Time Running Out For Capital Football Team

There is a football player in the foreground, holding a football, in a position to throw it. The player is standing on a football field with a fence and building in the background.
Capital High School Quarterback Angus Hubbard, winding up to throw a pass. (hudl.com)


As the football season is winding down, the Capital football team is right in the thick of the playoff hunt. The team has had an up-and-down season but currently finds themselves one spot out of the playoffs in 5th place.


The Cougars kicked off the year with two non-league games. The first of which was on the road against the White River Hornets, while the second was a home game against the Kelso Highlanders. The Cougars dropped those games 21-20 and 47-14, respectively. They then traveled to North Thurston to kick off league play. They took that game 35-21. Next up on the docket was the Gig Harbor Tides. The first half of the game was closely contested, but in the second half, the Tides pulled away to win 44-21. The Central Kitsap Cougars were next on the schedule for Capital and in a hotly contested game, Capital came away with a 33-28 Victory. Next, the Cougars had to travel to Yelm to face off with the Tornados. Yelm, who is the second-ranked 3A team in the state according to MaxPreps, blew past Capital with a 71-0 Victory. Most recently, the Cougars traveled up to Gig Harbor to take on the Peninsula Seahawks in a smoky game. Peninsula soared to a 50-27 victory.


The Cougars have not been in the playoffs since 2019 in the second season under head coach Terry Rose. They currently have a league record of 2-3 with 2 games left in the season. The league standings are T1. Yelm (5-0) T1. Peninsula (5-0) 3. Timberline (4-1) 4. Gig Harbor (3-2) 5. Capital (2-3) 6. River Ridge (1-4) T7. Central Kitsap (0-5) T7. North Thurston (0-5). With two games remaining in the season the Cougars are running out of time.


Since they lost to Gig Harbor earlier in the year, they will need to end with a better record than the Tides. In order to do so, they are going to need help. The Tides’ remaining schedule is at Central Kitsap this Friday and then at home against Yelm next Thursday. Capital will need Yelm and Central Kitsap to defeat Gig Harbor. Additionally, the Cougars have to win their two remaining games, Timberline this Friday and River Ridge next Friday. Head coach Terry Rose said, “these are games that anyone could win depending on who shows up.”


This team has had to overcome adversity all season. Rose said, “We have had some bumps. I think the team thinks that there are some games we should have definitely won, but we see progress every week.” In addition to overcoming some early hiccups, the Cougars have had to deal with some key injuries. Starting quarterback Angus Hubbard has missed the last 3 weeks due to an arm injury he suffered in the loss to Gig Harbor. Additionally, Joe Bayartogtokh and Bannack Firkins have also suffered injuries that cost them the rest of their seasons. Even through adversity, the Cougars still have a chance of making it into the postseason.


The football team has also had a few off-the-field issues to overcome. Rose said that sickness has been the biggest off-the-field challenge that they have had to get through. “Sickness, people still getting sick with COVID.” Rose also said, “Probably our biggest challenge outside of that stuff is practice time and space.” The team has to share the football field with the other sports that are playing right now. Soccer, who both practices and plays on the field and cross country, who use the field and track for practices and some races. Additionally, they can only hold 6 practices or games a week and are not allowed to run full practices in the off-season.


The culture of the team is something that Terry Rose has focused on since he took the job. He said, “Last year’s seniors built a really good culture; the seniors before that started building a culture, and our seniors this year are incredible leaders.” Quarterback Angus Hubbard said that a lot of what the seniors are trying to do this year is, pass on a culture for younger players to build on. Both Hubbard and Rose used the same word to describe the team, “Brotherhood.”


Angus Hubbard said the team prepares for games by “blaring hype music. Then we go out there, get hyped, focus up, and then we are ready to go.” While the players get hyped up and excited to play, the coaches focus on the mental side of the game. “We talk a lot about being in the moment and focusing on what you can do,” said Coach Rose.


With the football season nearing its conclusion, the question on everyone’s mind is, Will the Cougars make their way back into the postseason, or will they come up short?