O’Dea Returns To Championship Game With 29-7 Victory Over Kennewick


The Fighting Irish of O’Dea racked up an impressive 406 yards on the ground in route to a 29-7 victory in their WIAA 3A football semi-final game against Kennewick Saturday night at Pop Keeney Field in Bothell.

O’Dea jumped out to a 16-0 halftime lead as K’son Mika scored two second quarter touchdowns for the Irish.

In the third quarter, O’Dea increased their lead to 22-0 when quarterback Milton Hopkins, Jr. connected with receiver Cooper Mathers on an 8-yard touchdown pass.

Kennewick showed a little life in the fourth quarter as they recovered an O’Dea fumble and returned it to the O’Dea 11. On the next play, Lions’ quarterback Elijah Tanner scampered in for an 11-yard touchdown run to put Kennewick on the scoreboard at 22-7.

But it was Mika who sealed the O’Dea victory as he rumbled up the middle for a 54-yard touchdown run to give the Irish a 29-7 lead.

With the win, O’Dea (12-0) advances to the WIAA State 3A title game in the rematch of the 2018 game with Metro League rival Eastside Catholic. The Crusaders, the 2018 WIAA 3A champions, earned a spot in the championship game with a 34-21 victory of the Lincoln Abes.

Distractions? Nothing has stopped Kennewick football on its state title quest

Imagine trying to play Class 3A-4A high school football without a locker room.

Or without a set practice schedule, one that would move you around to different locations.

Or that you’re doing it for a new football coach that you’ve only known for six months, and he’s bringing in a new offensive and defensive system that you have to adjust to.

Or that your starting quarterback — who also is a standout at defensive back — gets sidelined after Week 6 with a leg infection and hasn’t played since.

Now, imagine doing this while going to school on and around a construction site.

This is what the Kennewick Lions have been going through this year.

When you think about it, a good season under those above-listed conditions would be a 5-5 record.

But this group of Lions is special.

It’s just one of just four teams left in the WIAA Class 3A state football playoffs, sitting with an 11-1.

They play in the state semifinals against the O’Dea Irish (11-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday, at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell, for a chance to play for the state title on Dec. 7.


It’s the farthest Kennewick has gone since 1992, when the Lions fell 35-27 to Puyallup.

Mental toughness

This Lions bunch has the physical talent, and by proof of their two state playoff victories, have shown they have the mental toughness to play with the state’s best.

Two weeks ago, Kennewick beat Yelm 35-34 in overtime.

Last week, with his Lions defense spending a lot of time on the field, head coach Randy Affholter watched his guys beat a very talented Bethel Braves squad 21-20.

After the game, Kennewick players were spent, lying on the field with dehydration, exhaustion, some players vomiting.

“I’ve been in this game for 30 years, and that was the most physical high school game I’ve ever been involved in,” said Affholter.

He was hired in the spring to teach and coach the football team. He came from Ellensburg, where he was an institution there, leading many Bulldogs teams to the state playoffs.

He could have finished his career there, but the Kennewick job opening was too good to pass up.

Affholter knew what he was getting into coming in:

  • A brand new, $87 million high school was being built, and the students would be temporarily housed in portable buildings, the old Fruitland Elementary school, the Legacy High School building, the old Annex building and gym, and the old high school’s 400 Hall.
  • There would be no locker room of any kind.
  • While Lampson Stadium sits there with construction all around it, it’s a facility that all three Kennewick schools — Kamiakin and Southridge — use also. So alternative practice sites would have to be found.
  • And these kids would have to get used to a new coach and his systems.

“They’ve done a great job with it,” said Affholter. “They haven’t said anything about it. There is no locker room. No place to put their gear. So they have it in their cars.”

Affholter remembers right after Daylight Saving Time, he found Park Middle School to practice. But the team had to cut things short because it got dark too early.

Eastgate Elementary, by the Benton County Fairgrounds, has been the go-to practice site for much of the season.The team gets a bus for those players who can’t drive, while the older players drive to practice.

“The last two weeks is the only time where we’ve been at the same site (Lampson),” said Affholter. “It’s just the way it is.”

“A field is a field at the end of the day,” said lineman Baylor McElroy. “Yeah, you put the gear in your car, it smells your car up. But a lot of guys had teachers who felt comfortable enough for them to leave their gear in their classroom.”

“We’ve been pretty good about it,” said quarterback Blaine Chavez. “We focus on what we can do. We know other teams don’t have to deal with this stuff.”

Defensive lineman Jagger Childs agrees. “The key to this season, I’d say, is we’ve just stayed focused on what we can do, and not worry about the things we can’t control.”

This involves everyone in the Kennewick football program.

“We played every late night junior varsity game on Mondays,” said Affholter. “Then we had those kids, worn out, play the scout team for us. Those kids are tired.”

The act of those younger kids does not go unnoticed.

“We definitely would not be as good as we are without those guys,” said Chavez. “We were there as freshmen and sophomores. So we know what they were going through. They are more of the respected guys on our team.”

Everyone, in other words, is in this together. Start with classes.

Baylor McElroy and his twin brother Baiden, have the same class schedule. It starts with a class in the Fruitland building. But then they have to walk around the construction site to the 400 Hall for calculus.

“I can’t be to class on time,” says Baylor. “I can’t imagine how many miles I put in going to class (each week). What are you gonna do when your whole school is under construction?”

Baiden agrees, then adds everybody is in the same situation. “But this had made us all closer.”

And it started last spring.

“I’ll be honest with you, when I took the job, I honestly felt with this group of kids we had, we had a shot at this,” said Affholter. “The question was, being the new guy, would they buy into the culture, would they buy into our offensive and defensive schemes?”

The players, at first, didn’t know what to think of the new guy.

Childs said everyone felt they had the right talent.“We thought, as freshmen, we could do something big,” he said. “We did pretty well last year. But this is our last chance to do something.”

Senior linebacker Kaleb Stevenson was impressed quickly with Affholter.

“We knew we were gonna be pretty good,” said Stevenson. “We didn’t how things would turn out with a new coach. But Coach Affholter is super organized. He always has a plan.”

It started with well-organized practices, set down to the minute.

“We have a goal to get a certain amount of plays done in a certain amount of time,” said Baiden McElroy. “Some people struggled with it at first.”

