The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School

TATLER

The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School

TATLER

The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School

TATLER

Dawgs, don’t despair

Quarterback+Michael+Penix+Jr.+makes+his+way+to+the+tunnel+after+a+devastating+loss+in+the+CFP+National+Championship+Game.
Courtesy of Getty Images
Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. makes his way to the tunnel after a devastating loss in the CFP National Championship Game.

As soon as Michael Penix Jr. threw his second interception of the CFP National Championship Game, it was over. Whether you cried your heart out immediately after or had already accepted the terror of the Big Blue the minute we beat Texas, it did not feel good to be a Husky fan that day. However, only a couple of weeks after witnessing the Huskies lose before his very eyes in Houston, Profe Sjoberg of Lakeside Middle School was already looking to the professional future stars like Penix Jr. may see. Reflecting on the season, he says, “Every time I see [former Huskies playing in the NFL] on Sundays, I’ll just think, ‘That was a really fun season we had.’” Ultimately, that attitude is one all University of Washington fans should adopt, even when faced with constant reminders of what could’ve been. (I’m looking at you, Michigan fans.)

The first reason to quit moping is the fact that whether hard to admit or not, National Championship appearances don’t come around often for the Huskies. Take it from Mr. Huegli, who was UW Head Strength and Conditioning Coach when the Huskies won their only national championship to date. He knows it takes something special. “They could compete against anyone nowadays,” he said when asked about the 1991 defense that put its name in the history books. Especially with almost 40 players, the head coach, and its offensive coordinator leaving the team (a domino effect of defections triggered just days after the championship game by Alabama’s hiring of UW Coach Kalen DeBoer), it’s hard to see the Dawgs making another special run. Added onto the new challenges of the BIG Ten and transfer portal losses, things look even worse. So, cherish it; the best Husky football of 2024 has most likely already been played.

Though the season remains looming, the reality of college football in 2024 is that any team’s season can change within the transfer portal’s frame. While the 1991 team may have taken years and years to build up the culture and winning reputation necessary to land recruits, the last two years of Husky football have been a testament to how quickly the transfer portal can build the culture of a modern program.

Caileen W. ’27

Both Mr. Huegli and Profe Sjoberg agree on the importance of recruits. When asked about what new UW Coach Jedd Fisch has to get right, Mr. Huegli commented, “Recruits are everything, I mean … you can’t play if you don’t have good players.” Profe Sjoberg voiced that “it’s really going to be contingent on who [UW] lands” in the transfer portal. While we might never see a transfer quite like Michael Penix Jr. again, being a BIG Ten team adds to our ability to land top players.

If all else fails, the TVs of Husky fans will be turned off early next season for the first time since Jimmy Lake was in charge — maybe because we are being blown out by a BIG10 powerhouse like Penn State, but maybe also because we want to get our work done before watching Michael Penix Jr., Rome Odunze, and Dillon Johnson play on Sunday. Let’s not forget that the players who got the Huskies that far will be truly something to watch on the next stage. Mr. Huegli put it best: “When history starts writing, it’ll be all about the players.”

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About the Contributors
Connor D. ‘27, Tatler writer, is an avid soccer player and fan. He’s been playing for as long as he can remember, now traveling all over the country for soccer tournaments. He follows both the local Seattle Sounders and the EPL team of Chelsea FC. Aside from soccer, Connor’s hobbies include fishing and skiing. He also loves eating the classic mac & cheese and the not-so-classic sauerkraut. And fun fact: this summer, Connor visited his cousins in Illinois who live on a cornfield!
cooks, bakes, eats

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