With input from coaches, each year The Olympian selects its All-Area football team that traditionally publishes on Thanksgiving Day.
This year, 11 different schools in the Olympia area are represented with players and coaches on the All-Area first team. The 28 spots, broken down by leagues are 2A EvCo (nine), 4A Narrows (eight), 2A SPSL (five), 3A Narrows (four), 1A EvCo (one) and 2B Pacific (one).
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Player of the year, 6-3, 200, senior
What didn’t the 4A Narrows offensive MVP do this season? He rushed (92 carries for 727 yards), he received (31 catches for 484 yards) and he quarterbacked the Wildcat offense (10 of 15 passing for 221 yards). He scored 15 total TDs. And, on defense, one of the state’s most dominating safeties. Tallied 71 tackles and four interceptions. Special teams? Had 489 return yards.
Thankful for in 2015: “Family and friends.”
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He and his staff were voted 2A EvCo Coaching Staff of the Year. He’s been on the Black Hills staff since the school opened in 1997, but led the Wolves on a record-breaking run to cap his second season at the head of the program. They cruised to a 7-0 record – the best start in school history – and finished 8-2 to make it to the first round of the 2A state playoffs for the first time since 2009.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for a healthy family, and the reason I’m here, which is my players and coaches.”
Running back, 5-11, 185, junior
Not even a two-game absence late in the season with a shoulder injury could slow down the 4A Narrows first-teamer. The backbone of the Bears backfield consistently slipped through holes in the defense and averaged 200 yards per game. He led the area with 182 rushes for 1,538 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Thankful for in 2015: “Family and friends.”
Running back, 5-9, 180, senior
Not out of nowhere, but he made the transition from starting JV fullback to the 2A EvCo Offensive Player of the Year in 12 months. Relentless, won’t go down on first contact and a persistent frustration for opposing defenses. Leads the T-Birds in rushing with 979 yards on 158 carries and 18 TDs.
Thankful for in 2015: “My family that supports me through everything and my brothers throughout the whole team.”
Quarterback, 6-2, 180, senior
A whirlwind of passing records here. Most attempts (36) and completions in a game (23), most passing TDs in a game (four – and he did that twice this year) and most yards passing in a game (339). His 2,412 passing yards this season and 3,314 in his career are also Yelm records. Finished 164 of 264 passing this season with 27 TDs (25 passing). First-team 4A Narrows selection at QB.
Thankful for in 2015: “Family, teammates and coaches.”
Multi-purpose, 5-11, 165, senior
Why not be responsible for all seven points on every scoring drive? After tossing a TD or he would – more often than not – line up for the point after. The 2A SPSL first-teamer was 35 of 42 on extra point attempts, kicked off for the Hawks and averaged 32 yards per punt. At QB, he finished 91 of 137 passing for 1,312 yards and racked up 19 TDs. He rushed for another 313 yards on 46 attempts.
Thankful for in 2015: “Playing for the Hawks.”
Offensive lineman, 5-11, 245, senior
Glue to the “big green motor” up front, said coach Sid Otton. The two-time 2A EvCo first-teamer is at the center of it all for a T-Birds team that has rushed for nearly 4,000 yards this season – and averages 332.1 per game – and has put up 57 rushing touchdowns including playoffs.
Thankful for in 2015: “For my coaches, my family, my friends and my fan base.”
Offensive lineman, 6-2, 240, senior
Steady and reliable. Opened plenty of holes for the backfield as a second-year starter up front and a 3A Narrows first-teamer. Paved the way for a Highclimbers team that posted four or more scores in each of its six wins. Also dependable at defensive end.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful that my team got to make it as far as we did because last time we were 3-7 and this year we were 6-4. So I’m grateful that we put it together for our senior year and we got it done.”
Offensive lineman, 6-2, 225, senior
Didn’t miss a start for a Hawks team that finished the regular season unbeaten and snagged its first 2A SPSL title. He was key in blocking for a QB who racked up more than 1,300 passing yards behind him, and a pair of RBs who rushed for more than 1,000 yards apiece.
Thankful for in 2015: “Playing on a great team, winning the league championship and just having fun.”
Offensive lineman, 6-2, 295, junior
Made all of the line calls for the Blazers as a second-year starter at center. One of five lineman to earn 4A Narrows first-team honors – and the lone lineman selected that wasn’t on a playoff team. Blocked for a backfield that posted 31 TDs – 20 rushing, 11 passing.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for being healthy, family, football, great coaches and great teammates.”
Tight end, 6-5, 210, junior
Never mind the team-leading 351 receiving yards and eight TDs, what he does best is block from snap to whistle for an offense that has compiled 4,947 total yards this season. A threat on the other side of the ball, too – the 2A EvCo’s Defensive Player of the Year has 110 tackles (83 solo, 27 assists).
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my support system, my teammates and the coaches for putting us in good positions.”
Wide receiver, 5-10, 185, senior
Made his way back from two season-ending labrum tears to tear up the field for Capital’s offense. Led the Cougars in receiving (30 catches for 689 yards and 15 TDs) and returned two kickoffs for TDs. A 3A Narrows first-teamer at wide receiver and as a return specialist. He snagged four TD receptions against North Thurston to tie Capital’s record and ran back the opening kickoff for 97 yards.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for good health and a loving family.”
Wide receiver, 5-6, 145, senior
Home run threat any time he touched the ball, averaged 35 yards per reception this season. Height didn’t matter much, as his agility and elusiveness kept defenses honest all season long. A two-time 2A EvCo first-teamer, led the Wolves in receiving with 25 receptions for 878 yards and 13 TDs.
Thankful for in 2015: “For the great season.”
