The jersey number is in honor of Parker Moore, who was killed in 2014. Jake Baillie and Jared Eisenbarth share the honor this year.
To wear the No. 44 jersey in the Woodinville High School football program is more of a commentary on the character inside the jersey.
This season, seniors Jake Baillie and Jared Eisenbarth proudly share No. 44. It is the third season that wearing that jersey has meant so much more than just a number.
The program rallies around the theme “44 Strong” in honor of former Falcon H-back and linebacker Parker Moore, a 2013 graduate, who died after being stabbed at a 7-Eleven store in McMinnville, Ore., on Nov. 15, 2014. Moore, 20, was a sophomore on the Linfield College football team at the time of his death. He wore No. 44 in high school.
Eisenbarth wore Moore’s No. 44 in the road white jerseys and Baillie donned Moore’s No. 44 in home green.
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“He really made people want to strive to be their best,” Eisenbarth said. “That’s what we like to continue on every day. Emotionally, just the brotherly bond, it has brought the team together closer.”
Dylan Axelson, a redshirt-freshman defensive back at Washington State, played alongside Moore, and the 2016 Woodinville graduate was the first recipient of the No. 44 jersey.
“When I was a little sophomore, Dylan Axelson took me under his wing, and he really showed me the ropes and really the program morals and Falcon core principles that we have,” Eisenbarth said. “It’s about being dedicated, trustworthy and all that. Those were the same characteristics that Parker had and followed those Falcon core principles to a ‘T.’
“It’s just being that role-model guy and being able to leave an impact on others, that’s the key.”
Saturday in the Class 4A sate final, Baillie was representing Moore in the home greens.
“He was a great player here and he did a lot of great things,” Baillie said. “We’re just trying to carry on what he did. Wearing his number with Jared is a great honor. It’s something the whole team and me and Jared have really taken to heart. It’s something I think about every day.
“He was such a great player and such a great person to this community. He did so much. Being able to carry on that legacy is a true honor. I think it’s just always in our hearts constantly as we’re playing.”
Racanelli comes up big in final
It’s easy to dismiss Hockinson quarterback Canon Racanelli as just another quarterback because of his size. But it would be a mistake.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Racanelli passed for 316 yards and three TDs as the Hawks rallied from 10 points down early for a 35-22 win over Tumwater to capture the Class 2A state title on Saturday in the Tacoma Dome. He etched his name in the Washington state record book by adding to his impressive numbers this season, and still there’s no college offer of significance.
“Someone’s going to strike it rich,” Hockinson coach Rick Steele said. “Some college is going to take a chance on that kid and they’re going to get one helluva football player.”
Racanelli set a Class 2A Gridiron Classic record for passing attempts and completions by hitting on 27 of 45 passes in the title game. He had 316 yards and three touchdowns.
He finished with 9,970 yards passing and 124 touchdown passes in his career, good for seventh all-time in the state in each category.
Racanelli, who overcome second-half cramps, completed one of the finest seasons in state history with 4,121 yards passing and 57 TD passes. The TDs were good for a tie for sixth on the single-season list and he’s ninth in total passing yards for a season.
“For the most part, we had our trainers on the sidelines and they were great stretching my legs out,” Racanelli said. “I had pickle juice on the sidelines and everyone was rubbing my legs down with all this magnesium stuff. It helped.”
Steele will definitely miss his team’s leader.
“That kid, he is a rock,” Steele said. “He told a lot of people back in August that we were going to play 14 games and win the state championship. When that kid tells you that, you believe him. And guess what? He made it come true.”
Just like not many people knew about Racanelli, they also didn’t know about Hockinson.
“We really wanted to go out on top,” Racanelli said. “I feel like we proved everyone else wrong. No one knew who Hockinson was. Now, they know.”