Announcements‎ > ‎

Bear Tracks - Niko Madison

posted Apr 10, 2013, 1:44 PM by Tahoma Football   [ updated Apr 10, 2013, 1:59 PM ]

In our weekly "Bear Tracks" feature, we catch up with a Tahoma Football alumnus and find out what they are doing after graduation.

Niko Madison, Class of 2011

When he graduated in 2011, Niko Madison owned the 4th best season of any running back in Tahoma history, rushing for over 1,000 yards and averaging over 7 yards per carry. As he looks back on his time at Tahoma, however, those numbers pale in comparison to the determination and focus he learned on the field and in the classroom.

After graduating, Niko took his talents to Pacific Lutheran University, where he plays football and is “pursuing a degree in the school of business, focusing on management.” Because Division III schools like PLU can’t offer athletic scholarships, Niko had to rely on his high sch

ool academics to earn a scholarship to the private university. He didn’t realize it until starting his college courses, but his Tahoma education prepared him to be successful at that level. “Tahoma prepared me for the hard work of academia. I took challenging classes at Tahoma and that forced me to manage my time better and focus on doing better for my life. Doing well in those courses led me to want to pursue higher education.”

That academic prowess, combined with the lessons he learned playing football at Tahoma, has allowed Niko to continue pursuing his other dream: playing college football. And he is living that dream at a high level. As a freshman, Niko finished second on the team with 121 yards and 2 TDs. He followed that up with an even better sophomore season, rushing for 268 yards and 7 TDs, averaging over 5 yards per carry. Going into his junior year, Niko is primed to continue improving.

When he reflects on his football experience, though, he speaks little of his on-field accomplishments, and more about the lessons he has learned from playing the game he loved. “Football gave me some of the best tools I use in almost every aspect of my life. To play football, one must learn to sacrifice for others, stay mentally tough, live healthy, to be a man of conviction and much more. These traits carried into events well outside the game for me.”

As for his old school, Niko offers some advice for current and future Tahoma student-athletes: “Chase your dreams and stay focused. It is easy to take the easy route and, to some, that is enough. But if you have high hopes and aspirations, you gotta work. At times you may doubt yourself or your capabilities, but it may come as a surprise the things you are able to accomplish with a little determination.”

Do you know a Tahoma Football alum doing amazing things after graduating? Send us a tip (with their contact info) at or have them fill out our questionnaire: