Meet the first faces of the Pacific NW Hawks Football Team & Trade School

On March 16th In the heart of Tulalip, Washington, history is being forged as the first four football players of the Pacific NW Hawks Football Team & Trade School meet their new Head Coach and founder, Darin Andrews. This innovative venture not only heralds the dawn of a new era in sports but also presents a bold solution to tackle the looming labor shortage gripping the nation.

Coach Andrews, a visionary in his own right, seized the opportunity to combine the passion for football with the urgent need for skilled laborers. Thus, the Pacific NW Hawks Football Team & Trade School was conceived. It’s not merely a team but a gateway to a promising future for young men, bridging the worlds of sports and the workforce.

Among these trailblazers is Marcus Saunders, a towering Defensive Tackle hailing from Alabama, standing at an imposing 6 feet 3 inches and weighing 265 pounds. With a relentless drive and strength to match, Marcus embodies the spirit of perseverance, ready to dominate on the field and in his chosen trade.

Marcus Saunders stands as the true pioneer of this transformative journey, embodying the ethos of dedication and determination. As the first student to commit to the Pacific NW Trade School, Marcus’s decision to relocate to the Pacific Northwest symbolizes a bold leap into the unknown, driven by his unwavering ambition to excel both athletically and academically. Leaving behind the familiar sights and sounds of Alabama, Marcus embraces this opportunity with open arms, eager to immerse himself in a new community and forge a path toward success. With his commitment to the Pacific NW Trade School, Marcus paves the way for future generations of aspiring athletes and tradesmen, proving that with perseverance and resilience, the sky’s the limit in achieving one’s dreams.

Joining Marcus is Josiah Pesterkoff, a dynamic Running Back standing at 5 feet 10 inches and weighing in at 210 pounds, hailing from Arlington, Washington. Josiah brings agility and determination, fueled by his passion for the game and the prospect of building a successful career beyond the gridiron.

Adding to the formidable lineup is Jaden Bridgers, an Offensive Tackle towering at 6 feet 5 inches, originating from Bellevue, Washington. Jaden’s size and skill make him a formidable force on the field, while his ambition extends beyond the game as he looks to carve out a future in the trades.

Completing this quartet of pioneers is Vante Brown, a versatile Running Back standing at 5 feet 11 inches, representing Redmond, Washington. Despite his stature, Vante possesses lightning speed and agility, coupled with a determination to excel both in football and in the world of trades. Vante is also the first player to reach out to Coach Andrews 4 years ago in 2020, just after the start of the pandemic. His ambition is what gave Coach Andrews the vision of bringing sports and trades together. Vante is also leading the company as events manager and is currently working on our first game in August.

Under the mentorship of Coach Andrews, these four young athletes are poised to become the vanguards of a movement set to redefine the concept of student-athlete. With a focus on athletic prowess and vocational training, the Pacific NW Hawks Football Team & Trade School aims to mold well-rounded individuals equipped to meet the demands of the modern workforce.

But the aspirations of Coach Andrews and his team extend beyond the field. With aspirations to ascend to Division III NCAA status, the Pacific NW Hawks aspire to compete at the highest level while nurturing the next generation of skilled tradesmen.

At the helm of this groundbreaking endeavor is Reese Bliek,

the owner of Coppertop Construction, a respected figure in the Oak Harbor & Coupeville, Washington community. Reese, a dedicated physician assistant (PA), brings not only his expertise in healthcare but also his passion for empowering young individuals to pursue their dreams. Recognizing the symbiotic relationship between sports and trades, Reese has taken on the responsibility of employing the first group of athletes, providing them with the opportunity to play football while honing their skills in the trades under his guidance.

Through Coppertop Construction, Reese is not only offering these athletes a chance to excel on the field but also setting them on a path toward a fulfilling career in the trades. His commitment to their development both as athletes and as skilled laborers embodies the spirit of community and opportunity that defines the Pacific NW Hawks Football Team & Trade School initiative. With Reese Bliek’s unwavering support, these young men are not only chasing their football dreams but also laying the foundation for a prosperous future in the trades, ensuring their success both on and off the field.

The journey commences on August 9th, under the radiant glow of Friday night lights, as the Pacific NW Hawks take to the field for their inaugural game. However, this is more than just a game; it’s a celebration of innovation and opportunity. Prior to kickoff, the public is invited to explore a Trade Show featuring top regional employers, showcasing the diverse career pathways available through the Pacific NW Hawks Football Team & Trade School.

As the sun dips below the horizon, and the cheers of the crowd reverberate through Tulalip, it’s evident that something extraordinary is unfolding. The Pacific NW Hawks Football Team & Trade School isn’t just a team; it’s a revolution. With Marcus, Josiah, Jaden, and Vante leading the charge, the future has never looked brighter.


