The quarterback’s older sisters, Alexa, 25, and Natalee, 24, are country-music singer-songwriters who have put out seven albums to date.
PULLMAN — Washington State quarterback Luke Falk has become a household name this season, but depending on which circles you run in, he’s not the most well-known member of the Falk family.
In Nashville, Tenn., and in certain parts of Brazil, the name Falk is more synonymous with country music than football. The quarterback’s older sisters, Alexa, 25, and Natalee, 24, are country-music singer-songwriters who go by the name “Falk” and have put out seven albums to date.
This weekend, the Falks of the music and sports worlds meshed in Pullman. Alexa and Natalee were at the Beasley Coliseum on Friday night to sing the national anthem before the Cougars’ men’s basketball game against Idaho State.
Then, on Saturday evening, the Falk sisters performed a set at the Cougarville fan area on the football practice field before the game. The duo played guitar and regaled fans with songs from their most recent, self-titled album, “Falk.”
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The last year has been one of growth for the Falk family. As Luke found his footing on the football field, his sisters have been exploring new identities and redefining the direction they want to take with their music.
The sisters took the last eight months off from music and now say they’re stronger for it. Alexa got married in June, and Natalee dabbled with songwriting for the first time.
“I didn’t really songwrite when we were younger,” Natalee said. “(Alexa’s) the songwriter, and I’m the performer. I think this year, for me, was about becoming more of a well-rounded artist.”
The duo has been making music since Alexa was 8 — that’s when she wrote her first song. But their sound has evolved over the years. Now, they play what they call “contemporary country” or as Natalee says, “more of a universal sound.”
“Our new direction is more of the female Eagles version,” Alexa said. “When we’re kinda amped up, it’s more Keith Urban sounding.
“We’re more evolved, the music is better, everything is better.”
As Luke’s football career has taken off, his sisters have also gained a new demographic of fans — sports lovers.
Kim Pelluer, linebacker Peyton Pelluer’s mother, and Jill Osur-Myers, the mother of Cougars offensive lineman Noah Osur-Myers, both led the charge to get Alexa and Natalee to play at Cougarville before the game.
The Cougars honored their 16 seniors in a ceremony before the game on Saturday night. Ten of the 16 have started at least a game for the Cougars this season, while four are fifth-year seniors who constitute the final holdovers from the Paul Wulff era of WSU football.
WR Dom Williams, DL Darryl Paulo, OL Gunnar Eklund and OL Mortiz Christ were all recruited to WSU by the previous coaching staff, and they stayed through the transition.
Most of the others joined the team as part of Mike Leach’s first recruiting class, when he was selling a vision for success instead of any tangible results. For that, WSU’s fourth-year coach will always be grateful.
“I think they’ve done a tremendous job,” Leach said. “You’ve got guys who’ve really adapted and contributed to things and done some good things. It’s kind of a more courageous and independent effort to do it on the front end because there’s not all that stuff in place to reinforce it.
“You just have to be committed to doing it independently. Their courage in doing that has brought some young guys along, which was really important to our program.”
The 16 seniors are:
LB Jeremiah Allison, WR Tyler Baker, K Quentin Breshears, OL Moritz Christ, DB Skyler Cracraft, OL Joe Dahl, OL Gunnar Eklund, WR Daniel Lilienthal, DL Devonte McClain, LB Ivan McLennan, LB Kache Palacio, DL Darryl Paulo, OL Jacob Seydel, DB Taylor Taliulu, DL Destiny Vaeao and WR Dom Williams.
Offensive-line shuffle again
Redshirt freshman Andre Dillard earned his first start at left tackle in place of Joe Dahl. Dahl came out for Senior Night festivities in a walking boot. Gunnar Eklund went back to left guard, with Eduardo Middleton at right guard and Cole Madison at right tackle.
But the biggest change came at center, where Sam Flor started instead of Riley Sorenson.
Cracraft in boot
Sideline reporter Jessamyn McIntyre reported before the game that receiver River Cracraft was seen in a walking boot. Cracraft was injured in the Arizona State game and hasn’t played since.
Freshman Kyle Sweet started in his place at the Y receiver spot against UCLA, and earned his second straight start against Colorado.
The Cougars sported white helmets with red numbers against Colorado, a departure from their normal helmets with the Cougar logo. The last time the Cougars wore numbers on their helmets was 1963.