Eastside Catholic Crusaders tight end DJ Rogers, left, gets tackled against the Garfield Bulldogs in the Class 3A state quarterfinals on Nov. 17, 2017. The Crusaders finished the 2017 season with an overall record of 10-1. Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography

Eastside Catholic Crusaders tight end DJ Rogers, left, gets tackled against the Garfield Bulldogs in the Class 3A state quarterfinals on Nov. 17, 2017. The Crusaders finished the 2017 season with an overall record of 10-1. Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography

Eastside Catholic powerhouse football program is looking to return to the mountaintop

Starting quarterback spot still hasn’t been decided at this juncture.

The last two seasons didn’t end the way the Eastside Catholic Crusaders wanted it to on the football field.

The Crusaders, who won Class 3A state titles in 2014 and 2015, lost to the Garfield Bulldogs 13-10 in the Class 3A state quarterfinals last November. In 2016, the Crusaders saw their season end in the state semifinals courtesy of a loss to the Kamiakin Braves.

Crusaders’ head coach Jeremy Thielbahr said only one or two players who will be on the current roster this fall suited up for his team’s last appearance in the state title game during the 2015 season. The Crusaders wrapped up their spring ball practice sessions on June 14 in Sammamish.

“It has been difficult the past couple of years. We’ve had some talent but we also have had some tough breaks. It does take a ball bouncing your way every now and then to break your way. That just hasn’t happened for us the past two years. They’re all pretty hungry. Our ultimate goal is to win a state title,” Thielbahr said. “I really believe making a run at the state title is deeply rooted in the leadership and family atmosphere of your team. We’re taking the steps this year to get that done. In the end, it comes down to staying healthy, laying it on the line for each other and playing for the man next to you.”

Thielbahr said quarterbacks Michael Franklin and Hayden Harris are currently in a competition for the starting quarterback position.

“Hayden is a very talented guy both offensively and defensively. He is a great athlete and is also playing some wide receiver for us,” Thielbahr said.

The Crusaders will return a plethora of talented players from the 2017 varsity squad, including safety Andrew Peterson, wide receiver Gee Scott Jr., middle linebacker Even Greve, defensive back Ayden Hector, offensive/defensive lineman Will Vea, tight end DJ Rogers, running back Sam Adams, center Jason Medeiros and defensive lineman/tight end Jaylahn Tuimoloau.

Thielbahr, who will be in his eighth season leading the Crusaders program this fall, is fully entrenched in the EC community.

“It is such a great place to coach. You just feel so much love and togetherness. It is a very special community to be a coach and a mentor. I’m excited about this year. Every year there is a new leadership cast. It is going to be fun to see our seniors take over,” Thielbahr said.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.

Worker at 3A, 4A state basketball tournament tests positive for COVID-19

In a statement released on March 13, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association… Continue reading

Athletic practices and competitions cancelled through April 24 due to coronavirus outbreak

By Andy Nystrom and Benjamin Olson Gov. Jay Inslee announced on March… Continue reading

Games are being postponed in response to coronavirus outbreak

In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Eastside schools are taking precautions… Continue reading

Eagles hold on, take fourth at state

Issaquah held on for a 67-56 victory over Todd Beamer in the girls 4A state tournament.

Issaquah picks up character win over Moses Lake

The Eagles made nine 3-pointers to beat the Chiefs and advance to the fourth-place game.

Issaquah outworked on the boards in loss

The Eagles were outrebounded 42-18 in loss to Central Valley in state quarterfinals.

Hardwood Classic tips off after coronavirus outbreak

By Benjamin Olson and Andy Nystrom Basketball players took to the court… Continue reading

Issaquah shows toughness in victory over Kentridge

The Issaquah girls basketball team opened the 4A state tournament with 57-35 win.

Most school events, including sports practices, on schedule after coronavirus outbreak

All the school districts in the Reporter’s coverage areas — Northshore, Lake… Continue reading