You can RSVP here for free tickets to the game.



Paving the Way: Marcus Saunders, Jahsim Mathurin, A Fusion of Football and Skilled Trades

A Blue-Collar Football League

In the heart of Madison, Alabama, and the streets of Hartford, Connecticut, two young athletes are gearing up to make history, not just on the football field, but in the world of skilled trades. Marcus Saunders, a 22-year-old, standing tall at 6’3″ and weighing in at 265 pounds, brings his versatile prowess as a lineman. Alongside him is Jahsim Mathurin, a 5’10” cornerback with swift agility, representing Hartford, Connecticut. Both are set to play for the Intense National Football League (INFL) and the Pacific NW Hawks Football team while simultaneously pursuing a career in carpentry.


But the story doesn’t start with Marcus and Jahsim. Enter Darin Andrews, a 25-year master electrician and football coach, and Jonathon Crite, an Arizona graduate. Darin has been a contractor in the Seattle area for two decades and suffered from the persistent issue of a labor shortage to meet market demand. It was this challenge that sparked the vision of merging football and skilled trades.

Darin and Jonathon go way back. Darin coached Jon with the Snohomish Vikings from 2012 to 2015, and their camaraderie evolved into a lasting friendship. Recognizing the potential to address the labor gap in the trades through the platform of football, they founded the INFL. Darin, with his expertise in the trades, and Jonathon, armed with a degree from Arizona, brought a unique blend of skills to the table.

The INFL is not just about touchdowns and field goals; it’s a revolution, a bridge between the adrenaline of sports and the precision of craftsmanship. The league aims to inspire youth to embrace skilled trades, turning them into future electricians, plumbers, HVAC techs, carpenters, and more.

On the 11th of this month, Jahsim will make the journey from the East Coast to join the Pacific NW Hawks, followed closely by Marcus on the 15th. Both athletes have chosen to work for Reese Bliek & Coppertop Construction on the beautiful island of Oak Harbor, where Darin Andrews looks to build his first School. This synergy between athletes, coaches, and industry experts is what sets the INFL apart.

Marcus, Jahsim, are not just players; they are Pioneers of a new narrative. As they put on the jerseys of the Pacific NW Hawks, they carry the legacy of Darin’s 25 years in the Seattle area, fighting against the labor shortage. Their collaboration is a testament to the vision of Darin Andrews and Jonathon Crite, who believe that the future lies in integrating sports and skilled trades.

Living on the enchanting island of Oak Harbor, Marcus and Jahsim are not just athletes; they are contributors to the local community. Coppertop Construction becomes more than just a workplace; it’s a hub of innovation and collaboration. With Darin Andrews as their mentor, they are not only learning football but also acquiring skills that will empower them beyond the playing field.

The arrival of Marcus Saunders, Jahsim Mathurin, Darin Andrews, and Jonathon Crite is not just a turning point for the Pacific NW Hawks; it’s a monumental step for the INFL. Their combined expertise, camaraderie, and commitment to bridging the gap between football and trades mark the beginning of a transformative era. As they set foot on the island, they carry the dreams of countless youngsters aspiring to follow in their footsteps, creating a legacy that transcends both the gridiron and the construction site.

On August 9th, the Pacific NW Hawks are set to make history as they step onto the field at the Everett Memorial Stadium for their inaugural Friday Night Lights Game. The stadium, charged with the anticipation of a groundbreaking football season, will witness the collision of talent and passion as Marcus Saunders, Jahsim Mathurin, and the entire Hawks team take center stage. What makes this event even more special is the commitment to community engagement, as the game will be free for members of the Northwest Home Club and the Pacific NW Trade School.

It’s more than just a football game; it’s a celebration of a new era where sports and craftsmanship unite under the Friday Night Lights, setting the stage for a season of innovation, camaraderie, and a shared vision for the future.

You can RSVP Here


Bridging Dreams and Trades: The Inaugural Pacific NW Hawks Football Team Trade Show is scheduled for August 9th

The anticipation is building in the Pacific Northwest as the first-ever Pacific NW Hawks football team gears up for a historic event at Everett Memorial Stadium on August 9th. What sets this event apart from your typical game day experience? It’s not just about the touchdowns and tackles; it’s about a three-year journey that has paved the way for a groundbreaking program, bringing together sports, education, and the skilled trades. The brainchild of Darin Andrews and Jonathon Crite, the Pacific NW Hawks represent a revolutionary initiative under the umbrella of the Intense National Football League (INFL) – the world’s first blue-collar football league.

Darin Andrews

Jonathon Crite

The Birth of a Vision: Darin Andrews, fueled by a passion for both football and the trades, embarked on a mission to create something unique. His vision was not just to form a football team but to establish a platform that seamlessly integrates sports, education, and skilled trades. In 2020, this dream began to take shape as Darin partnered with Jonathon Crite, and together, they laid the foundation for the Intense National Football League.

