LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (KOIN) — Lake Oswego head football coach Steve Coury said there was “total confusion on my part and our part” at the end of the Lakers game against West Linn last Friday.
“The one guy that calmed things down was out on the field,” he said. “And that was Casey.”
Casey Filkins, the senior running back, took over when his team was out of time outs and down by a touchdown.
“There’s a really good quote: In the heat of the moment, you don’t rise to the occasion. You sink to the level of your training,” Filkins said. “So I just looked at JJ and told him to hand the ball off and it worked.”
Filkins called the game-winning play to move Lake Oswego to 5-1 on the season.
“We have such good chemistry as a team and it just showed on that play and that’s something we’ll never forget,” he said.
His committment to training, though, is what likely made that play possible.
Coury said Filkins worked hard to get better — added weight, added speed, put in the effort. “Those things are the things that you see him today a different player than he was last year. And he was a great player last year, but he has improved his game a bunch and it all came in the offseason.”
Filkins said his work ethic comes from his parents. He was motivated to become a team leader and well as get better on the field.
“I’m trying to play football at the highest level I can and continue to play football for as long as I can. So that’s the kind of work that it takes.”
He’s committed to Cal for next season, but it’s a player from the Golden Bears’ rival that he’s compared to — Christian McCaffrey. That’s not an accident.
Filkins followed McCaffrey through this Stanford career and into the pros to learn what made the 5-foot-11 Panthers running back so successful. A lot of that, he said, is the mental aspect of the game, of taking “a moment to slow down and kind of process what the situation is.”
“Just watching him do that’s given me the confidence to do that, too.”
Casey Filkins is the KOIN Athlete of the Week for October 18, 2019.