ONE OF THE great tragedies in life: you only get one senior year.
It’s especially tragic when events unfold like what happened to Port Angeles’ Emily Cook.
The senior tore several ligaments in her knee during a preseason AAU game last fall. The injuries were so severe she required major surgery and rehabilitation.
Thus, the 2008-09 All-Peninsula girls basketball selection’s final high school season was over before it even began.
Yet that hasn’t kept Cook from contributing to the ninth-ranked Roughriders (8-0 in league, 10-2 overall) in other ways.
She still attends practices and games, giving advice to players on the bench and offering support when needed.
“I don’t know how good we would be if we had her, too,” Port Angeles coach Mike Knowles said. “It’s been tough for her.
“But she’s doing a great job. She sees things sometimes. She’s on the bench talking to kids. She’s helping coach kids.
“So I think Emily has found a roll that she can fulfill to get us to the next level.”
Even if she’s not in uniform, Cook is still part of the team.
“I was a captain, so I still feel a part of it,” Cook said of this year’s team. “It wasn’t really ever a question whether I was going to stay with the team. I always knew I would come to practice and go to games . . . even after I found out I wasn’t going to play.
“It’s not easy going to practice every day and sitting on the bench, but just being there and being supportive is good.”
An opportunity to play basketball at Pacific Lutheran University awaits Cook next year.
So even if her high school playing days are over, her basketball experience isn’t.
The anchor of the Sequim football team’s dominant offensive line said he is close to making a decision on where he’ll play football next year.
Thomas Gallagher, set to graduate this spring with a 3.7 grade point average, was offered a $50,000-a-year scholarship to play for Georgetown University.
“I think Georgetown is sitting right there at the at top,” Gallagher said during a phone interview while visiting the Washington, D.C., campus.
“Washington, D.C., is the business capital of the world, and I want to get into business. Georgetown is probably the fourth- or fifth-best business school in the country, so with a degree from there, I would be set for life.”
The Hoyas play in the Patriot League of the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA).
Gallagher said the coaches want him to play at left tackle, where he started for the Wolves the last three years.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds, Gallagher has received interest from schools like Boston College, Oregon, Idaho and Washington.
He said Georgetown wants him to make a final decision in the next three of four days.
Mike Colbrese, executive director of the WIAA, had an interesting chat with readers on the Seattle Times Web site (seattletimes.nwsource.com).
A few thoughts after reading the full transcript:
• There have been “early” discussions about making the first round of the state basketball tournament single elimination.
As an Illinois native, where every round is single elimination, I can say this would add an higher level of excitement. Although, I’m sure lots of teams would be averse to traveling hundreds of miles only to play one game.
• There has been a proposal to go back to five classifications, and with it bring back the classic B tournament.
The proposal was rejected last year. Although it is back on the table this spring, I’d be shocked if it was adopted.
Too bad. From what I’ve heard, there were few sporting events in the state that compared to the old B basketball tournament.
• Anyone looking for a separate, private-schools classification can forget about it, as well they should.
Those that make the claim private schools have an unfair advantage because they recruit, I have two words for you: Mark Morris (public). If that’s not enough, here’s two more: Rainier Beach.
________Matt Schubert is the outdoors and sports columnist for the Peninsula Daily News. His column regularly appears on Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at email@example.com.