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Fathers, Sons and Cougar Football

A few father-son tandems have played for the Cougs

Washington State vs Oregon September 27, 2003 Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

Good morning, and Happy Father’s Day to all of you dads out there. That includes dad Kendall, who is probably celebrating a “job well done” as a father because neither of his sons are taking up residence on his couch. These days, that’s a win. As far as sports, dad Kendall is the perfect fan. He’ll sit and watch his favorite teams, but he never got as emotionally invested as his two knucklehead sons, and never let the stupidity of sports losses bother him.

When I was growing up, he preferred to spend his weekends out hunting or fishing or whatever, while yours truly preferred to sit at home and listen to the Washington State Cougars and/or watch the Seattle Seahawks. If you were a Cougars or Seahawks fan during the 80s, you’re probably aware of who had the better weekends. But hey, nobody can ever take away my memories of sitting through random 30-point losses to Stanford, or whoever.

Nowadays, my brother and I drag him along with us to college football games once every few years, and it’s pretty clear that dad prefers the pre-and-post game festivities than the game itself. While I was sweating the total at the Michigan Wolverines vs. Wisconsin Badgers game in Madison last season, dad was wondering how much longer we had to sit before getting to the postgame tailgate. Once again, I don’t need to tell you which one of us came out ahead.

What are we supposed to be talking about? Oh yeah, the Cougs. I was trying to think of which father-son combinations suited up for WSU Football over the years, and came up with three such instances. Then laziness kicked in and I quit looking. But then three became five and this got quite lengthy. Let’s have a look.

Jack and Tony Thompson

Before he became Papa Throw, Jack Thompson was - ok and maybe still is - the Throwin’ Samoan. Thompson is still one of the greatest quarterbacks in school history, and was a multiple time All-Conference and All-American honoree. His son, Tony, also donned the Crimson and Gray in the mid-2000s as a tight end. While he didn’t have the stellar impact that his dad did on the field, Tony has been a prominent member of the WSU community in his post-graduation life.

Wallace and Jeremey Williams

While many of us are familiar with Jeremy, it’s not as widely known that his dad, Wallace, also played offensive line at WSU in the early 1970s. At Ferris High School in Spokane, Jeremey grew into an outstanding player, and was one of Mike Price’s most touted recruits when he signed with WSU. He turned into a multi-year starter and was a key component to some of WSU’s best defensive lines ever in 2002 and 2003.

Jerry and Collin Henderson

Jerry Henderson started at quarterback for WSU in the mid-1960s, and left as the school’s all-time passing yardage leader, with 3,411 career yards. My, how times have changed. Not only did Jerry stand out on the field, he also earned Master’s and Doctorate degrees from WSU.

Jerry’s son, Collin, played receiver for Mike Price in the early 2000s and was also an academic standout. As a multi-year starter, Collin caught a total of 62 passes for 566 yards and one touchdown as a Coug. However, Henderson left WSU as one of the most prolific passers in school history. While Mike Price’s secret weapon threw a total of only 12 passes in four seasons, 11 of them were completions. Of those 11 completions, six (!!!) went for scores. Collin’s YPA was a staggering 41.6 and his passer rating was 606.0. Not too shabby! The one Henderson pass that sticks out to me is his 66-yard bomb to Mike Bush on the first play of the 2002 game at the UCLA Bruins. Touchdown, Washington State!

Ammon and Shawn McWashington

Ammon McWashington played around the same time Jerry Henderson did, and was a part of the “Cardiac Cougars” in 1965. That team began the season with wins at Iowa and Minnesota, finishing with a 7-3 record and a scant half-game out of the conference title. WSU also won at Indiana that season, and thus probably should have represented the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl. In two seasons with WSU, Ammon started at halfback and amassed more than 1,000 combined rushing and receiving yards.

Shawn started at receiver for one of WSU’s greatest teams in 1997, and was an academic standout as well, earning his degree before his final season on the field. As a senior, Shawn caught 33 passes for 597 yards and three touchdowns as a member of the fabled “Fab Five” receiving corps. His most memorable play, though, is almost certainly one on which he never touched the ball. With the score tied late in a game at the USC Trojans, Ryan Leaf hit Kevin McKenzie down the middle. McWashington peeled back and de-cleated a would-be Trojan tackler, springing McKenzie to the end zone for the deciding points. That remains one of my favorite WSU plays.

Clarence “Clancy” and Clarence “Butch” Williams

Clancy Williams was an out and out stud for the Cougs in the mid-1960s, excelling both on offense as a halfback and on defense at corner back. He led WSU in rushing in 1963 and 1964, and was named All-American as a DB as a senior. The Los Angeles Rams selected Clancy with the ninth overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft, and he started at left corner for eight straight seasons. Williams was nominated for the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Sadly, Clancy wasn’t able to see his son “Butch” Williams play for WSU, as he passed away due to cancer in 1986. Butch had quite the career himself at WSU, where he started at tight end for several years. He departed as the career leader in catches and yards for a tight end, and garnered All-Pac-10 honors in three straight seasons.

So that’s all I’ve got, and I’m sure I missed some.


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Not a lot today, as I’ve got a grill to clean. But Mrs. Kendall was slicing up avocados as part of our dinner this week, which led to the boys referring to me as the “Avocadbro.” I have no idea why they began doing this, but they thought it was the funniest thing they’d ever heard.

Also, here was the text I woke up to on Sunday morning:

Welcome to fatherhood in the 21st Century.


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