But gradually everyone got better, and got on the same page.

“The key was first thing we had to adapt to (Affholter’s offensive and defensive system),” said Chavez. “He made the system, pretty easy. After that, it was smooth sailing, and we trusted him.”

Then there was a bump in the road.

After a big 55-20 win over Pasco on Oct. 11, in which Chavez tossed six touchdown passes, Chavez had leg problems. It was an infection, something that first bothered him in eighth grade, and it has sidelined him ever since it re-occurred last month.

Affholter switched to Elijah Tanner at QB, and Kennewick has won all six games with him at the helm.

“The biggest thing is he’s not trying to do too much,” said Affholter. “Blaine has done a good job of being there for him for games.”

But Chavez deflect the praise.

“I’ve helped Elijah a little. But he’s mostly doing it himself,” said Chavez. “I try to do whatever I can to help the team.”

Tanner’s stepping into the QB has kept the Lions on a steady road.

“Elijah runs the offense pretty well, and he throws the ball well,” said Baiden McElroy. “But remember: He was at receiver, and was one of our top guys there. Then he moved to quarterback, and we lost a good receiver.”

So throw whatever you want to at these Lions. They can handle it. No outside distractions.

“I’ll probably remember all of the guys, all of the work we put in together. All of the adversity we had to overcome,” said Chavez.

Maybe just one regret? “It is annoying that we won’t get to be in the new high school,” said Baiden McElroy.

Then he stops. “But the juniors have it worse, because they’ll have two years of this.”

O’Dea game

Affholter said O’Dea’s biggest strength is its offensive and defensive lines.

“They are big. That’s the area we’ve got to control. That is key,” he said. “They like to play a possession-type of offense. We’ve got to get some quick 3-and-outs on defense, and some turnovers.”

A team like that, he says, “if we can get up on them early, and basically make them play catch-up, we can get them.”

Lions Advance to State Semifinal

Via the Tri City Herald (Jeff Morrow)

The Kennewick Lions held off the Bethel Braves 21-20 on Saturday night in their Class 3A matchup in Spanaway.

Kennewick coach Randy Affholter said his team was physically spent after Saturday night’s game.

“The kids played super hard last night,” said Affholter on Sunday afternoon. “I can’t believe how hard they played. We had guys laying on the field dehydrated. We had guys laying on the field with cramps.”

Kennewick trailed early, 7-0, as Bethel took the opening kickoff and drove downfield for a score.

But the Lions bounced back to tie the game at 7-7, when quarterback Elijah Tanner found Simeon Howard for a 9-yard touchdown pass.

Kennewick took the lead at 14-7, as Tanner dived in from the 1.

But again, Bethel responded to tie the game at 14-14 as the teams entered the fourth quarter.

The Braves had a chance to take the lead with a field goal. But Paige Aldrich blocked the attempt.

The Lions then marched downfield, and Tanner scored his second TD, again on a 1-yard run, with 1:06 to play in the game for a 21-14 Kennewick lead.

Again, nothing comes easy for this Lions crew.Bethel wasn’t done, and the Braves scored on a 42-yard TD pass with 25 seconds left.

But Kennewick came through again, as the Lions blocked the extra-point attempt, keeping the score Kennewick 21, Bethel 20, with not much time left.

Affholter was so busy Sunday making practice arrangements for the week and looking at O’Dea film that he hadn’t had time to watch his team’s game film from Saturday night.

But he though it might have been Arnaldo Cabrera who blocked the kick.

Still, Bethel wasn’t done, as it recovered the ensuing onside kick.

But a Hail Mary pass fell incomplete as time expired, giving the Lions (12-1) the victory.

“Bethel was athletic as heck,” said Affholter. “Our defense was on the field a lot. In the third quarter alone, I think Bethel’s offense had the ball 8, 9 minutes out of the 12. But we felt if we played disciplined football, they would make mistakes. We stayed calm. The kids kept playing, and we weathered the storm.”

Myles Mayovsky carried the football 23 times for 106 yards for the Lions, while teammate Ethan Woolery rushed for 62 yards on 14 carries.

2019 All-Conference

Several Lions Among Leagues Best

Congratulations to Senior Baylor McElroy who was selected as Lineman of the Year for the Mid-Columbian Conference for 2019.  Several other Lions were selected to the list

First Team:

Jagger Childs - Senior - Defensive Line
Baylor McElroy - Senior - Offensive Line
Baiden McElroy - Senior - Offensive Line
Myler Mayovsky - Sophomore - Running Back


Second Team:

Arnaldo Cabrera - Senior - Defensive Back
Simeon Howard - Sophomore - Defensive Back & Returner
Cody LaFontaine - Senior - Linebacker
Kaleb Stevenson - Senior - Linebacker
Bryson Knapik - Senior - Defensive End
Austin Schoffstall - Senior - Offnsive Line


Honarable Mention:

Simeon Howard - Sophomore - Wide Receiver & Punter
Blaine Chavez - Senior - Quarterback


pdfFull List

Kennewick Lions win overtime thriller to advance in state football playoffs

The Kennewick Lions made some key plays on offense late and benefited from a special teams miscue to hold off Yelm 35-34 in overtime Saturday in a first-round 3A state playoff game at Lampson Stadium.

The Lions (10-1) move on to the quarterfinals to play the winner of Garfield/Bethel next weekend.

“If you like high school football games this was a good one to watch,” said Kennewick coach Randy Affholter. “I’m happy for our kids and this is great for the community.”

Kennewick, which earned the No. 1 seed for 3A in the Mid-Columbia Conference, is moving on thanks to a missed Yelm extra point kick in overtime.

The Lions opened the overtime session with a touchdown.

Kennewick’s Simeon Howard (2) scores in overtime. Tri-City Herald

Elijah Tanner turned a broken play into a 12-yard TD pass to Simeon Howard on third down. Ethan Woolery connected on the extra point.

The scoring play was set up by a key fourth-down conversion earlier in the drive.

“We were going to go for it,” Affholter said about the fourth-down play rather than kick the field goal. “We like to be a little closer to try those.”

Then on the scoring play, Tanner rolled out right, looking for a receiver in the flat.

