Column: Colville's Paul Skirko plays with unwavering heart

Taylor Newquist
Sports Editor

During Colville’s 37-20 win over Lakeside on Sept. 27, senior tight end and linebacker Paul Skirko was on the sideline, nursing an injury to his knee and awaiting MRI results – to anyone watching, it was clear he’d do anything to get back on the field.
He came back last Friday for Colville’s narrow 21-20 loss to Deer Park, and his impact was felt. Skirko caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from junior Sam Anderson in the second quarter, and nearly came down with another toe-dragging play along the sideline later in the game.
Both times before he took the field, at the start of the game and second half, Skirko went around to numerous teammates and coaches to embrace them – it seemed that after sitting on the sidelines for a week it became clearer to him that any game could be his last, and he was going to leave it on the line.
“It’s these guys,” Skirko said about his teammates motivating him. “I have all the love for them and they give me energy when I’m down. It’s a brotherhood, and it’s amazing.”
Late in the fourth quarter as the Indians were attempting to come back, Deer Park gained possession with just over five minutes remaining in the game.
At this point Skirko was limping in-between plays, clearly hurting from his injured knee, but that didn’t slow his motor. On second down and ten, he shot through the line of scrimmage and tackled the Deer Park ball carrier for a loss of two, that saw Colville get the ball back with about 3:30 minutes remaining and a chance to win.
Skirko moved gingerly into the huddle, and on the first play of the next possession was handed the ball on an end-around. He picked up six yards and bulled-over a Deer Park defender, fighting for every inch.
“Really a gutsy effort,” Colville head coach Randy Cornwell said. “He wasn’t full speed and he hurt it a couple of times, but he’s a game kid.”
Though Colville lost to Deer Park, there’s no chance they take time to hang their heads or give up, and Skirko is the embodiment of that. He’ll be in the weight room come Monday morning, striving to improve himself and fight for his team.

–Taylor Newquist is the sports editor for The Statesman-Examiner reach him via email at