Sometimes it's a shame that we don't get to use all the quotes we collect for stories.
Of course, we always try to use the most appropriate quotes to complement what goes in the paper, but sometimes the stuff we don't get to use can be quite fun and revealing.
For instance, when I went out to Kennewick High School to talk to players and coaches for a story on the Lions' stingy defense, I was there almost an hour. What I used in the story represents less than five percent of what was said.
But I wanted to share what Tom Walsh, the defensive line coach, said about his linemen.
Walsh is a guy I would have loved to play for in high school. He's got a booming voice and a lot of energy that seems to translate well to his players. And he's a big fan of them.
"We told them at the beginning that their job is about being in the right place and doing the right thing so everything will come together and work. That was a gentle way of letting them know they're not going to be famous. You're going to be a lunchpail guy and you're going to go to work. To the guys' credit, they're a team. They love each other and care about each other. It wasn't a hard sell."
The part about being famous made me smile, because I instantly thought about right defensive tackle Jarod Gonzales. He's a big guy at 5-11, 230 but he's pretty athletic. As I understand, he plays first base for the baseball team in the spring. In the two Kennewick games I've covered, he's made a couple of really big plays that D-lineman dream about.
The first was against Sunnyside, when he scooped up a fumble by quarterback Eduardo Salmeron and rumbled (a fine word choice if there ever was one) about 30 yards into the open field before being caught from behind. The second was last Saturday against Southrige, when he leaped high in the air to pick off a pass over the middle by Matt Mendenhall. It was a surprising play for a defensive lineman for two reasons: First, because you don't expect the good hops. Second, you don't expect the hands. But I guess that's where being a first baseman comes in handy.
"Those two moments were great. Both happened really fast," Gonzales said, chuckling as he remembered the plays. "There's not much you can think about."
I asked Walsh to tell me something about each of his starting linemen. Here's what he told me:
"Gonzales is a hard read because he's always smiling. He's always got that big grin. But he's on the field more than anybody the whole game.
"Ivan (Diaz, a 6-1, 295-pound noseguard) I would call a gentle giant. But you gotta see him when he's mad. He's a big strong kid, and when he's mad you don't want to be in his way. (When does he get mad?) We want it to happen a lot, but not that much. You want your guys to be tough. We tell them it's a violent game, but you've gotta be in control. If you're not in control, you're not thinking about what you're doing. If you're not thinking about what you're doing, we're going to have some issues.
"(6-2, 200 pound Jake) Sullins is not a starter, but he's our pass rush guy. (And also a first-team All-CBBN selection). I couldn't be more proud, I'm telling you. His pass rush stuff is down. When he's hot, he's hot. He finally got to a point where his talent caught up to his pass rush ability.
"(6-3, 210-pound Garrett) Wilz is a cerebral kind of kid. You can see him processing everything we tell him, and he does his job at 6 technique (when the tackle lines head up on the tight end) as well as anybody. He's very methodical and works hard doing what we ask him to do."
That's all for now. But thanks again to the East Kennewick Uglies for the access and for their hard work this season.