However, Yelm had the play bottled up. After eluding a tackler, Tanner threw the ball across the field to a leaping Howard to give the Lions the lead.

The play capped a huge game by Howard.

The sophomore finished with seven catches for 142 yards and a touchdown.

He also had an interception and a fumble recovery for a touchdown that gave the Lions a quick 7-0 lead.


On Yelm’s (7-4) ensuing overtime possession, Carson Amendt rushed in from 3 yards out to get Yelm to 35-34. But the extra point went wide left, causing a huge roar from the Lion faithful.

“What really impressed me was the way we played on both sides of the ball,” Affholter said. “We continued to make adjustments and make plays.”

Yelm, which trailed the entire game, needed to come up with some magic late in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

On fourth-down and 10, Tornados quarterback Benjamin Hoffmann connected with Austin Schaler for a 15-yard touchdown with 14.9 seconds left in the contest.

The Lions, who beat Shadle Park last week to reach the state playoffs, dominated the game early and took a quick 14-0 lead.

Kennewick forced three first-quarter turnovers, the biggest by Howard.

On the second play of the game, Hoffmann lost the ball trying to get a few extra yards, and Howard scooped the ball up and went 26 yards for the score.

Yelm settled down in the second quarter after the disastrous start, coming back with two straight touchdowns to tie the game at 14 at halftime.

“You saw us in the first quarter,” Affholter said. “We just needed to pace ourselves because I think we got a little tired in the second quarter.”


Seahawks Announce Week Ten UnitedHealthcare High School Coaches Of The Week

RENTON, Wash. – The Seahawks and UnitedHealthcare announced today that Coach Randy Affholter of Kennewick High School and Coach Jeff Weible of North Kitsap High School are the Week 10 NFL High School Coaches of the Week for the state of Washington.

Coach Affholter’s Lions finished the season 9-1, defeating Shadle Park 24-7 in to advance to the state bracket. This is Coach Affholter's first season as the head football coach at Kennewick after previously coaching for 22 years at Ellensburg High School. Under Coach Affholter's leadership, the team shows incredible discipline and did extremely well this season despite a tough schedule.

Coach Weible’s Vikings won the Olympic 2A League this season, defeating Fife 28-25 in the first round of the playoffs for a trip to the state tournament. Coach Weible does an incredible job of instilling character and sportsmanship with his players, along with coaching great fundamentals, effort, and a true sense of North Kitsap pride. In addition, Coach Weible is heavily involved in the Washington State Football Coaches Association and a tremendous advocate for high school football across the state.

The Seattle Seahawks High School Coach of the Week Program, presented by UnitedHealthcare, promotes the importance of youth football. Each week during the high school football season, the Washington State Football Coaches Association selects two high school football coaches as the Coach of the Week winners. Each recipient receives a $500 grant from the NFL toward their football program. At the conclusion of the high school football season, one coach will be selected as the NFL High School Coach of the Year for the state of Washington and will receive a $2,000 grant from the NFL and $10,000 grant from UnitedHealthcare.

For more information on the High School Coach of the Week, visit www.seahawks.com/coachoftheweek.

Kennewick beats Shadle Park to qualify for 3A state football playoffs

The Kennewick Lions overcame some early mistakes, and thanks to a staunch defense, pulled away in the second half for a 24-7 victory over Shadle Park on Friday night at Lampson Stadium in a 3A regional playoff game.

The Lions (9-1) move on to the 3A state playoffs starting next week. Their opponent and location will be announced Sunday.

“This (win) is a big deal for these kids,” said first-year coach Randy Affholter. “We just need to keep building, relax and play the way we are capable of.”

Kennewick, which had the Mid-Columbia Conference’s No. 2 defense this season, did not allow a point against the Highlanders.

Shadle Park’s (5-5) lone touchdown came on a 70-yard interception return in the second half.

The Lions allowed just 106 yards of total offense and forced two turnovers. The Highlanders did not get a first down until the second quarter and crossed midfield just twice.

“Our defense was great tonight,” said sophomore running back Myles Mayovsky. “They pitched a shutout.”

Mayovsky was a key part in the Lions ball-control offense that methodically went down the field most of the night. He finished with 81 yards on 23 carries.

His final carry of the night was a 7-yard touchdown run that put the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter.

“We really wanted to control the football as much as we can,” Affholter said. “We did a good job of that in the second half.”

Leading just 10-7 after a dominating first half, the Lions broke through late in the third quarter on an 18-yard touchdown reception by Bronson Childs on a pass from Elijah Tanner.

The play came on a fourth-and-7 situation on Kennewick’s second possession of the third quarter. The Lions’ first drive of the second half covered 46 yards and chewed up more than 6 1/2 minutes off the clock. But the drive stalled out on the Shadle Park 16.

“We mixed in a few different formations in the second half,” Mayovsky said. “We just needed to settle down and adjust to what they were doing defensively.”

Tanner had a great second half, connecting on 6 of his 7 passes for 85 yards and the key fourth-down touchdown to Childs. He finished the game 13 of 21 passing for 199 yards.

“We know we have the potential,” Mayovsky said. “We think we can have a long playoff run.”

Lions 6th in Seattle Times Poll - Week 9

Seattle Times Rankings - Class 3A Top 10

1. O’Dea Fighting Irish (8-0)

Beat Garfield 35-7. Next: Bye

2. Eastside Catholic Crusaders (7-1)

Beat Blanchet 42-7. Next: Bye

3. Lincoln-Tacoma Abes (6-2)

Beat Lakes 42-21. Next: Bethel

4. Bellevue Wolverines (6-2)

Beat Juanita 28-0. Next: Mercer Island

5. Bethel Braves (6-2)

Beat Bonney Lake 34-0. Next: at Lincoln

6. Kennewick Lions (7-1)

Beat Richland 19-14. Next: Southridge

7. Mount Spokane Wildcats (6-2)

Beat North Central 42-0. Next: at Shadle Park

8. Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawks (8-0)

Beat Arlington 42-14. Next: WesCo crossover vs. Snohomish

9. Kamiakin Braves (6-2)

Lost to Chiawana 10-7. Next: Hermiston (Ore.)

10. Lakes Lancers (5-2)

Lost to Lincoln 42-21. Next: at Wilson

Lions Win Tough Fight Against Blue Devils

The Kennewick Lions football team has a lot of offensive weapons.