Building the Program: Over the next three years, Darin and Jonathon worked tirelessly to bring their vision to life. They envisioned a program that would not only give young athletes a platform to showcase their football skills but also provide them with access to quality education and vocational training in the trades. The trade school, an integral part of their initiative, would equip youth with the skills needed for a successful career in various blue-collar professions.

The Pacific NW Hawks: More than Football: The Pacific NW Hawks are not just a football team; they are a symbol of opportunity and inclusivity. By establishing the first-ever blue-collar football league, the INFL aims to break down barriers and open doors for aspiring athletes who may also have an interest in the trades. The league’s unique approach showcases that dreams of sports stardom and successful careers in the trades can coexist.

Trade Show Extravaganza: The Trade Show scheduled at Everett Memorial Stadium on August 9th is a celebration of this three-year journey. Starting at 3:00 PM, the event will feature exhibits from local businesses and trade schools, providing attendees with valuable insights into various vocational opportunities. It’s not just a game day; it’s an experience that goes beyond the field, encouraging attendees to explore the world of trades and education.

Kickoff Under the Lights: As the sun sets, the main event kicks off at 7:45 PM with the Pacific NW Hawks taking on their rivals. The stadium, lit up with the energy of both the game and the Trade Show, symbolizes the union of sports and trades, creating an atmosphere that is both thrilling and educational.

The Pacific NW Hawks’ journey from concept to reality represents a bold step towards redefining the relationship between sports, education, and the skilled trades. Darin Andrews and Jonathon Crite’s dedication has given birth to more than just a football team; it’s a movement that aims to inspire and empower the youth of the Pacific Northwest. The Trade Show and Football Game on August 9th are not just a celebration of their success but a testament to the limitless possibilities that arise when passion meets purpose.

You can RSVP early by clicking this link HERE  


Marcus Saunders AKA “MJ” is a 22 year old  6’3″ 265 lb DT/OT our of Alabama and has become the official 1st player to commit to the Pacific NW Trade School & football team, where he will compete in the workforce, school & football team. Our program is designed to bring young athletes into the skilled trades where there is a whopping labor shortage as Gen Z  is just not joining the workforce.

The skilled trades industry is currently grappling with a significant and widespread labor shortage, posing a multifaceted challenge to economies and communities alike. As seasoned professionals retire and younger generations increasingly pursue alternative career paths, there’s a growing gap in the skilled workforce. Industries such as construction, manufacturing, and technology find themselves in dire need of qualified tradespeople, from electricians and plumbers to welders and technicians. This scarcity not only hampers the ability to meet the demands of burgeoning projects but also hinders economic growth. Addressing this labor shortage requires a concerted effort from educational institutions, businesses, and policymakers to inspire a renewed interest in the trades, provide accessible training opportunities, and cultivate an environment where these valuable skills are celebrated and rewarded. Only through collaborative initiatives and a collective commitment to promoting the trades can we bridge this gap and ensure a robust and skilled workforce for the future.

The Pacific NW Trade School emerges as a transformative force, creating a unique pathway for aspiring young athletes to chase their dreams of becoming professional football players while simultaneously preparing for a fulfilling life in the skilled trades. In a groundbreaking move, the school recently celebrated the first contract signing of Marcus Saunders, an impressive 6’3″, 265lb defensive tackle/offensive tackle hailing from Alabama. Marcus exemplifies the school’s commitment to nurturing not only athletic prowess but also the development of marketable skills. By providing access to education and vocational training, Marcus is not only gearing up for a promising career in football but is also laying the groundwork for a future in the skilled trades. This inaugural signing signifies a pivotal moment, highlighting the Pacific NW Trade School’s dedication to empowering young athletes like Marcus, ensuring they are well-prepared for success both on and off the field.

So as applications are pouring in, we are setting the tone in the labor recruiting industry and changing the game for young adults to pursue a career while playing their favorite sport. We will continue to bring you stories from this exciting new program in hopes you get involved by coming to our events and support these amazing young athletes.

Welcome aboard Marcus! Lets make history together…

INFL Tackles Labor Shortage: Offering Trade School and Sports to Get Kids into Blue Collar Careers

The ongoing labor shortage in various industries has become a topic of concern for employers, economists, and policymakers alike. As the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are struggling to find enough workers to meet the growing demand for goods and services.

The labor shortage has affected a wide range of industries, including hospitality, food service, retail, manufacturing, and transportation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were a record-high 10.9 million job openings in July 2021, while the unemployment rate was 5.2%. This indicates that there are more job openings than there are available workers to fill them.

