Ogata wins state title with Skyline

Mercer Island High School teacher and resident Brett Ogata has had many coaching roles as an Islander. But the one that he took last spring with Skyline High School as the football team’s offensive coordinator fulfilled a dream.

Ogata’s high-powered Spartan offense lead the team to the 3A state title with a dramatic come-from-behind victory over O’Dea, 42-35, on Dec. 1 at the Tacoma Dome.

“It was a great roller coaster ride,” said Ogata. “Just a surreal feeling.”

The title game did not come easy for the Spartans as they found themselves down 28-7 during the third period.

“I thought we were dead in the water,” said Ogata.

But the offensive coordinator made some key changes to the Spartan attack.

“O’Dea surprised us with some different coverages, but we altered our receiver’s routes and luckily it worked,” said Ogata.

The season was full of ups and downs for Ogata despite his team’s undefeated record.

The biggest regular season game emotionally for Ogata was facing Mercer Island. Ogata served as the offensive coordinator under Dick Nicholl. When Nicholl retired last year, Ogata applied for the head coaching position but was turned down.

But Ogata’s choice strengthened not only his resume but his skills and knowledge of the game.

“I learned so much from [Skyline head] coach [Steve] Gervais,” said Ogata. “It was just a great experience.”

Following the state title game, Ogata received a phone call from almost every coach he worked with on the Islanders’ staff during his time with the team.

“My family, friends and even some coaches were at the game cheering us on,” said Ogata. “But I really appreciated all the congratulations from those guys.”

Ogata said that he will take his coaching career year-by-year but plans to return to Skyline next season as the team returns to 4A.

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