I was wandering the sidelines at David Nielsen Stadium during the Freeman game, Royal's first step toward a third consecutive 1A state championship. I got to thinking about something assistant coach Jeremy Scroggins said on the sidelines.
“Mighty Mouse,” he called out.
I instantly looked to see what the response was from the defensive unit on the field. Mighty Mouse? Let’s see, little guys to the front? Some sort of blitz package where the strong safety gets a running start, then blasts through the line like a runaway train?
Then I recalled the 2012 Swedish–British documentary about the efforts of two South African guys trying to find an American singer/song writer called Sixto Rodriguez. The film was called “Searching for Sugar Man.”
The story, in a nutshell, is about an musician from Detroit who never really made it in the States, but some of his records were bootlegged to South Africa, where he became a superstar on the Cape Town airwaves without even knowing it. Sugar Man was more popular than The Doors and the Rolling Stones, before he drifted off into cult history.
Since I have plenty of time and a clean chalkboard to write on, how’s about we go “Searching for Mighty Mouse?”
Let’s see, when Jeremy yelled out, Knights cheerleader captains Jennifer Vasquez and Monique Aguilar were belting out the cheer and stirring up the crowd. They’re kind of fiery, little dynamos. Naw, Coach was looking out on the field at the time.
OK, let’s see, Ramses Gonzalez is right in the mix at the point of impact every play. At 6-foot-1, 218 pounds, he certainly is mighty. Then again, he’s not really a mouse. He’s more like “The Big Dog.”
Middle linebacker Jack Diaz scored a touchdown on special teams earlier this season. He’s a teeth-jarring tackler on a defense that’s pitched eight shutouts this season and allowed just 45 total points (3.46 ppg) in 13 games. Mighty to be sure, but not exactly the mouse that roars. Diaz is more like “The Vato” in the middle of the Knights “Black Hole Defense.”
Maybe it’s Alonso Hernandez? The Royal City junior certainly packs a punch. He once described his running style as, “I just like to lower my shoulder and hit somebody.” There’s been more than one guy on either side of the ball that’s met the blunt force trauma of the “Tren de Carga.”
It could be Hernandez, but this search for Mighty Mouse is harder than I thought. Maybe Scroggins is trying to be shifty? Maybe Mighty Mouse is one of his cornerbacks?
There’s Corbin Christensen on one side. Took one to the house on a pass interception against Okanogan. He looked more like the receiver than the Bulldogs guy. It could be Corbin, but I already gave him a nickname, “The Blade,” because of the way he slices up the opposing defensive backfields.
Mr. Go Route plays the other corner. Angel Farias’ diving, one-handed catch to the goal line against Okanogan is all over the internet. I looked, no Stickum, just skill. Farias is one of those kids that makes everything look smooth. Speed thrills and I like the way he returns punts. Nobody wants to get “Touched by an Angel.”
I’m sure they had this problem in Cape Town, where the ideas just trickle to a stop. I need some help “Searching for Mighty Mouse.”
The 2016 census says there’s 2,196 people in Royal City, so we ought to be able to get at least that many folks to weigh in. Hit the comment button with your choice.
C’mon Knights fans, who is Mighty Mouse?
Rodney Harwood is a sports writer with the Columbia Basin Herald and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org