Issaquah senior looking to complete family legacy | 2013 Reporter Prep Football Preview

The Eagles return a host of talented and experienced players on defense, and the last in a long line of brothers in Jack Gellatly.

It is hard for Issaquah senior running back Jack Gellatly to point to a specific time during his childhood when growing up with three older brothers wasn’t a challenge. As the youngest and in a family of standout athletes, Jack was always the underdog as a kid.

“I remember a lot of time spent on my back, pinned to the ground just scratching for breath,” he said. “It was just a lifestyle.”

Now entering his final season with the program his family has been a part of for more than a decade, Gellatly and Issaquah head coach Chris Bennett believe it is his turn to hand out some punishment.

A year after making the round of 32 before being bounced by Federal Way, the Eagles will once again lean heavily on their physically imposing running back after Gellatly topped 1,000 yards as a junior.

“He’s all business,” head coach Chris Bennett said of Gellatly, who will also take a prominent role at safety for the defense. “You count on him.”

The Eagles are also counting on using a difficult non-conference slate to prepare for another trip through the gauntlet of conference play, which will include games with upstart Roosevelt, which upset Bennett’s squad last year at home, and a regular season finale with Skyline.

After starting with Interlake, Issaquah will face a pair of 3A playoff teams from 2012 in Mount Si and O’Dea. The matchup with the Wildcats, which controlled the action last year in a 21-0 win, will be a chance to measure progress.

“We know we are going to face some quality teams,” Bennett said. “We’re just trying to focus on ourselves and get where we need to get.”

Gellatly said while his own play has garnered much of the attention, he is even more encouraged about his fellow senior class, a group he said includes many players who have been biding their time and are poised for a breakout campaign this year.

“I’m so confident in these guys,” he said. “There are so many guys who have worked hard and are ready to make their final statement with Issaquah football like I am.”

One of those seniors is Tommy Nelson, a player Bennett and Gellatly singled out for his consistent effort and steady progression as a player during his time in the program. Along with Gellatly, he is part of a secondary that returns a wealth of experience from last year, a rare and prized luxury against pass-happy 4A KingCo offenses.

“We’ve put in a lot of work,” Nelson said. “The team is really coming together.”