Arguably the largest thrill of Lummi senior Austin Brockie’s five years with the Blackhawks came in the infancy of his football career.
Four years ago he was taking in Lummi’s 2010 state championship win, a 55-30 victory over Cusick in the Tacoma Dome.
“That was one of the best times in my high school career,” said Brockie, who also plays basketball and baseball, in a phone interview.
Brockie, as an eighth grader, may not have been a major contributor on the state-title team. That came the next season when he started at wide receiver. But playing with standouts Eddy Williams, Ty Jameson and Eric Robinson set the precedent for Brockie’s future success.
“I think our scout team in practice, we were a really good team,” Brockie said. “Facing (the 2010 team) helped us better ourselves for the next year.”
Offensively, Brockie’s featured role has been serving as one of quarterback Hank Hoskins’ go-to pass-catching options. He’s one of the team leaders in touchdowns and receptions.
But that’s not all.
He’s also given the Blackhawks plenty of comfort, serving as an effective compliment to Hoskins at QB. Coach Jim Sandusky elaborated just how paramount having two capable signal-callers is in eight-man football, and Brockie has impressed with his dual-threat ability
And on defense, Brockie plays a Where’s Waldo role. The Blackhawks change personnel from position to position each week based on matchups, simply finding Brockie, who’s listed at 5-foot-10, 180-pounds, is a challenge every week. He’s played defensive line, linebacker and in the Blackhawks’ secondary.
“The thing is he has been playing since eighth grade,” Sandusky said, speaking on Brockie’s versatility and knowledge of the team’s defensive schemes in a phone interview. “He’s been familiar with terminology, and the chemistry has been the same. When you play young, you get that confidence and with that you act instead of think about what the coaches want.”
Since Brockie last encountered the feeling of winning a state title, Lummi has been to state playoffs each year since. But each season rival Neah Bay has ended the Blackhawks’ bid to earn another ring.
Lummi could get another shot this fall, but first the Blackhawks have a Class 1B State Playoff quarterfinal matchup against upstart Lopez at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21, at Lummi High School.
Brockie’s offensive role began to evolve last season when he started splitting time with Logan Toby, who Brockie said he struck a strong relationship with. The Blackhawks senior threw for 587 yards, 12 touchdowns and two interceptions last season to go with 25 receptions, 418 yards and five TDs.
Brockie’s chemistry with Toby has carried over with new starting quarterback Hank Hoskins.
“Logan Toby was one of my main guys,” Brockie said. “I grew up with him, and we’re really good friends. Me and Hank, we have that chemistry from throwing this summer, and he is a really good quarterback, too.”
But unlike the defensive side, where he doesn’t have a true position because of how often he moves around, wide receiver is where Brockie has made a name for himself, and he’s been able to learn under one of the best teachers a high school player could as for. Sandusky was an All-American receiver at Walla Walla Community College, the University of Nevada Las Vegas and San Diego State before becoming a standout in the Canadian Football League, playing for the Edmonton Eskimos and B.C. Lions.
Brockie said he’s learned everything he knows from Sandusky.
“It’s amazing,” said Brockie of learning under Sandusky’s tutelage. “He knows a lot of stuff. He’s helped me be explosive and taught me how to get myself open and to stay close to your quarterback.”
With every next game on Lummi’s schedule potentially being Brockie’s last, he has his eye on one thing this fall.
“I want to go out with a ring,” Brockie said. “Everyone wants to. I think this is the year we get it. That’s what I’m heading for.”