Lincoln High School head football coach Masaki Matsumoto and his players to raise the Seattle Seahawks 12th Man Flag

Masaki Matsumoto
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The honor of raising the Seattle Seahawks’ 12th Man flag before Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys goes to Lincoln High School head coach Masaki Matsumoto and his team. Matsumoto has been the Abes’ head coach since 2015 when he took over former NFL quarterback and Lincoln alum Jon Kitna.

Our second flag raiser of the season: Lincoln High School head football coach Masaki Matsumoto. Coach Matsumoto and the Lincoln football team were selected for their commitment to their community during the pandemic. Although their football season this fall was cancelled, they chose to spend their time volunteering twice a week at the Tacoma Rescue Mission.


Matsumoto, a Washington native, returned to his home state after a highly-successful stint at Los Angeles’ Bernstein High School where he amassed a 29-8 record in three seasons. Before Coach Matsumoto took-over the Bernstein program, the Dragons had only won four of 40 games after the school opened in 2008.

In 2013, Matsumoto made national headlines when he asked the parents of his players to write a letter telling them how much they loved them.

Flashback: Jon Kitna returns to high school football

In 1984, the Seahawks retired the number 12 jersey to honor their fans, who are known as some of the noisiest in football. The tradition of raising the flag began in 2003.

The State of Washington has postponed high school football until next Spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read: Washington moves high school football to 2021

Read: Where NFL starting QB’s played high school football

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.