Bankhead talks recruiting

All the hard work has paid off for Keauntea Bankhead and the Ballard Beavers. Their senior class has been dreaming about it for four years and the possible payoff comes this coming Saturday against Pasco in the class 4A finals.

"Every week you've got to prepare. And this past week we conditioned for the dome," Bankhead told Sunday night. "We used U-Dub's (Washington) indoor facility and Seattle University's indoor facility. We used both of those places and it paid off toward the end of the game. They (Olympia) were tired and they only went one way and we had guys going both ways. It paid off. It was hard work, but it was kind of fun too."

The Ballard guys thought their semi-final win over Olympia was to be televised, but found out later that it hadn't been. No such luck this coming weekend. All their bad plays, as well as their spectacular ones, will be put down for posterity with thousands and thousands watching from the comfort of their living rooms.

"I know I can get better, but this last game I'm going to play my hardest," Keauntea said. "And it's going to be on TV, so that's just something that's going to get our guys even more fired up.

"We just need to stay focused this week and prepare. We have our film sessions and our conditioning to do. We can't take the game for granted. We need to stay cool and level-headed and then peak out on Saturday when the game is, and not be too excited during the whole week. We still need to get our schoolwork done first, and then on Friday we can start peaking when school is over."

Neal Zoumboukos from Oregon made an in-home visit to the Bankhead residence Sunday, one of two schools to be represented that day. "He just talked to me about the college and some of the advantages going to Oregon," Keauntea said of his visit with the Ducks' Offensive Line coach. "He was calm and told me that he wants me to make my choice not by him persuading me to go, but only if I really want to go there, if I feel that it's going to be the best for me."

Right now, Bankhead's January 16th official visit date to Eugene is the only firm visit he has scheduled.

Later Sunday afternoon, Keith Gilbertson and Scott Pelluer from Washington paid the Bankheads a visit. "They were real fired up to be here," Keauntea said. "Coach Gilbertson isn't a big talker, so he just came in and hit the main points.

"He just talked about the good things about coming to the 'Dub', saying that it's close to home, you can have your family there, but you can live on campus and still get away at the same time. He also talked about tutors and helping with your schoolwork while playing football. And he also talked about how scholarships work."

And coach Pelluer? "He didn't talk that much, he just talked to me about the Apple Cup since I was there," said 'Key'. "Coach Gilbertson did most of the talking."

The Ducks and Huskies are content for Keauntea to play the process out. "They just said to have fun with recruiting because it's going to be one of the few times in your life where people pay this much attention to you and so they said that I should take all my visits, see how I like them and then sit down with my family and make my choices," he said.

Bankhead was supposed to visit UW this coming weekend, but he'll be on TV instead, doing his part to try and upend east-side powerhouse Pasco. He may reschedule his UW visit for the weekend of December 12th, but he also has the ACT test on the 13th. "That's also the weekend I was supposed to go to Arizona State, so I need to talk to the coaches about that," he said.

A coach from San Diego State has planned a Tuesday visit as well.

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