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Semi-pro football comes to Granite Falls

Published on Wed, Mar 7, 2007
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Semi-pro football comes to Granite Falls

Owner proves that dreams really do come true BY CHUCK TUCK | JOURNAL REPORTER Almost every town dreams of having a professional or semi-professional sports team to call their own, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

The wait is over for Granite Falls who now has a semi-pro football team.

Ready to make their mark in the new Cascade Football League, the Snohomish County Thunder became reality because of one man’s dream. A dream that was made of guts, luck, and a whole lot of determination and patience; and sometimes a little adjustment or redirection of goals.

For Mike Haggett his dream of becoming a professional football player didn’t happen, but that didn’t stop him from being part of the game.

“I never played until I was 24 years old and never played in high school,” Haggett said.

Haggett is now part owner of a semi-pro football team that he has brought to Granite Falls.

Although Haggett never played football in his teenage years, he is a 14-year veteran of the sport having played tight end for the Snohomish County Vikings and Eastside Express. Haggett is also a member of the class of 2006 minor league football Hall of Fame.
Haggett co-owns the team with his seven-year-old son Payton and twenty-one year old player, Ray Hanna.

“I was just brought into this, and it is nice being twenty-one and owning a semi-pro football team; it’s a great opportunity for somebody like me,” Hanna said.

Haggett added, “It’s the kind of thing you dream about in high school, and we have a tendency to give up on them after school.”

Early on in Haggett’s life after being outclassed at a football tryout, Haggett said he was ready to give up until he saw a skit.

“I saw a little skit from Walter Payton about giving everything in life, 140 percent; give it a shot with no regrets,” said Haggett realizing, “We don’t have limitations unless we put them on ourselves.”

Along with coaches Mike McMahan, Rocky Trumble and Derrick Richarson, Haggett plans on making a winning team for Granite Falls.

Living in Granite Falls wasn’t the only reason for Haggett bringing the team to his hometown.

To Haggett having a sense of pride and an involved community was every bit as important when it came to a decision on where to take the team.

“We like to maintain a family atmosphere, and involve the kids and involve the wives,” said Haggett adding, “we are trying to bring something positive to Granite Falls hoping to be known as a semi-pro football team town.”

Young Payton says when it comes to the team, “They are pretty good, they do their best,” adding, “I want to win too.”

“I’m looking to share this with my youngest boy, and have him be a part of this, and be a part of my life,” said Haggett, adding, “this is something positive in his life.

He also has an older son who plays baseball for San Jose State.

Currently the team is looking for more coaches, players, and sponsors.

“We’re hoping to get some guys out of the Granite Falls and Lake Stevens area to play,” Haggett said.

The first game of the season will be in Bellingham on April 28, and the first home game according to their schedule will be May 12 at the Granite Falls High School field.

The team will look for support in the community and hope they all come out to the games to enjoy Granite Falls’ very own semi-pro football team.

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