FERNDALE, Wash. – It’s where the legend began, and where dozens of people watched the latest chapter unfold.
You could hear the cheers outside the Cedar’s Restaurant in downtown, as people watched the UW football team face off in the Holiday Bowl. Starting Quarterback Jake Locker grew up here, and Thursday was the last time anyone would see him suit up in the purple and gold.
“It’s given us another reason to celebrate what are community is,” says Locker’s friend Shay Flaherty.
Jake Locker grew up in this small Whatcom County town, and was a football star, leading his high school team to the 3A state championship. He faced a Mount Baker sized weight on his shoulders when he left town for the UW. His high school teammates have been proud to see him take the grand stage.
“He’s been put under a lot of pressure, and I think he’s handled it pretty well,” says former Ferndale High football player Mitchell Johnson, “He is who he is. I think he’s been one of the success stories.”
“The pressure from the town, from the city of Seattle, the state, he’s handled as well as anyone can,” says Flaherty.
And now, with a bowl win, there are those who believe Locker’s legacy will always be something the city can be proud of.
“Whether is a winning record, or a losing record or whatever,” says Flaherty, “Getting the program back on track, he’s a part of that, and that’s a success in and of itself.”