Sonny Sixkiller

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Sonny Sixkiller
Born (1951-09-06) September 6, 1951 (age 63)
Tahlequah, Oklahoma, U.S.
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 190 pounds (86 kg)
Position(s) Quarterback
College Washington
Teams
1974
1975
Philadelphia Bell - WFL
The Hawaiians - WFL

Alex L. "Sonny" Sixkiller[1] (born September 6, 1951) is a former American football player and current sports commentator.

Early years[edit]

Born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and a member of the Cherokee Nation, Sixkiller's family moved to Ashland in southern Oregon when he was a year old, where his father worked in a lumber mill.[2][3] He attended Ashland High School and was a good student and a letterman in football, basketball, and baseball. In football, Sixkiller was an All-Southern Oregon Conference selection and a second team All-State selection. He was a back-up at quarterback as a sophomore to senior Gene Willis, who later played at Washington. In basketball, he was an all-conference selection. In baseball, he was a pitcher and an all-conference selection. Sonny Sixkiller graduated from Ashland High School in 1969. He had hoped to stay in-state and play for Oregon State in Corvallis, but head coach Dee Andros declined to offer him a scholarship, wary of his lack of size (5'11", 171 lb.)[2]

University of Washington[edit]

On the advisement of Willis, head coach Jim Owens recruited Sixkiller and offered him a scholarship to the University of Washington in Seattle. Due to his name, he was given uniform number 6. He became the starting quarterback for the Huskies as a sophomore in 1970 and led the Huskies to a 6-4 record, a vast improvement over the 1-9 record in 1969. He completed 186 passes for 2303 yards and 15 touchdowns in what many called the Year of The Quarterback, in which Jim Plunkett passed for 2,715 passing yards on the year (which broke his own conference record) and won the Heisman Trophy, given annually to the top college football player in the country, beating out Notre Dame's Joe Theismann and Archie Manning of Ole Miss to win the award. Sixkiller missed four games as a senior in 1972 finished his college career with 385 completions for 5496 yards and 35 touchdowns, and held fifteen school records.[4] The Huskies posted consecutive 8-3 records in 1971 and 1972.[5]

Professional football[edit]

Not selected in the 1973 NFL Draft, Sixkiller had tryouts with the Los Angeles Rams in 1973[4] and with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League in 1974. He signed with the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League in September 1974[6] and played with The Hawaiians in 1975, until the league folded in October. He tried out with the San Diego Chargers in 1976.

Sixkiller was also a cast member in the 1974 film The Longest Yard. Sixkiller currently works as a color analyst for Root Sports Northwest.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spokesman-Review - Soph passer brings hopt to Huskies - Associated Press - 1970-09-19 - p.14
  2. ^ a b St. Petersburg Times - 'Legend of Sonny Sixkiller' latest football ballad - United Press International - 1970-11-14 - p.2-C
  3. ^ Blount, Roy, Jr. (October 4, 1971). "The Magic Number Is Sixkiller". Sports Illustrated. 
  4. ^ a b Eugene Register-Guard - Sonny's bid for Ram job comes to end - United Press International - 1973-08-12 - p.B1
  5. ^ cfbdatawarehouse.com - Washington Huskies - 1970-74
  6. ^ Spokesman-Review - Bell inks Huskies' Sixkiller - Associated Press - 1974-09-20 - p.26

External links[edit]