Bothell opens against Mission Viejo in Kickoff Classic
Bothell coach Tom Bainter went to a knowledgeable source — Bellevue's Butch Goncharoff — to prepare for the Cougars' first football opponent.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Emerald City Kickoff ClassicSaturday at Qwest Field
9:30 a.m. — Life Christian/Seattle Christian vs. Seattle Lutheran
Noon — Nooksack Valley vs. Cascade Christian
3 p.m. — Camas vs. Timberline (Lacey)
5:30 p.m. — Bellevue vs. Union (Vancouver)
8 p.m. — Mission Viejo, Calif., vs. Bothell
Tickets: Adults, students (with valid ASB card) and seniors (62 and over) $15. Children under 5 free. Tickets good for all games. Doors open at 8:30 a.m.
BOTHELL — Tom Bainter wanted to know what to expect with California power Mission Viejo heading to Seattle to take on his Bothell football team.
So he went to the source. He talked to Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff.
Goncharoff's Wolverines have a penchant for knocking off big-time California programs, having snapped De La Salle's 151-game win streak in 2004 and defeating Long Beach Poly in 2005.
The Wolverines also played competitive games against Katy (Texas) and Grant (Sacramento) last season, so Bainter sought Goncharoff's advice.
"He goes, 'Listen, when you're playing a team from California, Texas, you've just got to get over the fact they're going to be bigger than you, stronger than you and a little faster than you.' "
That aside, when the teams line up for the kickoff at 8 p.m. Saturday at Qwest Field, it's still a group of high-school athletes.
"They're going to be well coached," Bainter said of Mission Viejo. "They're going to get off the ball. They're going to be physical and fast. That's what we know. They're athletic and talented, but it's exactly who we need to play."
The second-ranked Cougars have lofty expectations, but their success depends largely on untested upperclassmen. Their first challenge comes against the Diablos in the Emerald City Kickoff Classic.
"It will be great for us," Bainter said. "Win, lose, draw, we're 0-0 in league. We're not in the playoffs yet, we're not any closer. We're trying to tell the kids, great experience, tremendous opponent — just play football, though, because there's nothing to fear."
Mission Viejo coach Bob Johnson, who coached Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and ex-Seahawks defensive end Nick Reed, likes the team he's bringing to Seattle. However, like the Cougars, the Diablos have plenty of new faces, with just three returning starters on each side of the ball.
"Not very many of them have been in the war, so we're looking forward to seeing what we've got, to tell you the truth," Johnson said. "We're strong every year down here and we're going to represent. We're just really anxious to see what we have."
The last time Mission Viejo traveled to Seattle was in 2005. The Diablos opened a 48-0 lead on Issaquah in a 55-36 victory.
"Our kids still talk about it," Johnson said. "Kids that we had that are now seniors in college, they talk about that event. It's a new area, 90 percent of them have never been there. It's just a great outing."
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.