That one time at EWU football camp


By Taylor Newquist, Sports Editor

Taylor Newquist is the Sports Editor for The Easterner. The overtly hyperbolic opinion expressed in this article is his own and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Easterner’s editorial board.


Take a second to imagine the worst thing you’ve ever smelled … Now imagine packing that smell into one of EWU’s famed trash can shaped dorm rooms for a few days.

That was football camp. Nothing beats the stench of mildew stained shoulder pads, soaked in a fresh coat of teenage boy sweat.

Probably the grossest thing about it  was we didn’t mind, but that’s why “football guys” usually aren’t thought to be the smartest people in the room. That, and the fact our brains bounce off our skulls more times than the average person.

When I was a freshman and sophomore at Selah High School, our class 2A football team made the three hour drive up to Cheney to attend what was essentially a prelude to our summer two-a-days.

We stunk—on and off the field. Our team was consistently middle to bottom of the pack in our league, and we would have to go up against some of the best 2A teams in the state at the EWU camp.

Despite being a completely mediocre football player, I was our class’ quarterback.

I chose the position because my favorite player growing up was Peyton Manning, but my half-baked dream of embodying him would start to die in Cheney.

Before my confidence was stamped out in my sophomore year, it was fueled on Roos Field the year before.

One of the best parts of going to the EWU football camp was getting to play on the Inferno, especially as a 14-year-old from a small town it feels like a big deal. Not to mention none of us had even stepped onto turf before.

My best memory from that first camp was rolling to the right and running in a touchdown, despite my slow speed. The red field made it all the better.

Flash forward to the next year, and I was put in for a few snaps with the varsity team, because most of the players would rotate in at camp.

It was a scrimmage against Lynden. For some perspective, when we played them they had five state championships in the previous 10 seasons.

We knew we were going to be crushed going into the scrimmage, and it didn’t take long for that to come to fruition. By the time I came in at quarterback our team was morally defeated.

It only took me three throws to tally two interceptions, and from that point I figured I should try and put my energy toward other positions. And that I probably should keep studying, because football wasn’t going to be my ticket to college.

I kept playing quarterback on the junior varsity team until about halfway through my sophomore season, when I suffered a season-ending collar bone injury, and decided I would just stick to defense after that.

On a cold, rainy night in Selah, we were playing the best team in the league that year, Ellensburg. I had been sacked at least five times in the first half, and although I can’t remember much, I think I had a slight concussion.

My final play of that game lives in my mind on a regular repeat. I’m sure everyone has one of these moments. The feeling of the worst injury you’ve ever had.

I dropped back to pass and the defensive end on my back side (I’m left handed) ran right by the right tackle. Within seconds I was hit at the perfect angle, where all of the defender’s body weight crushed down on my shoulder against the ground.

The snap of my collar bone echoed inside of me, bringing an instant, ‘oh sh-t,’ as the wind knocked out of my lungs.

I limped off of the field, and spent the next several months in a sling. The next season, our team opted to go to camp at Linfield College instead of EWU. Either way, I never played quarterback again, and I’m glad I didn’t.