Liberty Christian football player Koglin marches toward mission

November 13, 2012 

— For most of his life, Timmy Koglin has heard people tell him he could be president one day.

The Liberty Christian School senior has no plans of taking on the presidency, but he wouldn’t mind using his leadership skills to secure a spot at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., next fall.

Koglin is nearing the final stages of the almost two-year process of gaining admission to the elite Army officers’ school.

One of the final things standing in his way is a nomination from a Washington state government official.

He is scheduled to meet with Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., on Dec. 1 to attempt to get that nomination. The only problem is Koglin might be a little busy that day.

At 4 p.m., Koglin could be lining up on the Tacoma Dome turf awaiting kickoff in the Class 1B state football championship game.

“Hopefully we can reschedule,” Koglin said.

Liberty Christian (11-0) must win two more games to reach the Tacoma Dome, one of those at 4 p.m. Friday against LaCrosse/Washtucna at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco.

But the top-ranked Patriots rarely have been challenged this season.

A big part of that is Koglin, a two-way star for the Richland private school. He starts on the offensive and defensive line for the Patriots and brings more than just athletic skill to the field.

“It’s almost like having another coach out there,” Liberty Christian coach Mike Olson said. “Whenever we have a kid hurt on the line, if we have to put a younger guy in, Timmy always helps him understand what to do each play.

“It really helps us when we don’t really miss a beat if someone else goes out for a while.”

That ability to lead teammates is one of the many reasons Koglin hopes to go to West Point, where all graduates exit as second lieutenants.

“I’ve always wanted to be the best of the best,” he said, “and West Point is the best school, and you get to serve your country.”

The Koglin family doesn’t have a big military background, though his grandfather did serve in Vietnam.

“He is just a kid that has very much a leadership bent to him,” said Wade Koglin, his dad. “From when he was 4 years old, people were saying he was going to be president one day. He went through Boy Scouts and got his Eagle Scout. He fits the profile of a West Point kid.”

While Timmy said he has no desire to be the commander in chief, he does enjoy helping others — a skill that started when he was young.

The favorite family story goes something like this.

Timmy and his mom, Judy, visited McDonald’s and were headed to school to pick up older brother Tyler. The group of kids waiting outside wanted to see Timmy’s Happy Meal toy, so the 4-year-old arranged all of them in a line and let them hold the toy for a few seconds each.

He has combined those inherent leadership skills with a tremendous work ethic to become a standout athlete and student.

He became an Eagle Scout at 14, is taking college math classes at Columbia Basin College, including a night course, and playing football and basketball at Liberty Christian.

“I was pushed really hard,” he said. “That has gotten me my mentality that if you’re not trying your hardest, there is no point.”

That attitude has served him well.

“He’s not the greatest athlete in the world,” Olson said, “but he works hard at what he does. He’s just one of those kids that has been real devoted to whatever he is doing.”

w Craig Craker: 582-1509; ccraker@tricityherald.com; Twitter.com/Craig_Craker

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