He’s a running back, he’s a defensive back and he’s a major contributor on special teams – he’s Bothell’s Sam McPherson, and he’s leading KingCo 4A in all-purpose yards.
But McPherson wouldn’t know that. When asked if McPherson had any idea of the numbers he’s put up this season, or that he’s leading KingCo 4A in all-purpose yards and touchdowns, his coach, Tom Bainter, let out a small laugh.
When he was filled in on his own success, McPherson laughed at himself for not knowing.
“I guess I’m having a pretty good season,” McPherson said humbly. He quickly followed up with giving credit to his offensive line and those on special teams who block for him.
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According to Bainter, as long as the team wins, McPherson doesn’t really care who gets the credit, although his coach said he might be the hardest working player on the team.
Go out to a Cougar game, and it’s obvious McPherson is a major force on the team. If hearing McPherson’s name repeatedly over the public-address system isn’t convincing enough, his playmaking ability should seal the deal.
“He’s great – there’s nobody like him,” Bainter said.
Through eight games, McPherson has racked up 776 rushing yards, 133 receiving yards, 109 punt-return yards, 464 kickoff-return yards and 83 interception-return yards on six interceptions (second in KingCo 4A) for a total of 1,563 all-purpose yards.
He also has 20 touchdowns, and has punted 27 times for 889 yards, an average of 32.9 yards. Oh, and he’s returned three kickoffs for touchdowns.
What does he like best?
“Returning kicks is a lot of fun, but I think on offense, being a running back,” McPherson said. “The thrill rush. … It’s just so much fun making people miss.”
McPherson’s explosive playmaking makes it hard to sit him out.
“He does most everything,” Bainter said.
The next-closest on the KingCo 4A stats list in all-purpose yards is Redmond’s Bryce Steckler. Through seven games, McPherson led Steckler by 390 all-purpose yards.
No. 9 Bothell (7-1) travels to No. 2 Skyline (7-1) Friday at 7 p.m. for the KingCo 4A championship.
• Tahoma quarterback Shane Nelson broke a pair of SPSL 4A passing records in the Bears’ wild, 62-56 loss to Kentlake last week. His 36 completions (in 52 attempts) and 508 yards bettered the previous marks of 33 and 445, set by Drew Miller of Lakes in 1995. He threw seven TDs (curiously, no records kept on that) – five of them to DeShon Williams, who finished with 13 catches for 287 yards (those SPSL 4A records are 18 and 332). Kentlake QB D’Marye Dedrick rushed for 191 yards and four TDs and passed for 235 yards and two more scores.
• Friday evening will be busy at Memorial Stadium, with seeds 1-4 being determined for Metro League. First, Eastside Catholic vs. Cleveland will determine No. 3 and No. 4, then O’Dea vs. Nathan Hale will determine No. 1 and No. 2.
Seattle Times staff reporter Sandy Ringer contributed to this report.