But when the game is on the line, Lions coach Randy Affholter knows his team needs to go to the two most dangerous parts of his arsenal: sophomore running back Myles Mayovsky and that big, talented offensive line.

“Our strength is up front,” said Affholter. “And Myles sees things pretty well.”

Mayovsky scored two second-half touchdowns — including the go-ahead one, a 49-year screen pass from Elijah Tanner — to put away a pesky Walla Walla Blue Devils team 28-14 in Mid-Columbia Conference play Thursday night at Lampson Stadium.

Mayovsky finished with 189 yards of rushing on 28 carries, plus added another 58 receiving yards on two screen passes. He had just 55 yards rushing in the first half.

“Our line is just huge,” said Mayovsky, whose team improves to 5-1 in MCC play, 6-1 overall. “Our coaches have been yelling at me the last few weeks, saying, ‘Patience! Patience!”

He had been hitting the hole too early, not allowing the play to develop. By waiting an extra split second, the Lions line was opening holes that Mayovsky could drive a truck through without getting touched.

Wa-Hi coach Greg Lupfer saw it too.

“Our defensive line is 185 to 195 pounds across the line,” said Lupfer. “You’re sitting there, taking on guys who are 6-4, 240, 250, 260 pounds for a while. That’s the way it is. Eventually your body is gonna break down.”

And then Mayovsky comes at them.

“I definitely feel stronger the more I carry the ball. Give me 30 carries. We were just pounding the 4 and 3 holes (in the line),” said Mayovsky. “And I knew that screen pass was going to be big. I had some offensive linemen in front of me, and a lane.”

Tanner stepped in for normal starter Blaine Chavez, whom Affholter said was sidelined with a knee injury.

“We’re not sure when it happened, and that’s the honest truth,” said Affholter. “He’s going to have an MRI on it. We don’t know if he did it in practice or two weeks ago against Kamiakin. But on Sunday night, it just swelled up.”

But Tanner stepped in and filled Chavez’s role admirably, throwing for 237 yards and a TD.

“He did well,” said Affholter. “He moved the ball. We did have some Red Zone turnovers.”

Three in the first half — two fumbles by Tanner and an interception at the goal line by Wa-Hi’s Dash Sirmon.

That’s what kept the Blue Devils in the game, which was tied at 7-7 at intermission, and at 14-14 after three quarters.

But in the end, it wasn’t enough for Lupfer’s team, which falls to 3-4 in both MCC and overall play.

Yet the Blue Devils still have a chance to grab the MCC’s second 4A regional playoff berth.

“I’m extremely proud of the way these guys fight,” said Lupfer. “I’ve coached in a lot of big-time college football games. But this is the most fun I’ve had coaching football, besides the losses, in my 22 years of coaching football. These kids are tired of being a doormat. And you know what? We’re only 13 points away from being 5-1 (coming into Thursday’s game).”

Kennewick rolls over Kamiakin - Tri City Herald

Two weeks ago, after getting shellacked by Chiawana 37-0, Kennewick Coach Randy Affholter said his team needed to get back to the basics, like learning how to practice the right way.

Somewhere along the way, the Lions bought in. It showed on Friday night, as Kennewick trounced visiting Kamiakin 42-18 in a Mid-Columbia Conference football game at Lampson Stadium.

“We started coming out and getting better in practice,” said Affholter, whose team improves to 3-1 in MCC play.

“Tonight, our goal was to control the football as much as possible.”

They certainly did.

The Lions held the ball for 30 minutes and 15 seconds; the Braves for just 17:45.

What that did was force Kamiakin out of running the ball with star tailback Tuna Altahir (he had 12 carries for 37 yards rushing) and into a passing game – that, while it clicked last week in a 55-41 win over Hanford, could not find a rhythm against the Lions.

Kennewick’s defense harassed Kamiakin sophomore QB Henry Mercado from the outset, putting pressure on him so he couldn’t get comfortable in the pocket and was forced to throw on the run.

The Lions’ D had five pass breakups, a pass batted down, a cover, two QB sacks, two more tackles for losses, and a forced fumble.

Kennewick led from the outset, when quarterback Blaine Chavez found a wide open Bryson Knapik for a 9-yard touchdown.

Chavez finished with three TD passes (one each to Knapik, Simeon Howard and Max Mayer), and he scored another.

But it was the Lions’ rushing game that did a lot of damage. Sophomore running back Myles Mayovsky carried the ball 30 times for 178 yards and scored two touchdowns.

And while Mayovsky did a yeoman’s job, it was that big Lions offensive line – tackles Baiden McElroy and Baylor McElroy, guards Ethan Mabbitt and Austin Schoffstall, and center Alex Fouts – that controlled the line of scrimmage.

At times, Mayovsky wouldn’t get touched by a Kamiakin defender until he was 4 yards downfield.

“Up front, our guys just moved the line,” said Chavez.

Kaleb Stevenson, Kennewick’s standout linebacker who also got to carry the football a few times, agreed.

“We just fell forward,” he said.

Even Kamiakin Coach Scott Biglin was impressed with Kennewick’s line play.

“They just pushed up front,” Biglin said. “They did a great job.”

His Braves fall to 2-1 in MCC play, 3-1 overall.

Now they have to get ready to play a surging Pasco team (3-0 MCC, 3-1 overall) next week.

“I told our guys after the game ‘That’s life. You just got punched in the mouth. How do you respond?’” Biglin said. “Kennewick did everything we thought they would. They’re a good football team.”

Affholter called it a great response from the Chiawana loss, and it might have been the perfect practice week for every one of his Lions.

“Our Scout team did a great job at practice preparing us (for Kamiakin),” said Affholter.

Chavez said Kennewick is now ready to roll after that Week 2 stumble.

“We figured out our culture,” he said. “We overcame adversity.”


