A collection of interviews with current and former members of Bearcat football. Click on a title to listen to thoughts and recollections of the team as well as Monroe history.
An interview with former WR at Monroe High School and current WR/RB for the Whitworth Pirates, Isaiah Cole. Isaiah played for MHS from 2014 to 2017, playing an integral role in the success of Bearcat football as a standout Wide Receiver and Defensive Back. After graduating from Monroe, Isaiah committed to play football at Whitworth University in Spokane and has been a part of the Pirate football team since 2018.
A video interview with Efton Chism III and Blake Rybar, two graduating Seniors who played major roles in the success of Monroe football since 2017. Chism, a standout Wide Receiver, is committed to play at Eastern Washington and Rybar, a star Running Back, holds a number of offers from universities. Both of these young men have played an integral part in leading the Bearcats to an unprecedented run over the last few seasons.
A video interview with Aiden Howerton and Branden Rodriguez, two Juniors who played a part in the excellent defense in the 2019 Bearcat season. As they become Seniors in the next season, they shared their insights on the highs and lows experiences in the 2018 and 2019 seasons and the conversation with these young men shows that Bearcat football is in good hands going forward.
An interview with Senior Wide Receiver J.R. Little. J.R. is one of the most experienced players for Monroe, playing since 2017 and seeing a lot of playing time in 2018. He is also one of the most recruited players on the collegiate level, seeing interest from Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Princeton as well as visiting WSU during their Spring Game. J.R. was very well spoken and mature, making this a very informative and easy going interview in a short amount of time.
A video interview with Senior Quarterback Gio Fregoso and Junior Wide Receiver Trey Lane. Gio has been the starting QB since 2018 and Trey has been playing on the varsity team since 2017. Both players are part of a solid Bearcat offense that is among the best in the WESCO conference. Their insights on their positions and their experience so far at MHS was a treat to hear and brings a lot of excitement for the upcoming season.
A video interview with Senior Bearcat Linemen, Connor Wood and Gavin Monroe, the first video interview of the project. Both of Connor and Gavin have been on the varsity team since 2017 where they got to play alongside notable players like Josh Jerome and Isaiah Lewis as well as leading a young team for the 2018 season. Connor and Gavin had a wealth of information and insight on their experiences over the last couple seasons and I was really treated in this conversation with these young men.
An interview with Isaac Figueroa, a Running Back/Linebacker going into his Junior year at Monroe. I was initially looking to interview players going into their Senior year, Isaac sought me out and wanted to be a part of the project, to which I happily agreed. The interview went really well as he was a very well spoken young man and I’m thankful for his interest in the site.
An interview with Scott Darrow, the Offensive Line coach and a teacher at Monroe High School. Coach Darrow has been coaching and teaching at Monroe since 2005, being a part of Bearcat football through lowly seasons in the 2000’s as well as the powerhouse teams in recent years. The conversation with Coach Darrow was lively and full of perspective gained from over a decade of coaching. As a big fan of Monroe football and a former student of his, this was one of my favorite interviews so far.
An interview with Ricky Baker, a former Monroe Bearcat and current walk-on for the Washington State Cougars. Ricky played Middle Linebacker for Monroe from 2015 to 2017 during the most successful seasons of all time for the program. This was one of my favorite interviews so far as Ricky was very insightful about his time as a Bearcat and his journey to Washington State University.
An interview with the current head coach of the Monroe Bearcats, Michael Bumpus. Bumpus played at Washington State from 2004 to 2007 and with the Seattle Seahawks in 2008 before taking the head coach position at Monroe in 2015. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation with Coach Bumpus as we talked about his experience being recruited, his years at WSU, playing for the Seattle Seahawks, and his road to being a coach.
The first oral interview of the Bearcats project was with former State Senator Kirk Pearson. Kirk played on the team from 1975 to 1977 as a tackle and was the team captain in 1976. This was fascinating conversation from start to finish and it was a treat to hear about what Monroe was like, some of Kirk’s old teammates, and the infamous Sedro-Woolley game of 1976.
An interview with Dan Weaver who was a sports editor and writer for various newspapers throughout the years. Dan played as an End for the Bearcats from 1961 to 1963 under Steve Hanson during a very successful era for the team. This conversation with Dan was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish as he spoke candidly and honestly about his life and experiences. We covered his stories of the team, how football prepared him for his service in Vietnam, life as a sports writer and other memories along the way.
An oral interview with Coach Randy Olson who led the team from 1991 to 2002 and played on the team during the 1963 to 1965 as a quarterback. Coach Olson was the longest serving coach in team history as well as the coach with the most wins in his career. Randy was a pleasure to chat with and hear him talk about stories of old rivalries, his time at WSU, and what it was like to be a head coach during some formative years in team history.
An oral interview with Larry Whitfield who played as a tackle during the 1940’s. The conversation with Larry was one of the most memorable I’ve had so far and it was fascinating to hear about Monroe back in the day. We covered topics ranging from high school days, life during World War II, and his memories on the gridiron.