There are several reasons for the labor shortage. One of the main reasons is the pandemic itself. Many workers lost their jobs during the pandemic and have not returned to work due to health concerns or caregiving responsibilities. Some workers have also left the workforce to pursue education or training, while others have retired early.

Another reason for the labor shortage is the federal government’s enhanced unemployment benefits, which provide an additional $300 per week on top of state unemployment benefits. Some employers argue that these benefits are discouraging workers from returning to work because they are making more money on unemployment than they would by working.

Additionally, there are structural issues in the labor market that are contributing to the shortage. Some industries, such as hospitality and food service, have historically low wages and poor working conditions, which makes it difficult to attract and retain workers. There is also a skills mismatch, where the jobs available do not match the skills and experience of the available workforce.

To address the labor shortage, employers are taking various measures, such as increasing wages, offering signing bonuses, and providing more flexible work arrangements. Some employers are also investing in training and development programs to upskill their existing workforce and attract new workers.

Policymakers are also taking action to address the labor shortage. Some states are ending the federal unemployment benefits early to encourage workers to return to work. The federal government is also investing in infrastructure and workforce development programs to create more job opportunities and train workers for the jobs of the future.

The labor deficit that has persisted for over a decade is a persistent challenge for the US economy. This deficit, which refers to a shortage of skilled workers across multiple industries, has been driven by a combination of factors, including an aging workforce, a skills gap, and changing workforce demographics. Despite strong demand for workers, employers have struggled to find qualified candidates to fill open positions. This has resulted in higher wages and reduced productivity, which can have a negative impact on overall economic growth. Addressing the labor deficit will require long-term solutions, such as investments in education and training, as well as policies that encourage greater labor force participation and immigration.

The Pacific NW Hawks can play a significant role in encouraging young people to pursue blue-collar jobs by offering free education and sports opportunities. The INFL can use its popularity and reach to create programs that provide access to vocational education, apprenticeships, and training programs that prepare young people for careers in skilled trades such as welding, plumbing, or carpentry. By partnering with local schools, colleges, and employers, the PNW Hawks can help create a pipeline of skilled workers to meet the growing demand for blue-collar jobs.


In addition to educational opportunities, the INFL can also use sports to engage and motivate young people to pursue blue-collar careers. By offering free football camps, clinics, and tournaments, the INFL can help kids develop their athletic skills while also introducing them to the range of career opportunities available in the skilled trades. This approach can be particularly effective in reaching young people who may not have considered a career in the trades or may not have access to traditional career development resources. By leveraging the excitement and passion surrounding sports, the INFL can inspire young people to pursue blue-collar careers and help close the skills gap in the US.

In conclusion, the labor shortage is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach to address. Employers, policymakers, and workers all have a role to play in finding solutions to the shortage. By investing in workers, creating better working conditions, and providing more opportunities for training and development, we can build a stronger, more resilient workforce that can meet the demands of the 21st century economy.

PNW Trade School

Skilled Trades Labor Shortage: Workforce Aging as Fewer Recruits Enter Trades

New INFL Skilled Trades analysis highlights worker scarcity in the skilled trades and identifies top jobs open today

TACOMA, Wash.July 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The skilled trades industry is proving to be one of the hardest hit by worker scarcity. According to a new analysis by INFL Skilled Trades, a specialized division of staffing, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a skilled labor shortage that companies are still struggling with today. In the period from March 2020 to December 2021, four million jobs were open in key skilled trades industries like construction—more than double the amount of vacancies pre-pandemic.

Based on INFL Skilled Trade’s analysis of thousands of currently open positions within the skilled trades industry, jobs with the most openings right now include:

  • Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers
  • Painters
  • Roofers
  • Electricians
  • First Line Supervisors

As workers continue to age out of the skilled trades, fewer people enter the field. The data analyzed by INFL Skilled Trades shows that 40% of the 12 million people in the skilled trades workforce are over the age of 45, with nearly half of those workers over the age of 55, and less than 9% of workers aged 19-24 entering the trades.

With so few young workers joining the skilled trades, there is real imperative for employers to develop programs that will attract new talent, while investing in and retaining their existing workforce. With thousands of openings in the skilled trades today, employers who find innovative ways to instill a sense of belonging and pride within their workforce and the skilled trades as a whole will have a competitive advantage for the future.”

To attack this problem, the Intense National Football League (INFL) is developing a sports and trade school, to attract youth into the trades.

Interested in learning more? Visit

From helper and apprentice to master-level opportunities across a variety of trades, INFL Skilled Trades is working to connect tradespeople with work & skilled training throughout the U.S.

About INFL Skilled Trades

INFL Skilled Trades is a specialized division of Intense National Football League Inc, a Blue Collar sports & trade school company. Since 2020 the INFL has been working to get give trades companies i.g. carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding, solar installations and more, a recruiting and marketing platform.