The contest certainly wasn’t a clean one. Officials tossed penalty flags 37 times for a total of 313 yards. The Lions were flagged 21 times for 185 yards. The Braves had 16 penalties for 128. … Chavez finished with 207 yards passing. Junior Elijah Tanner was Chavez’s favorite target, catching 4 passes for 94 yards. … DL Jagger Child’s led Kennewick with 5 tackles (one for loss), and a pass batted down. Stevenson also had five tackles. … Because they were out on the field so long, Kamiakin’s defensive players had some bigger numbers. Altahir had 7 tackles and a pass breakup from his safety position. DB Aidan Leonard added 7 tackles and cover, while LB Kale Crawford had 6 tackles (one for loss) and a QB sack. … Kennewick travels to Davis in a non-league affair next Friday. Pasco visits Kamiakin next Friday.

Myles Mayovsky Looking To Become A Household Name - Cascadia Preps

2022 Kennewick (Wash.) running back Myles Mayovsky has his eyes set on being one of the best prospects to come out of the Tri-Cities in a long time.

He’s off to a great start, as he’s set to be the workhorse back for one of the top 3A teams this year in Kennewick High School, and he already holds a Division I offer from Louisiana.

“Receiving these looks this early is very exciting, but I just have to keep waking up early and working out no matter what,” Mayovsky said. “I’m not expecting anything, I’m just going to work hard and hopefully it’ll pay off.”

This past Friday, Mayovksy took his game to a new level during a grind-it-out, 17-13 victory over the Hanford Falcons. He would carry the ball an astounding 30 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns.

Despite being more of a balanced receiver last year, Mayovsky says that he’s totally embracing his new bell cow role, and he’s ready to help his team in anyway he can this season.

With his athletic 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame, Mayovsky doesn’t quite fit the profile of what you’d think a running back would look like. You might think he resembles more of a receiver or baseball outfielder (another sport he’s getting D1 looks at).

Mayovsky has all the traits you’re looking for in a power five caliber tailback. With his speed, strength, and downhill mindset.

Despite being talented in multiple sports, Mayovsky loves football the most, and that’s the sport he’ll be pursuing heavily going forward.

Right now he’s receiving a host of interest from Division I programs across the country. Some of those schools include Louisiana (who have already offered him), Louisiana State, Notre Dame, and Washington State.

You might think it’s strange that a player from the Tri-Cities is drawing heavy interest from a university that’s over 2000 miles away. But there’s a lot of power in connections, and Mayvosky has a good one with his personal trainer.

“I work out in the morning with my trainer Steve Whitehead, and he knows the coaches [In Louisiana] pretty well,” Mayovsky said. “He told them, ‘I have a kid that’s been working out at my gym since 6th grade, his name’s Myles, and it’s been nothing but good.’”

Anytime you’ve got a young player with a great frame, great work ethic, and also some tremendous tape so far, It’s pretty easy to understand why Louisiana was so quick to get on board.

It’s still undecided what position he’ll play at the next level, because he has the build to be both a linebacker and offensive player. Right now colleges are pretty split down the middle on which side of the ball they want him on.

But as good as the recruiting has been recently for him, right now Mayovsky’s sole focus is helping the Kennewick Lions reach the state playoffs for the first time since 2015.

There’s plenty of things to like about this years team; With their top tier offensive-line, and array of playmakers on both sides of the ball.

The stars appear to be aligning for Kennewick to make a state title run, but the road is not without potholes.

One of the biggest challenges for them is coming up this week, when they travel to the 4A powerhouse Chiawana Riverhawks. It’s a team highly capable of slowing down their momentum.

“We’re really confident, but we just have to stay humble, especially with Chiawana coming up this Friday,” Mayovsky said.

This Kennewick-Chiawana matchup is as good as it comes in the Tri-Cities this week, and Mayovsky and his crew will be looking to put out a breakout performance.

Kennewick High Lions returning with all-star football talent - TC Herald

Just watching a Kennewick High football practice can be exhausting.

There is no walking. Every drill is timed down to the second.

Groups are broken off separately all over the football field.

Welcome to the new way, under new Lions head coach Randy Affholter — who is by no means a rookie at this.

Affholter was hired this spring to replace Bill Templeton, who stepped down last November after 17 years as head coach of his alma mater.

When the job came open, Affholter — who was the head coach at Ellensburg for 22 years and a head coach for 26 years overall — applied.

He has brought an energy to the practices and workouts, which is to get as much work done as efficiently as possible.

“The first two weeks of spring ball, we didn’t do any offense or defense,” Affholter said. “We went through our practice routine.”

Now, in late August, it’s about X’s and O’s — and caring about kids.

“For me, personally, when I get done at the end of a season, I let (the season) go. Sometimes I don’t look at it until around Christmas break,” he said. “But then I ask myself, ‘Did we improve? Did we get better over the season?’ But my biggest goal with the kids, is if I teach them more than just football, then I’m happy.”

Winning can also make everyone happy.

Last season, the Lions tied with Kamiakin, Hermiston and Hanford for third place in the Mid-Columbia Conference standings at 5-3 (6-4 overall) and made an appearance in the Class 3A regionals.

And there are seven all-stars returning this season.

“We have a lot of kids who played last year,” said Affholter. “They’ve had some success. Now the trick is getting them to think more. Think about when you’re on defense, what the offense is trying to do. When you’re on offense, why a defense is lined up like it is. Football is a thinking man’s game.”

5 things to think about with the Kennewick Lions this season:

1. What to do with Blaine Chavez?

Obviously, play him at quarterback, which is what he did last season. He also played in the secondary on defense, and returned punts.

Affholter wants to put the reins on Chavez a bit because he’s so valuable at QB.

“He’ll play both sides of the ball. But we’ve got to be smart,” said Affholter.

That means giving Chavez a rest if the opponent has the ball deep in its own territory.

“And he’s off of special teams,” said Affholter.

At all times, protect the quarterback.

2. Seven all-stars.

Chavez was a first-team MCC defensive back last season. He was co-leader in interceptions with six.

Jagger Childs was a first-team defensive lineman, and Affholter expects him to go both ways at tight end and defensive end.

Then there are the McElroy twins — Baylor and Baiden. Both are 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, and senior offensive linemen. Baylor was second-team MCC last season, while Baiden was honorable mention.

This season, Affholter has Baylor at right guard, while Baiden will protect Chavez’s blind side at left tackle.

“They are great. They’re so smart,” Affholter said. “We have been very impressed with them. They ask the right questions. I wish I had them for more than this year.”

