Sports

Weiss, Mogg have friendly rivalry on course | Prep sports feature

Weiss and Mogg at Sahalee, where they play together regularly.  - Josh Suman, Issaquah-Sammamish Reporter
Weiss and Mogg at Sahalee, where they play together regularly.
— image credit: Josh Suman, Issaquah-Sammamish Reporter

Brian Mogg and Spencer Weiss know the meaning of the Skyline-Eastlake rivalry and the shared distaste between the two Sammamish schools when it comes to sports. But after forging a relationship in the heat of competition and the friendship that has endured during the years since, it is tough for either to harbor much of that sentiment.

When both were around 11 years old Weiss, now a sophomore at Eastlake and Mogg, currently in his sophomore year at Skyline, were paired together in the final round of a Washington Junior Golf Association tournament with a trip to state on the line.

For much of the round Weiss struggled, which as it often does for young athletes on such a stage, resulted in diminished confidence. But soon, encouragement was coming from an unfamiliar source.

"He (Mogg) was telling me I was going to make state," said Weiss, who would rebound to save the round and make the state tournament that year. "We still help each other when we're not playing well."

The two have continued to build their friendship on the course and off it, playing together once a week at Sahalee when they aren't taking in the timeless teenage past time of "hanging out." And their life in the game has brought their families together as well.

With both vying for a spot in the WJGA state tournament and the final round of district play only minutes away at Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle, Mogg's father Gary was on his way across the SR 520 floating bridge when flashing lights alerted him of a drastic mistake.

Rather than the two people required to use the HOV lane on other area freeways, Mogg was in the lone span requiring three.

One fewer than he had.

With an officer writing a citation and the seconds ticking away on a potential disqualification for Brian, Gary phoned Weiss' father, who was already at the course and drove to pick up Brian just in time to shoot a state qualifying score.

"He picked me up right there from the side of the highway," Brian said. "I would have missed my tee time if he hadn't come back."

Both finished their first season with their respective prep teams at the state tournament as well in 2011, with Weiss earning a 34th place finish with a 78-79-157, good enough to help the Wolves to a runner-up team finish. Mogg ended in sixth place with a 75-73-148 and was only three strokes off a tie for third as the only Spartan at the tournament.

This season, both hope to leave their mark on the state again; Weiss and teammates Li Wang and Jack Fisher qualified in the fall and the Wolves also have an alternate for the field in junior Will Sharp. Mogg also qualified after an 11th place finish at districts and will be one of two Spartans in the field along with freshman Kelley Sullivan.

"I'm hoping to get into the top five," Weiss said of the state tournament. "Hopefully, Brian and I are there in the end. That would be pretty cool."

Other state tournament qualifiers from Issaquah and Sammamish

Skyline- Kelley Sullivan, freshman; Eastlake- Li Wang, junior; Jack Fisher, senior; Will Sharp, junior (alternate); Issaquah- Taylor Swingle, sophomore; Bryan Jung, junior; Eastside Catholic- Kyle Hendricks; Andy Ehrig

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