Lake Washington High’s football players might have been a bit more bashed up than normal after they battled with Bellevue High on Sept. 28.
It was a good hurt, said senior middle linebacker Brady Gockel. That’s because the Kangs zeroed in on Bellevue’s ball carriers in their run-only offense and amassed loads of yard-losing tackles, forced turnovers and more to hold one of the state’s top teams to just one touchdown — with 55 seconds remaining — in a 7-0 loss.
Gockel — at 6 feet, 205 pounds — notched 19 tackles (10 solo and nine assists), Nick Anderson had 18 tackles (12 solo and six assists) and Tyler McCormick recovered two fumbles, one at the goal line to stop a Bellevue score. The tackle amounts were career highs for Gockel and Anderson.
“Going against Bellevue is just like putting your head down, you knew that they were gonna run it, so you just gotta be where the guy was coming, so that’s all I was really thinking about,” said Gockel, whose team was 0-6 overall at press time and 0-2 in 3A KingCo.
It was an adrenaline rush for Gockel and his teammates. It was tiring, but thrilling to thrive in the non-stop action and make an impact on defense, he said.
Gockel added that the Bellevue game prepared the Kangs for the remainder of the season, one of which has shown LW playing better than its record indicates. The young squad has been stepping things up each week and the players are locking into their roles.
“We’ve always had it in us. We’ve always had the talent to be able to play that well, and then just coming into a game, we were Black Out, and for some reason every time we go black jerseys, we play really well, but especially having the home crowd,” Gockel said of the Bellevue game. “We know as a team, us seniors, we don’t have many games left and that going into the first league game that would really matter, so everyone just did exactly what we needed to do. Everyone did their role and it really paid off.”
Gockel also shines in the javelin event during the spring, and last season he took second at state with a throw 177 feet, 2 inches. He earned a PR of 178-09 to win districts and help lead the Kang boys to the team title. He also won KingCo with a 177-02.
The Reporter asked Gockel a series of questions for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?
A quote that I’ve heard a lot this last year: “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react” (Charles R. Swindoll), especially now for the football aspect and all aspects of life. It’s all about adversity. We’re not given the best situation right now, but it’s definitely how we react and what are you gonna make out of it?
What do you appreciate in life the most?
I love making my parents happy. Whether it’s mowing the lawn, doing the dishes or getting a good grade on a test, I know they love when I succeed, they love when I’m respectful towards them. So, any time I can make them happy and they show their love to me, that just makes me feel great.
What’s a special skill you’d like to learn?
I feel like I’ve always wanted to play the guitar really well. I’ve taken Guitar 1, I’m in Guitar 2 now, but it’s really different to just take it as a class and master it. I feel like that’s one of things that lifelong, it’s very nice to be able to know how to play guitar.
What’s your favorite kind of music?
I kind of like the slower hip-hop, not as much old school, but more meaningful songs.
What superhero would you wanna be?
It would probably be Superman, just because of his great looks and there’s not much that can stop him. Kryptonite, that’s the only thing, but I feel like he’s just a very well-known guy and people love him. He’s not a very hated character.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Kirkland?
It’s gotta be Cafe Veloce. That’s partly because I work at it and partly ‘cause the food is great there. A little advertisement for them.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
When people say they’ll do something and they don’t.