A Fairchild son makes his way into the books

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Natasha E. Stannard
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
One name erupted from the stands, one name echoed through the stadium as the running back sprinted into the record books with 4,141 yards, and one name thundered off into the field as the running back sprinted to his 359th yard of the game into the end zone for the game winning touchdown. "Bi-shop!, Bis-hop!, Bi-shop"

This was not Bishop Sankey's first, not his second, not his third, not his fourth, but his fifth and game winning touchdown of the game during a Gonzaga Prepatory School and Mead high school football game Oct. 21 at Joe Albi Stadium.

Gonzaga Prep running back Bishop Sankey is the son of Fairchild Tech. Sgt. Christopher Sankey, 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron. After catapulting to 156 yards with an eight-yard run in the second quarter, he also became the Greater Spokane League's rushing leader.

"I have the Bishop Ball, it's the Bishop ball," shouted a group of children as they retrieved the football used for the record breaking touch down.

Sankey dashed and maneuvered his way passed the defense and into the end zone pummeling over each blade of grass as if the field was a blaze he set to let out. After each touch down, he did not jump, he did not yell, he leisurely walked to his seat and recharged for the next play.

"He's a special player. I couldn't be more proud of him and the way he carries himself. He's very humble. He credits his (offensive) line." Gonzaga Prep coach Dave McKenna said.

The harsh buzzer broke through the cheering, the claxon echoed across the field signaling the end of the game, but the beginning of a very prolific career. Sankey ran his final yard passed Tyree Clowe's 12 year record of 3,937 yards and to the top of the Greater Spokane League's all rushing list with 4,141 yards.

"Thanks to my linemen and coaches--It's just a great achievement and I'll remember this for a long time," he said with a smile from ear to ear.

Sankey ran 55 of those yards to the end zone in his final touchdown with 1:21 remaining, which led the Gonzaga Prep Bullpups to their 35-21 victory over the Mead Panthers. 

After he made his record breaking touch down, Sankey sat. Stoic, his eyes went to tunnel vision. The cheers, the photos, the pats on the back were all blurred out by the sharp, precise vision of the green. A swig of water here and there was the only remnant of emotion until Sergeant Sankey walked up to him and told him to smile.

"He looked so serious, he's always all about business so I went up to him and told him you broke the record, you did something special-smile and then he jumped up and smiled," said Sergeant Sankey."It was a fulfilling moment to see him jump up and smile because all the work paid off."

"This is a big achievement for us," Sankey added. "We've just got to stay focused and take this thing as far as possible and not get complacent."

Complacency is not a key ingredient in the makeup of this player. Integrity first, service before self and excellence are a part of the Bishop Sankey recipe.

"I noticed he was a lot faster than everyone else on the field and he continued to get better every year," Sergeant Sankey said. "I noticed this and started instilling the Air Force values and told him he had to put in the extra work to get better."

Sankey lives by those values and immerses them into his training. The extra work he puts in at the gym and running up hills showed on the field that night.

"I'm very proud after watching him work so hard since fourth grade and putting so much work into extra training," his father said. "For him to get that recognition and break the record, meant a lot-it was a very special moment."

After arriving home from the game, Sankey, a senior, took out his phone and typed a message to the opposing team's quarterback telling the junior he would tear up the field next year.

He has his pick to tear up the field at almost any school in the nation and has verbally committed to do so at Washington State.

On Oct. 30, Sankey slid past another one of Clowe's records as he made his way to the single-season rushing record with his season total to 2,369 yards