Myles Mayovsky was an honorable mention selection last season as a freshman running back. He was tied for second in the MCC with 14 touchdowns, and was fourth in both rushing (812 yards) and all-purpose yards (1,047).

“He will be our running back. He’ll get the majority of carries,” said Affholter. “But we’ll have others carry it too. We know this league is physical.”

Linebacker Kaleb Stevenson was the team’s leading tackler last year, and a second-team MCC pick. Affholter needs him on the field more.

“Kaleb willl play tailback when Myles isn’t, he’ll play some fullback, and inside linebacker,” he said. “He’s a good kid.”

And senior Cody LaFontaine returns as an honorable mention defensive back.

3. Think Prosser when you think of the Lions’ new offense.

Actually, that’s not fair. Affholter has been running the same offensive system the last eight to 10 years at Ellensburg.

“I talked to Tom Moore about his offense when he retired at Prosser,” he said. “We’ve been running it. It’s a similar style, multiple sets, and we’ll take what you give us.”

It’s reacting to what the defense is doing — they take away the run, then pass; they try to shut down the passing game, run the ball.

4. Expect the defensive unit to be fast.

All seven of those all-stars should be involved with the defense in one varying degree or another.

“Defensively, we’ll bring the stuff we did for Ellensburg, using a 3-4 base defense, but with packages,” said Affholter.

5. Living around a construction site will test mental toughness.

Kennewick High is getting a new campus.

But the students will be living around it all school year, attending classes in some old buildings, the old Fruitland building and in numerous portables. It’ll create some distractions, but these Lions should be able to fight through it.

“The kids have handled it great,” said Affholter. “The head coach is going crazy. We’ve been moving our equipment around.”

In fact, the team will have to move their equipment a third time in the near future. That’s just the way it is, said Affholter.

“It’s gonna be great when it’s all done,” he said. “The administration has been great. They’ve gotten us at Eastgate Elementary when we have to practice offsite.”

That will happen a lot, since Lampson Stadium is also used by other sports teams at Kennewick, Kamiakin and Southridge high schools.

Jeff Morrow is former sports editor for the Tri-City Herald.

2019 KEHS Football

March 7th, 2019


Temperatures are up, the wind is blowing, spring is in the air, and football is just around the corner.  Spring drills, passing tournaments, and summer camp are the kickoff events for the upcoming 2019 football season.  These activities are extremely important for the development and success of individual players as well as the football team as a whole.  All potential football players, from incoming freshman to seniors, are encouraged to participate in these events.


1)   There will be an informational meeting for freshman through senior players & parents on Wednesday, March 27th , at 5:30 pm in the gym (Lions Den).  


2)   All athletes participating in spring football or summer camp will need to get CLEARED from the athletic office.  You may pick up the sport packets from the athletic office beginning May 1st, 2019.  All athletes will need to be cleared & turned in before they are issued equipment.  Equipment will be issued at the following times:

  • May 21st 3:00 pm – RETURNING LETTERMAN, SR., JR., & SO.
  • May 22nd 3:00 pm – FRESHMAN


3)   Equipment not issued but required for spring drills, summer camp, and fall practices is:

  • BLACK GYM SHORTS & BLACK PRACTICE SHIRT – order on-line March 11th – 18th


4)   Spring football drill dates are:

  • Tuesday, May 28th through Friday, May 31st
  • Monday, June 3rd  through Thursday, June 6th


The team will also attend a summer football camp on the campus of Central Washington University.  The date for summer camp is:  Saturday, June 22NDThe cost of this year’s camp is $75.00, which covers the camp, lunch, and bus travel.  Camp brochures may be picked up from Coach Browning or the Athletic Office.  Submit your application form and payment to the Athletic Office between May 21st  & June 12th.


To receive information on your phone by text message:

Type in this number: 81010

Type in this message: @ekufb and hit send





March, 11th – 18th      Order on-line spirit pack: Black shorts & shirt (They will be mandatory for spring practice and any team activities)


May 21st                    Camp payment and application form due to Athletic Office

March 27th                Informational Meeting

  • Freshman – Seniors, 5:30 pm, Gym
  • Players & Parents

May 21st – 22nd          Equipment issued – Must be Cleared

  • Tuesday, May 21st - 3:00 PM – Returning letterman, seniors, juniors, and sophomores
  • Wednesday, May 22nd - 3:00 PM – Freshman

May 28th – May 31st  Football Drills – Must have practice gear: Black shorts/Black shirt

June 3rd – 6th             Football Drills

June 1st                       7 on 7 – Lampson Stadium – Varsity, JV& C

June 8th                       11 on 11 – Lampson Stadium – Varsity, JV, & C

June 12th & 13th         Team activities: June 13th 11 on 11 with Hanford High

June 17th & 20th         Team activities: prep for CWU team camp

June 22nd                    CWU Summer Football Camp - $75.00 (includes: camp fee, bus, & lunch)

                                    Proof of Insurance – Copy of Card

                                    Copy of Physical

                                    Checks Payable to Kennewick Athletic Booster Club


July 10th & 17th          7 on 7 – 6:00-8:00 pm


July 23rd – 24th           Team Mini-Camp – 6:00-8:00 pm

June 25th – August 20th         Summer Conditioning - $50.00

                                                Checks payable to Kennewick Athletic Booster Club

  • Sophomores – Seniors
  • Monday – Friday 7:30 – 8:45 am
  • Freshman
  • Monday – Friday – 9:00 – 10:00 am

Thanks – Coaching Staff

2019 Spirit Pack Orders Due 3/18!

2019-20 Lions!

Spirit pack order due by Monday, March 18th


Enter Code: 19FBLIONS

19 kehs spirit pack

Affholter New Head Lion!

Affholter leaving Ellensburg football for Kennewick

Coach Takes Over For Outgoing Templeton

The architect of Ellensburg’s CWAC dynasty will be leaving for Kennewick in search of a new challenge.

Randy Affholter confirmed Thursday’s he’s stepping down as the Bulldogs’ coach after 22 years to take the same position for the Lions, replacing longtime coach Bill Templeton. The Bulldogs won seven league titles while compiling a record of 162-76 under Affholter and reached the state tournament 10 times, including four semifinal appearances.

