I guess this is goodbye

Sport for sport, the Federal Way school district has to be one of the best in the state when it comes to athletics.

Maybe it’s our tap water. Or those buzzing power lines (the city’s tallest structure).

Maybe we’re just good.

Whatever the reason, this winter season saw state champions in boys’ swimming, gymnastics and wrestling. Basketball teams that played at state last year are still alive in the district tournament this week.

The fall season saw playoff teams in football, girls’ soccer, golf, boys tennis and volleyball, league cross country champions who ran at state, as well as state finalist girls swimmers, one who won a championship.

Spring sports the past two seasons have seen nationally ranked, two-time state soccer champions, a two-time finalist baseball team that won a state championship, a few state track champions, state tennis competitors and a fastpitch team that was a game away from the state finals.

Any reasonable, level-headed sports writer (if such a sports writer exists) could not ask for more.

All that success will be difficult to leave this month when I move on to the Tri-City Herald newspaper to be a copy editor and page designer.

For more than two years I’ve had the privilege of writing about sports in Federal Way. I’m reminded how lucky I was as I clean out my desk of media passes, used notebooks and leftover state championship programs.

The past two years have been good times for athletes, teams and fans in Federal Way.

Maybe the success stems from the solid foundation of youth sports, with the three quality little league programs, Federal Way United youth soccer teams, the Federal Way Hawks football teams, the Federal Way Girls Softball Association.

Maybe it’s the elite programs like King Aquatics Club, AAU basketball teams, the Federal Way Track Club and the Flying AJs track team.

Maybe it’s the quality community programs offered by the Boys and Girls Club, the Federal Way Norman Center YMCA and family swimming lessons at the Kenneth Jones Pool.

Maybe athletes are motivated by world-class facilities like the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center or the national-caliber fields at Celebration Park.

Maybe it’s the supportive parents who shuttle their kids to and from countless practices and games like underpaid taxi drivers. (It might be a chore now, but imagine how bored you’ll be when your kids leave the house. Just ask my parents, who now have to fill their empty weekends with tedious activities like gardening or playing golf.)

Maybe it’s the quality instruction young athletes receive from elementary school through junior high from coaches who are never even mentioned in this paper.

The state- and national-level success by Federal Way athletes is probably a combination of all of those things. And what’s exciting is this tradition of winning doesn’t seem like it will end any time soon.

I’ll be sorry to miss the future championships won by athletes I have come to know. But you can bet they will be featured in the pages of this paper.

I’ll still be checking results on the Mirror’s Web site.

Thanks to the athletes who let me interview them, both in times of celebration and defeat. It’s been fun watching you grow and achieve greatness.

Thanks to the coaches and athletic directors who took time out of their thankless schedules to talk with me at odd hours and their willingness to assist me.

Thanks to all the parents who cut out my articles to send to grandparents or put in scrap books.

Whenever I start to miss the city or the amazing accomplishments of teams and individuals, I’ll always be able to look back at all the great moments.

My mom saved all the newspapers.

Cole Cosgrove’s last day at the Mirror is March 6. He can be reached at 925-5565 and

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