Colville football's Skirko and Michaliszyn swap cleats with yin-yang style, provide balance to Indians' offense

Taylor Newquist
Sports Editor

Colville receiver Paul Skirko and running back Grant Michaliszyn have shared a bulk of the Indians’ offensive production this year, with one through the air and the other on the ground, creating an attack that has been proven difficult to stop.
The pairs’ impact to their offense is well represented in their game day tradition of swapping one black and one white cleat. The style is as yin-yang on their feet as their contributions are to the Indian offense – with an emphasis on balance.
“We realized we had the same exact cleats just opposite colors,” Michaliszyn said. “I was just like, ‘hey Paul what size are those?’ and he said ‘13’, which so am I.”
The two started trading their cleats before the first game against Cheney and have been doing it the rest of the year as their good luck charm. The combination stands out on the field almost as much as their routinely highlight reel plays, that saw both Michaliszyn and Skirko receive first-team all-league honors this year.
“I’ve never seen it before,” Skirko joked. “We’re starting a trend.”
Whether or not their game day fashion catches on, what has already been an established trend is the two finding the end zone. At the end of the regular season, Michaliszyn and Skirko have combined for 1,571 rushing yards with 21 touchdowns and 967 receiving yards with 14 touchdowns. The two together average 282 total yards with 3.88 touchdowns a game, even with Skirko missing a game against Lakeside with a leg injury.
“It all starts with out quarterback,” Skirko said. “He sets the tone for us all and we know that we’re going to get it done.”
Michaliszyn added that the success offensively comes from trust.
“Whenever you have that trust it makes it easier because you don’t have to worry,” Michaliszyn said. “You can focus on your job.”
Michaliszyn, Skirko and the rest of the Indians are the No. 9 seed in the upcoming 1A State Playoffs. They travel to No. 8 seed Omak for the first round on Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. The two mix-matched offensive weapons will look to continue their success and make a run at defending Colville’s 2018 state championship.