“It was tough (to leave),” Affholter said. “To be honest with you, my wife and I debated it for quite some time when the job was posted down there.”

Seattle Seahawks director of pro personnel Nolan Teasley called his four years with Affholter from 1998-2001 the most fun he ever had playing football. As a running back, Teasley set a school record his junior year and then broke it again as a senior when the Bulldogs reached the Class 3A state tournament.

After graduating, Teasley went on to play at Central Washington and kept working out with Affholter in the offseason. At one point, Teasley said as many as 10 Wildcats football players joined Affholter, who would run and lift weights alongside the Division II student-athletes.

“He had a huge influence on the direction that my life went just in terms of instilling some work ethic and focus and understanding what it took to be successful,” Teasley said. “Not just in football but in life.”

Ellensburg athletic director Cole Kanyer, who played slot receiver and linebacker before graduating with Teasley, voiced similar sentiments about the lessons he learned from Affholter. That impact spread well beyond football players, since Affholter shared his wealth of strength and conditioning knowledge with the entire athletic program.

He continues to teach those classes along with a recently added yoga class and hopes to continue in a similar leadership role at Kennewick. Kanyer said Affholter’s drive to improve and learn more about football and strength and conditioning always brought the best out of Ellensburg’s athletes, making him difficult to replace.

“It was a pretty serious surprise,” Kanyer said. “He’s been such an important piece of our athletic program in general that it’s sad to see him go.”

But Kanyer’s also excited to see what Affholter can do in Kennewick, where he’ll take on the challenge of leading a bigger school, handling a bigger staff and competing with 4A powerhouses like Chiawana and 2017 state champion Richland in the Mid-Columbia League. Ellensburg enjoyed an impressive run of dominance in the CWAC, especially when it completed four straight unbeaten seasons en route to three 2A semifinal appearances from 2013-2016.

“It was a lot of fun,” Affholter said. “Obviously we had a run of really good kids and when you have really good kids they make you a really great coach pretty dang fast.”

The program took a suprising step back in 2017, when an 0-6 start ended a streak of 13 straight winning seasons. Affholter’s team bounced back last fall, reaching the CWAC title game and then pulling off an upset at No. 5 seed West Valley-Spokane to reach the 2A quarterfinals.

As he watched TV in the living room with his wife on Thanksgiving, they discussed plans to eventually retire and move south to live someplace warmer, such as Arizona. But when Affholter started searching for jobs there, it was the opening for Kennewick that popped up on the computer screen and caught his eye.

The job proved to be the right fit for his family and the quest for new challenges, so he’s eager to start commuting to the Tri-Cities this spring before leaving Ellensburg at the end of the school year. Teasley seemed unsurprised Affholter wants to move up a classification and said much of the football knowledge that helps him identify pro talent comes from his old high school coach.

“He just always kind of instilled kind of a first man in, last man out (mentality),” Teasley said. “Be unwilling to settle for less. Work as hard as you possibly can.”

Affholter said a strong senior class next fall should leave the Bulldogs’ new coach with an excellent roster, and Kanyer expects it to be an attractive job. But he also understands it won’t be easy to find someone who can match Affholter’s wide-ranging influence on the football team and Ellensburg’s athletic community.

Chavez AP All-State Honarable Mention - 3A Defensive Back

Player of the year: Sam Adams II, jr., Eastside Catholic.



Quarterback — Hunter Campau, sr., Timberline.

Running backs — Sam Adams, jr., Eastside Catholic; Dontae McMillan, sr., Chief Sealth.

Wide receivers — Julien Simon, soph., Lincoln; Gee Scott, jr., Eastside Catholic.

Tight end — D.J. Rogers, jr., Eastside Catholic.

Offensive line — Johnny Barthel, sr., Bellevue; Nathaniel Kalepo, sr., Rainier Beach; Owen Prentice, sr., O’Dea; Jason Mederios, sr., Eastside Catholic; Giovonni White, sr., Lincoln.

Kicker — No nominees.


Defensive line — J.T. Tuimoloau, soph., Eastside Catholic; Alexx Schmidt, sr., O’Dea; Alan Fischer, sr., Lakes; Giovonni White, sr., Lincoln.

Linebackers — Orin Patu, sr., Rainier Beach; Ruperake Fuavai, sr., O’Dea; Drew Fowler, sr., Bellevue; Derrick Platt, sr., Yelm.

Defensive backs — Mishael Powell, sr., O’Dea; Ayden Hector, jr., Eastside Catholic; Julien Simon; soph., Lincoln; Michael Bolds, sr., Mountain View.

Punter — Joey Ryan, sr., Lake Washington.


Quarterbacks — Burke Griffin, sr., Peninsula; Caden Filer, jr., Lincoln.

Running backs — Capassio Cherry, sr., Edmonds-Woodway; Alex Refilong, sr., Central Kitsap; Alex Reid, jr., Bellevue.

Wide receivers — Kodee Gifford, sr., Yelm; Chris Penner, sr., Capital.

Offensive line — Levani Eneliko, sr., Lake Washington; Alan Fischer, sr., Lakes; Jayden Simon, sr., Lincoln; Geirean Hatchett, jr., Ferndale; Kobe Anderson, sr., Mountain View; Jacob Dimond, sr., Yelm.

Defensive line — Todd Johnson, sr., Kelso; Joseph Toilolo, sr., Mount Spokane; Jayden Simon, sr., Lincoln; Mason Bertelli, sr., Capital.

Linebackers — Sav’ell Smalls, jr., Garfield; Riley Noah, sr., Kelson; Jamin Fa’alogo, sr., Timberline.

Defensive backs — Daeshawn Wayne, sr., Lakes; Colton Steepy, sr., Timberline; Blaine Chavez, jr., Kennewick.

Punter — Burke Griffin, sr.; Peninsula.


Kennewick comes up short of knocking off Mt. Spokane

Bill Templeton’s Kennewick Lions have been a scrappy bunch all season.

So why should Friday night against a powerful Mt. Spokane team be any different?

The Lions couldn’t hold a halftime lead and ended up falling to the visiting Wildcats 21-14 in a 3A regional game at Lampson Stadium.

“Our guys did a nice job,” said Templeton. “(Mt. Spokane) has a very good defense. We just left a couple of plays on the field in the second half.”

