By Gregg Bell – UW Director of Writing
SEATTLE – Coach Steve Sarkisian announced the six captains for the Huskies’ 2013 season to close a rousing, entertaining and unique “Raise the Woof” kickoff celebration Saturday night at the Dempsey Indoor facility.
Senior quarterback Keith Price, junior running back Bishop Sankey and junior guard Colin Tanigawa are the captains on offense. Senior safety Sean Parker, junior linebacker John Timu and senior defensive end Hau’oli Kikaha are the captains of the defense.
Sarkisian had the entire team on stage with his when he announced the players’ vote on captains, and said it was the closest voting in his five years at UW. The coach then asked each co-captain questions to which they responded into the microphone for the crowd of about 2,000 fans, friends, families and donors gathered seven days before the season begins next door in new Husky Stadium against Boise State.
The co-captains’ answers all had the same theme: This year is the time to win a championship.
“This is a great team,” Sarkisian told the crowd. “This team has matured in front of my own eyes.
“I think they are going to do something special this season. Not only that, we get to do it in new Husky Stadium. Are you kidding me? The place is amazing.”
That got one of the loudest ovations of a night that included Thomas Tutogi as an impressive lead vocalist for the linebackers as they all sang a ballad, Jeff Lindquist telling jokes because the quarterbacks didn’t have an act – “What do you called an illegally parked frog?” Lindquist said, “a toad” -- a big welcome back to UW for quarterbacks coach and 2001 Rose Bowl MVP Marques Tuiasosopo, plus Hawai'ian fullback Psalm Wooching getting on stage in native beach attire and doing a fire dance.
“The guy can eat fire,” Sarkisian told the crowd after Wooching wowed his teammates and the crowd with twirling a stick with fire on both ends. “Can you imagine what he can do running down on kickoff coverage?”
Perhaps the loudest, most noticeable standing ovation of the night came when Bob Rondeau, the voice of the Huskies, introduced Deontae Cooper. Cooper earnestly acknowledged the roars and admiration. The running back has come back from three torn anterior cruciate knee ligaments in the last three summers to be ready for his college debut next Saturday night.
As the annual event ended, Sarkisian left the crowd with this message:
"This team's special,” the coach said, “and we are going to accomplish great things.”