Wiley Allred was one of six high school football championship-winning coaches from the state of Washington to raise the 12 Flag prior to the Seahawks' Week 15 game against the Los Angeles Rams, but before arriving at CenturyLink Field this past Sunday, the Royal Knights head coach learned he'd also be on the receiving end of another prestigious honor.
Allred, whose Knights topped the Meridian Trojans 33-27 at the Tacoma Dome earlier this month to capture the 1A state title, was named the Seahawks' 'High School Coach of the Year' for the state of Washington. The award, sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, was presented during a special halftime ceremony at the home of the Seahawks.
"I was completely surprised," Allred reacted Sunday. "I knew I was coming to be one of the six (to raise the 12 Flag), but I had no idea. It's like living a dream, and a little overwhelming because there's a lot of people that are on that journey with me."
The Knights' current journey consists of a 41-game win streak, and the team's recent state title marked the third straight championship for Royal City and seventh under coach Allred, who received a $2,000 grant to his football program for his 'High School Coach of the Year' selection.
"I think it's wonderful and I think the kids are very proud of what they've accomplished and that's what I wanted to instill," Allred said. "I'm representing the community and our players and our other coaches."
The award for Allred marks the culmination of a campaign aimed at honoring high school football coaches on a weekly basis. To support the development of youth football, each week during the high school football season the Washington State Football Coaches Association selected two coaches as 'High School Coach of the Week' honorees, and recipients received a $500 grant to be applied to their football program.
"UnitedHealthcare applauds all of the 2017 High School Coach of the Week honorees and the 2017 Coach of the Year, Wiley Allred," said Claire Verity, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Washington. "High-school coaches have immense influence on their athletes, not only in developing a team for a season, but also empowering young people to become the best versions of themselves."
Joining Allred for the 12 Flag raising on Sunday were five other state championship-winning high school football coaches, including Almira-Coulee-Hartline's Brandon Walsh, Kalama's Sean McDonald, Hockinson's Rick Steele, O'Dea's Monte Kohler, and Richland's Mike Neidhold. The group helped launch what will become an annual 12 Flag-raising tradition by the Seahawks in an effort to help grow the game football in Washington state.
"I think it's wonderful," Allred said of the Seahawks' attempt to tie the youth and professional football communities closer together. "I know our community is following right now and we really appreciate the connection they're trying to get with youth, youth sports, high school sports, and making the game safer. It's an awesome game. We love it."
Six high school football state championship-winning head coaches from Washington — Almira-Coulee-Hartline's Brandon Walsh, Kalama's Sean McDonald, Royal's Wiley Allred, Hockinson's Rick Steele, O'Dea's Monte Kohler, and Richland's Mike Neidhold — raised the 12 Flag prior to the Seahawks' Week 15 game against the Los Angeles Rams at CenturyLink Field.