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Markham shines bright as three-sport standout

Banks senior Garrett Markham does it all for the Braves in football, basketball and track


by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: ZACK PALMER - Banks senior Garrett Markham unleashes a throw during the javelin competition at the Class 4A track and field state championships.Garrett Markham pretty much did it all this past school year.

The recent Banks graduate was a major player on the Braves’ league champion football team, a captain on a much improved basketball squad and an all-star thrower who made an appearance at the state championships for the track and field team.

Many athletes would be pleased to have one of those seasons in a career. Markham put them all together in one year.

He might have been at his best on the gridiron, where he was named the Cowapa League player of the year and second team all-state on offense as a quarterback after passing for 1,810 yards, rushing for 767 and accounting for 26 touchdowns.

Markham led Banks to an undefeated league season and a 9-1 overall mark, the only blemish being a 28-19 loss to Henley in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

“He was our go-to guy,” Banks coach Ben Buchanan said. “He’s a big, strong quarterback, and (in) the offense we were running this year the quarterback is a running back too. He was a guy we could turn to whenever we needed tough yards.”

Markham also was an all-league selection and a first team all-state pick on defense as a linebacker. He finished third on a dynamite defensive unit with 70 tackles and he also created three turnovers — two fumble recoveries and an interception.

Over the course of the season, Banks limited opponents to just 11.0 points per game — tops in the state at the Class 4A level — and the Braves recorded a school record four shutouts.

Perhaps Markham’s finest hour came in a 21-0 shellacking of reigning league champion Scappoose in both teams’ league opener on Sept. 27. During a homecoming game played in a downpour on a sloppy field, Markham was brilliant, going 15-for-21 for 261 yards in the air and hitting Jerod Barger for a 62-yard scoring pass in the third quarter.

“Garrett played another great game,” Buchanan said. “He didn’t throw an interception, he threw the ball really well, scrambled for his life at times and still made some positive yards out of nothing.”

In January, Markham earned a National Football Foundation Scholar/Athlete Award and accompanying scholarship.

On the basketball court, the 6-foot-2 senior forward was the only Brave named to the 12-player all-league team. He helped a much improved Banks squad flirt with a .500 record after a 3-19 campaign the season before. The team eventually posted a 9-13 overall record and finished fifth in a highly competitive Cowapa League. Five of the Braves’ losses in league play came by seven points or fewer.

In the spring, Markham turned out for his second track season, threw a 3-inch personal best in the javelin in his second meet of the season, and built from there. He hit his peak at the Cowapa League championships in mid-May, when he placed second with a personal-best throw of 169 feet, 7 inches.

That was good enough to make Markham a two-time Class 4A state meet qualifier in as many seasons. A week later, despite being limited by an ailing back, Markham made the nine-thrower final at state with a toss of 159-1. Though that effort did not land Markham on the awards stand, the Brave improved four spots nearly 19 feet from 2013.

It was a bittersweet ending to a year of quality, consistency and class.

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