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Saints football is all in the family for Galloways
For the first time since Pee Wees, Bob Galloway is coaching his son, Anthony, in football. Some things havent changed; from Pee Wee to semi-pro the son is a star running back, and dad is still pretty hard on the youngster.
Bob, offensive coordinator for the West Sound Saints, played the game himself while young as a running back in high school in Houston. Bob continued as a player/coach in the military, adding defensive safety to his resumé, along with continuing to run the ball on offense. He also started with Olympic College, back when the Rangers had a football program, during the 1983-84 season, but he had to hang up his cleats mid-way through the season to help at home when his mother became ill. Bobs return to football came when Anthony was 7.
I used to go and watch them, Bob said of the local Pee Wee program, and they were after me to help coach.
Bob resisted at first, but he couldnt resist his son.
He came up to me and said, Dad, I want to play football, Bob explained. I said, No, you dont want to play football. But he kept bugging me. So, I said Id coach if they would allow me to have my son on the team.
Bobs coaching of Anthony continued after the regular practice sessions would end, with Bob running his son through extra drills.
I wanted to make sure it was what he really wanted to do, Bob explained. He was younger than the other guys and I didnt want him to get hit and start crying. I didnt want that kind of drama.
Instead, Anthonys career has provided lots of drama, but its been defenders left weeping as Anthony has run over and around them at every level. He was the star in the South Kitsap backfield his senior year, but that only came about after going through his fathers paces again.
When Anthony told Bob he wanted to play for the Wolves, Bob took him across the inlet on the ferry, explaining to him how hed have to go through extra steps to make everything work. He also put Anthony through a workout in Port Orchard. It started raining during the workout and Anthony wanted to stop, but Bob wouldnt let him.
They play football in the rain, Bob said.
Anthony continued running stairs.
Anthony also did whatever it took to make things work out, and even though he was smaller than the prototypical feature back at South, he earned the starting job his senior year.
When he told me, Dad, they made me the starting running back, I said, That cant be, Bob said.
Anthony turned in a sterling season, rushing for more than 1,500 yards. A one-year stint at the College of the Redwoods followed and he is now in his second season with the Saints.
The game speed is about the same, Anthony said, but they hit harder.
Anthony doesnt have a problem with the speed or the toughness.
He can cut on a dime and leave you handcuffed, said Saints coach John Corey, and he doesnt mind running people over either.
Anthony served his time as backup last season, but hes leading the team in scoring this year, racking up four touchdowns in the first three games.
I had to be patient, Anthony said.
Now he has to sometimes remind himself to be patient with his fathers coaching as well.
Hes still real hard on me. He tries not to show any favoritism. Hes real strategic. He likes to make sure everything is done right, Anthony said.
Whether Bob is hard on Anthony or not, one thing is clear, Bob is one of Anthonys biggest fans.
Hes just a joy (to coach), Bob said. He works so hard. I dont have to talk to him that much. He knows the game. He always goes 110 percent, and hes not afraid of anything.
Bobs instilling of a strong work ethic has blended strongly with Anthonys own drive to succeed.
He can be his own worst enemy, Bob said. Hes so hard on himself when he makes a mistake.
Fortunately for the Saints, Anthony doesnt make many. The goal this year is two-fold, first, to help the Saints make their way back into the playoffs, and second, to attract the attention of another college program where Anthony can take advantage of his remaining eligibility.
Anthony and the Saints (1-2) will look to attract more attention in the Northwest Football League tonight in Edmonds, as they take on the 2-1 Snohomish County Vikings at 6 p.m.