Luke Hodson is the new football coach at South Whidbey High School. (Photo by Jim Waller/Whidbey News Group)

Luke Hodson is the new football coach at South Whidbey High School. (Photo by Jim Waller/Whidbey News Group)

Hodson replaces uncle as head coach at South Whidbey / Football

Mark and Luke Hodson share more than a last name.

First there is the family connection: Mark Hodson is Luke’s uncle.

Then there is the coaching connection: Mark was the last South Whidbey High School head football coach; Luke is the next.

That’s followed by the college football connections: Both played college football at Pacific Lutheran University under a coach Westering. Mark played for Frosty Westering; Luke was coached by Frosty’s son, Scott.

And finally a shared philosphy: Both believe high school football should be an enjoyable experience and not a grind.

Luke Hodson, who will replace Mark has the head coach, said he hopes his players “have the time of their lives” competing in the Falcon program. The football season is slated to begin next spring this school year because of the pandemic.

Mark Hodson coached the Falcons from 2001-13 and from 2017-19. During his first stint, he coached Luke, a 2009 graduate. After the 2013 season Mark Hodson stepped down to spend more time with his family. Over the next three seasons, the program went into a tailspin, winning only three games.

Mark Hodson returned to the helm in 2017 to help revive the program and re-invigorate community support. He did just that while leading the Falcons to three winning seasons.

With the program back on track, he stepped aside once again, this time turning the reins over to Luke.

Luke Hodson spent his youth in Wheaton, Ill., before moving to South Whidbey when he was a junior. While in high school, he played football and baseball for four years and basketball for two. He found success as a Falcon, earning first-team, all-league honors in both football and baseball in each of his two years at South Whidbey.

Luke Hodson went on to play wide receiver and tight end for Pacific Lutheran University. His father, Jeff, played baseball for four years at Greenville College in Illinois.

Mark and Jeff Hodson grew up on a farm in Asotin in Eastern Washington.

“My uncle and my father both had huge impacts on my life, and I respect and admire both of them to the highest extent,” Luke Hodson said. “I was very fortunate to have such solid role models growing up.”

This will be Luke Hodson’s first high school head coaching position. In addition to being on the offensive coordinator on last year’s football staff, he has been a high school assistant basketball coach and youth football and baseball coach.

Luke Hodson said he wanted the head football position “because I got something out of football and I want to give back to the young people who choose to play this sport on this beautiful island.”

“For me, life-long friendships and deep bonds were forged on the football field,” he added. “Football is where I learned what hard work and sacrifice for a cause greater than yourself meant. More than anything, though, I just freakin’ love football.”

His desire as a head coach is for his athletes to discover that “it’s fun to push yourself and compete.”

In addition, he hopes his players remember lessons learned “through hardships on the practice and game field” and come to cherish the friendships they developed more than game scores or season records.

Hodson would like his athletes to gain confidence and respect, learn to balance intensity and composure, and display sportsmanship.

Also, he will stress the importance of academics: “I believe students are students first, athletes second.”

Because of COVID-19, Hodson’s head-coaching debut won’t come until next spring. The interruption, however, has a plus, he said. The Falcons lost 17 players to graduation, and the delay will allow his young team to become more physically mature before the season starts.

Luke Hodson, 29, teaches special education at South Whidbey Elementary School.

More in Sports

scorebook-teaser
History lesson: Past youth baseball comes to life in old scorebooks / Part 1

Please excuse me while I break one of the rules of journalism… Continue reading

AED teaser
WhidbeyHealth donates AED to Oak Harbor High School athletic department

The Oak Harbor High School athletic department was granted an Automated External… Continue reading

Flake-teaser
COVID causes changes to college athletes’ careers

Oak Harbor High School graduate Elena Flake, a member of the University… Continue reading

collins-teaser
Collins begins head coaching career / Oak Harbor girls basketball

Oak Harbor High School will turn to one of its own to… Continue reading

prescott-teaser
WIAA changes guidelines for starting school sports

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association revised its guidelines for school sports this… Continue reading

teaser
Photos: Coupeville boys work on their hoop skills

John Fisken stopped by Coupeville High School’s boys basketball workout Thursday and… Continue reading

teaser
Photos: Wolves hit the volleyball practice court

Offseason workouts resumed for high school athletes last week, and Coupeville volleyball… Continue reading

Photos: Prep athletes return to practice field

Washington high school athletes were allowed to return to offseason workouts this… Continue reading

Hodson replaces uncle as head coach at South Whidbey / Football

Mark and Luke Hodson share more than a last name. First there… Continue reading

OHHS starts sponsorship program to help supplement athletic budget

The Oak Harbor High School athletic department has developed a sponsorship program,… Continue reading

Green on Greens: Community displays generosity in memorial golf tournament

While COVID-19 has put brakes on much of society’s activities, it didn’t… Continue reading

One-time team member takes over as sailing coach

Shawn P. O’Connor was once the student, now he is the teacher.… Continue reading