The visiting Wildcats dominated statistically everywhere except the most important place: the scoreboard.

Mt. Spokane outgained Kennewick 389 yards to 106. The Wildcats ran 74 offensive plays (63 runs) to the Lions’ 45.

And they held on to the football over twice as long as Kennewick had it. Mt. Spokane’s time of possession was 33 minutes and 51 seconds, to Kennewick’s 14:09.

But the Lions were always within just one play of getting even with the Wildcats.

In fact, Kennewick led 14-7 at the half.

After Mt. Spokane quarterback Brady Hill gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead on a 23-yard TD scamper, the Lions immediately responded when Talon LaFontaine returned the ensuing kickoff 83 yards down to the 5. One play later, Kennewick QB Blaine Chavez bulled into the end zone for a 7-7 tie.

In the second quarter, the Lions defense forced three turnovers, and capitalized on one of them.

Chavez dived into the end zone for a TD from the 1, completing a 7-play, 35-yard drive, for a 14-7 Kennewick lead with 7:45 left until intermission.

It stayed that way until the second half, when the Wildcats opened the third quarter with a 56-yard drive using eight plays, culminating with big, bruising back Jeter Schuerman scoring on a 16-yard run to tie the game at 14-14.

Two drives later the Wildcats – using, ironically, the Wildcat formation with Schuerman at the helm – drove 50 yards on six plays, with Hill scoring from the 1 for the go-ahead points and what proved to be an insurmountable 21-14 lead. On the drive, Schuerman ran the other five plays, picking up 49 yards.

The Lions couldn’t make anything happen in the second half, going 3-and-out on their first four possessions. They were able to cobble together two first downs on their last drive, but couldn’t get any closer than the Wildcats’ 32.

And the Kennewick defense was out on the field so long, it just wore down.

“They’re a quality program,” Templeton said of Mt. Spokane. “We’ll be OK. This is a part of life. They’ll remember the friendships they made on this team.”

The Lions finish 6-4, and they had some quality wins over fellow Mid-Columbia Conference 3A schools Hermiston and Kamiakin. And of the 59 players on Kennewick’s varsity roster, only 13 graduate next June.

NOTES: Schuerman finished with 139 yards rushing for the Wildcats (8-2), who await their ranking and pairing announcement on Sunday. … DL Bryan Knapik led Kennewick’s defense with 13 tackles (3 for loss) and a forced fumble. DL Jagger Child’s added 6 tackles (2 for loss) and two hurries, while DB Cody LaFontaine had 7 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Lions Secure Top 3A Seed With Win Over Southridge

Kennewick grabbed the top Class 3A MCC regional playoff spot when two things happened Friday: The Lions beat Southridge 41-7, and Kamiakin defeated Hermiston 34-27.

The loss eliminated Hermiston from any postseason play, while Kamiakin grabs the MCC’s No. 2 Class 3A regional playoff berth.

In Spokane on Friday, Shadle Park upset Mt. Spokane 14-11, giving Shadle Park the Greater Spokane League’s No. 1 3A regional berth, while Mt. Spokane takes No. 2.

So the regional playoffs on Friday, Nov. 2, will have Kennewick playing host to Mt. Spokane at 7 p.m. at Lampson Stadium, and Kamiakin traveling to play Shadle Park at 7:30 p.m. at Joe Albi Stadium.

In Kennewick’s victory over Southridge, freshman Myles Mayovsky rushed for 111 yards on 18 carries, and he scored two touchdowns.

Lions QB Blaine Chavez had TD passes of 40 and 29 yards. He also ran in a touchdown from the 1.

Kennewick vs. Kamiakin 2018 Video Recap - TC Herald

Kennewick holds on for rare win over Kamiakin

This Kennewick High football team seems to have a flare for the dramatic.

And whatever was left of your fingernails from watching the first three games of the year, was definitely gone by the time the final buzzer sounded at Lampson Stadium on Friday night.

The Lions survived a mad scramble at the end to pull out a 21-19, come-from-behind win over rival Kamiakin to even their season record at 2-2. The win was the Lions’ first over the Braves since 2012.

“We are definitely going to enjoy this one tonight,” said Kennewick senior Talon LaFontaine. “But we need to keep building on this.”

Kennewick (2-2, 2-2) started the season 0-2, but has beaten Mid-Columbia Conference newcomer Hermiston and rival Kamiakin in consecutive weeks heading into a non-conference game against Davis next week.

“I am just really proud of our guys for battling out there,” said Kennewick coach Bill Templeton. “They just kept playing; I just proud of them.”

Kamiakin (2-2, 2-1), coming off an impressive win last week against Hanford, put together a final drive that had the crowd at Lampson on the edge of their seats. The game went down to the final play, with LaFontaine leaping in front of Jaxson Nichols in the end zone for an interception as time expired.

It was the Lions third interception of the night.

Trailing 21-19, Lucas Castilleja and the Braves got the ball with 1:45 remaining back at their own 11-yard line. After a holding penalty on the first play, the Braves needed a big third-down conversion just to get it started.

But after that first hiccup, the Braves got rolling and were at the Kennewick 15-yard line with 20 seconds remaining. But a huge sack and then LaFontaine’s interception ended the comeback bid.

“We just had to keep playing hard and just get a few stops, and we did,” LaFontaine said.

Kamiakin took a 13-7 halftime lead, but some early adjustments helped jumpstart the Lions offense. Atticus Templeton, who spent the first half at wide receiver, took over at quarterback. He helped lead the Lions to a quick touchdown to take the lead at 14-13 with 9:56 left in the third quarter.

Blaine Chavez came in on a key third down and completed a 36-yard pass to LaFontaine. Then on the next play, Templeton connected with Myles Mayovsky for a 12-yard touchdown.

Chavez had another key completion late in the third quarter, hitting LaFontaine again, this time for a 27- yard touchdown to push the Lions lead to 21-13.

“We put (Templeton) in for a change a pace in the second half,” Bill Templeton said. “But I cannot say enough about Blaine, he came in and made some great throws.”

eku strip
Kennewick Lions
500 S Dayton St
Kennewick WA 99336
Phone: 509-585-3230
A.D.: Anna Harris
Principal: Ron King
Coach: Randy Affholter