 and lead
the league in almost every offensive category while
Chris broke the single season passing record along with
hitting a milestone in passing for his 500th touchdown
and topping 20,000 yards for his career in the same
game. For the season, Dixon has passed for
3,321 yards, 67 TD's and 7 INT's.
Dixon played one season with the Eastside Hawks after a
stand out career at Humboldt State (CA). After
leading the Hawks to a National Title in 2005, he was
signed by the Billings Outlaws leading the team to
championships in 2006, 2009, and 2010. The Outlaws
folded and after a long courtship by the Wenatchee
Venom, Dixon was signed by the Storm and has led them to
the first undefeated regular season in IFL history and
are back-to-back IFL Champions. The Storm have won 6 Championships since
the team debuted as the Cobras in 2000.
View Highlights of Chris Dixon and his Storm Team:
40 YEARS AGO...
"I'm comin' for ya!"
These moms donned the gear for a 1973
"Panty Bowl" in West Seattle. The Bosomed Buddies
battled the Greenwood Mod Squad to raise money for youth
football teams and live out a dream of playing
football...something none were allowed to do during
their high school days. One lady gridder was
overheard: "I didn't even like watching football
on TV, but now that I play, I see what makes it so much
fun!" See more pictures
here and here.
The GNFA sends condolences to the family of Ted Stonebridge
of Issaquah. Mr. Stonebridge passed away March 11,
2011 just days after celebrating his 98th birthday.
Mr. Stonebridge led the famous Issaquah Firemen, later named
the Alpines during their long run of consecutive league
championships in the 160 lb league and the Seattle Community
League. The string was interrupted by WWII but picked
up again after and the Alpines won another league title in
1948. Ted also served as president of the Athletic
Club and ran a car dealership. Mr. Stonebridge was
inducted into the 2010 GNFA Hall of Fame in June of last
Native American Michael Lee "The Flea"
Marysville Storm. Who? The
Marysville Storm played briefly in the early 1990's and
featured a hometown sports hero nicknamed "The Flea". Michael
Joseph, born in 1971 to the Duwamish, Swinomish, Devils Lake
Sioux, Tulalip Tribe and son of Darlene and Harold Jr.
played basketball and football for Everett High School and
later attended Western Washington University. A member
of the Native Basketball Circuit playing across the US and
Canada, his athletic talents took him to the Storm where he
had a blast playing football again with his cousins.
Michael became the first coach for the Tulalip Heritage High
School basketball team and was an accomplished commercial
fisherman, crabber and diver before passing away in 2006 at
the age of 34.
Rushing Record Corrected.
Mike Oliphant had been reported to hold a national record
81.0 per carry average in a game (on 2 carries), however a
1985 Auburn Panthers game program recently found, included a
game-by-game breakdown of the 1984 season. Oliphant
did have an 81.0 yard average on his first 2 carries which
went for 85 and 77 yard TD bursts, but on the official stat
line he gained 172 yards on 11 carries. Oliphant
appeared in 4 games for the Panthers in 1984 before
enrolling at the University of Puget Sound and later playing
for the Washington Redskins and was traded to Cleveland for
Ernest Byner in a straight up player trade following the
infamous fumble by Byner at the goal line in the 1988 AFC
Tacoma Trauma Women's Tackle Football
Former Seattle Majestic's
Players Bring Women's Football Back to Tacoma
When the Majestic's moved to Seattle,
some south-enders felt a desire to return home with a team
of their own. The Trauma has been born and the women,
many who have 8 years under their belt of playing in the
IWFL are putting in work in preparation for the 2012 season.
And part of that preparation involved enlisting one of the
Northwest's no-nonsense coaches to help lay the groundwork.
Working as an advisor during the past month, former South
Sound Shocker Head Coach Steve Matychowiak organized
practices and skills sessions. "I was tentative about
it at first because I've always worked with men and had an
expectation of a certain skill set already in place.
What I found was a group of women eager to learn the game
and do what is asked of them without questioning it.
That was very refreshing. No egos, no attitudes
towards the coaches, just football." (Matychowiak).
Matychowiak called on the expertise of
some of his elder Shocker statesmen as assistants during the
"camp-like" workout sessions. David Gomez and Greg
Kinnunen, offensive linemen with the Shockers well into
their 40's, offered up drill running assistance and session
planning to give the Trauma a crash course in schemes and
Matychowiak, who has other family and
work commitments will not coach the Trauma during their
season, however Gomez and Kinnunen are considering taking a
first step into coaching Women's football.
After winning a hard-fought PFL
Championship in 2011, Kitsap County Bears staff has
announced a year off from competition. For the staff
and coaches, it could be a welcome break from the rigors of
year-around football, but for the players, it will be
decision time as other coaches vie for their services and
plans to retain them to those teams once the Bears
return...."if" they return. And if they do, will the
players return or will Kitsap recruit new blood?
Over the past decade, a few Northwest
teams have ventured down the path of traveling across the
country for "National" competition only to run into such
situations as financial troubles, management changes, or
internal strife, that required a "year off" or resulted in
the team folding up completely or faring on the sub-par end
of the spectrum the following season. A few examples
of the mythical "National Championship" Chase Bug:
2002 Puget Sound Jets travel to
Florida, defeat St. Petersburg Sharks - no 2003 season
2004 Eastside Hawks travel to Florida,
defeat Central Penn - no 2005 outdoor season*
2006 King County Jaguars travel to San
Fran, lost to Bay Ticket 49ers - by 2008 6-16 in final 22
2008 Puget Sound Titans travel to Las
Vegas, defeat Mile High - no 2009 season
2009 Renton Ravens travel to Las Vegas,
defeat LV Demolition - 13-14 the next two seasons
2010 Seattle Stallions travel to Las
Vegas, defeat Buccaneers - announce no 2011 season
2010 Tacoma Invaders travel to Las
Vegas, lost to LV Titans - 3-7 in 2011
2010 Bellingham Bulldogs travel to
South Carolina, lose to Nashville Storm - 3-8 in 2011
2011 Kitsap Bears travel to Las Vegas,
lose to Pacifica Islanders - announce no 2012 season
* The Eastside Hawks, it should be
noted, were moved indoors by owner Sam Adams, for a brief
stint before being folded up after massive financial losses.
One of the few modern teams to survive,
the "National Chase", has been the Portland Monarchs.
Thus far the Monarchs have traveled to Las Vegas in 2009 and
2010 losing both games, but still going the past three
seasons with only one loss to Northwest opponents.
This harkens back to the Auburn Panthers traveling to San
Jose two consecutive years, however the Panthers won both
outings in one of the most dominant runs in history.
Can the Monarchs ascend to dominance once again, or has
their time passed? Is it time for a new team to rise,
only to chase a financially unfeasible outing that is
destined to doom the team in the long run?