When Noah Stifle walked off the Pop Keeney Stadium field last December, it marked the final time he’d wear the Woodinville uniform.
But the senior quarterback will play again this July, when he’ll participate in the 3A/4A East-West All-State Game at Tomlinson Stadium in Ellensburg, Washington.
Woodinville head coach Wayne Maxwell was the one who inquired with Stifle.
“He was saying I had an opportunity to play in one more game,” Stifle said. “Did I want to take advantage of it? I said absolutely! I'm really looking forward to it. A bunch of people I'm friends with are getting the opportunity to play in this game as well. It's going to be great to play with these guys that I've never been able to play with before.”
Stifle quarterbacked the Woodinville Falcons for the past two seasons, leading them to a pair of semifinal appearances and a 22-4 record. His strongest asset was his mobility in the pocket and ability to get to the edge. Coach Maxwell has publicly stated that the harshest critic of Noah Stifle was Stifle himself.
“That's just the competitor in me,” Stifle said. “I always trained with Cage [Schenck] in the offseason, and also with Carter [Smith], Jack [Diskin] and Daniel [Bacon] and all my receivers and stuff. Woodinville has always been known as a defensive team. We really wanted to change that. We wanted to be big and be remembered. We know that the  team was special. Not just on the field but off the field, in terms of how close we were. We pushed each other as best we could.”
The Falcons also liked to have fun. Following a victory, the locker room shook and rattled. Virtually every player would sing and rap along to the song “Robbery” by the late rapper Juice WRLD. If the ‘19 season had a theme song, Robbery was it.
Stifle explained the origins behind choosing that song. It began after Woodinville’s season-opening game against Balboa in San Francisco.
“After every game we win, the whole team sings,” Stifle said. “But in San Francisco, it was a longer bus ride than we usually have. We ran out of songs to sing. So we started playing a bunch of songs everyone knew the lyrics to. That song grew on us. So when we got back home [to Pop Keeney Stadium], Matt Harvey, our center, brought in his big speaker and we just started blasting it.
“We loved celebrating with each other,” Stifle added. “Everyone in that senior class had played with each other for years. So given that we were in our last season, we wanted to make it as fun as possible.”
But now, as Stifle prepares for the All-State game in July, he plans to ratchet up his physical training and weight lifting. He doesn’t know yet whether he will play at the collegiate level.
“A lot of thoughts run through my mind,” he said. “I have an opportunity to continue playing. Obviously that's super cool. The problem is finding the right fit. Choosing a college will be one of the most permanent decisions I've made, to this point [in my life]. I want to make sure it’s the right situation.”