Machine is pretty well-oiled at this point – he has been coaching at Tumwater for 30 years, and 29 of those on offense. The T-Birds have been up early all season, averaging 29 first-half points per game and 47 total – the highest-scoring game being a 55-point effort over Franklin Pierce in the district playoffs. They haven’t trailed a game all season.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful to be able to coach with Coach Otton and the Tumwater winning football program.”
Defensive lineman, 6-0, 195, senior
A special mix of speed and strength helped him leverage offensive lineman. Usually outweighed by at least 40 pounds, his endless motor and ability to slip through to the backfield propelled him to 50 tackles (12 for losses) and 12 sacks. Didn’t come off the field on offense either – recorded more than 1,200 total yards and eight TDs.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my coaches and my teammates for having a great season with me. It was a lot of fun.”
Defensive lineman, 6-5, 235, senior
A nightmare for opposing teams on both sides of the ball. With a towering presence, he blocked six kicks and deflected three passes, while completing 46 tackles (17 for losses) and seven sacks this season. Offensively, the 4A Narrows Lineman of the Year blocked for a team that had over 3,000 rushing yards – including a school-record 503 against Yelm.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful to live in a beautiful part of the country and play the sports that I love every day.”
Defensive lineman, 6-3, 210, junior
No moment was too big for the highest ranking 2A SPSL first-teamer (on offense and defense). His 11 sacks this season are a school record, and he tallied three forced fumbles and two recoveries for a Hawks team that made its third-ever state-playoff appearance and finished 10-1.
Thankful for in 2015: “My friends and family and being healthy.”
Linebacker, 6-0, 205, junior
The defensive play caller on the field for led the Rams in tackles (89 with six for losses). He’s racked up 177 tackles in two seasons with a year yet to play, and is a two-time 3A Narrows first-teamer. Awarded “Ram of the Year” by 24-year North Thurston coach Rocky Patchin, who retired this season.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my friends and family and their support throughout the season. For being healthy, and for being here as a junior.”
Linebacker, 6-0, 215, senior
Never mind the eight defenders the Wolves lost after 2014. The two-time 2A EvCO first teamer more than made up for it as the defensive pillar for Black Hills’ record-breaking season. He led the team in tackles for back-to-back seasons (82 this season with 49 assists), and recorded two forced fumbles and two recoveries.
Thankful for in 2015: “The underclassmen working their butts off for the senior class.”
Linebacker, 5-10, 235, senior
If there was a tackle to be made – by plugging up the middle of the field or laying a quarterback out flat – he was there. The 4A Narrows first-teamer’s 288 career tackles (103 this season) is a school record. He recorded 21 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks this season.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my family.”
Linebacker, 6-0, 220, junior
With one more year to play, the 2A SPSL Defensive Player of the Year already holds the school record for career tackles with 213. This season, he had 91 (78 solos and 26 assists). The undisputed leader of the Hawks defense for the third year running, and one of the most competitive players Steve Schultz said he’s ever coached.
Thankful for in 2015: “My friends and family supporting me, and having a good, successful football year.”
Defensive back, 6-0, 184, senior
Whether playing at corner or getting around one for a touchdown, the 2A EvCo MVP is a staple for the T-Birds. A perpetual “yes” man, can fill in at any position – also plays split end, wingback and halfback. Racked up 1,043 all-purpose yards and 15 TDs. And not quite 100, but he has a kickoff return for 99 yards, 2 feet and 11 ½ inches.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my teammates, my family and the athletic abilities that my father has given me.”
Defensive back, 6-0, 178, junior
Could fit at any position – a true chameleon. The two-time 2A EvCo first-teamer at free safety leads Tumwater with four picks and six broken up passes, and has 24 tackles (13 assists). Also plays wingback, halfback, quarterback and kicker. An all-around athlete who coach Sid Otton said has really come on strong at the right time.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my friends and my family, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to play football.”
Defensive back, 5-10, 175, senior
Made a lasting mark on both sides of the ball. The three-time 1A EvCo first-teamer at defensive back and quarterback was also the league’s MVP as a junior. Holds school records in career yardage with more than 4,300 (1,422 this season) and TDs with 52 – including a season-record 23 this year.
Thankful for in 2015: “My family. Definitely my girlfriend, she’s been to every game I had.”
Defensive back, 6-0, 185, junior
One of the best athletes on the field every game and a 2A SPSL first-teamer. He recorded 48 tackles and four interceptions – two of those he brought all the way back for six points. The combined agility and football intelligence gave him River Ridge’s best game grade average at 93 percent.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my family, my friends and my coaches for supporting me throughout the season.”
Punter, 6-0, 200, senior
Dons a yellow kicking shoe, but has a golden toe. Committed to UW as a punter, averaged 39 yards per attempt this season and downed 11 inside the 20-yard line. Was also a perfect 10-for-10 on field goal attempts and landed 40 touchbacks as a 4A Narrows first-teamer at place kicker and punter.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my family, my friends and my teammates.”
Kicker, 6-0, 200, senior
The strongest, most consistent kicker coach Jason Ronquillo said he’s ever worked with. Was 39 of 41 on extra point attempts this season and connected on four of six field goals – including a 37-yarder. Put the ball through the uprights 16 times in his career and launched 21 touchbacks this season.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m grateful for a great season. I’m grateful for being a part of my team for four years, and I’m grateful for my fans and just staying healthy.”
Joined the Bears in 2006 when Bill Beattie took over the program and stuck around for three seasons before breaking to coach youth football. But has been back in the job since 2013 and coached Olympia to five games where it gave up single-digit scores – and never more than 28 points. Opponents averaged only 12.6 points per game.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for being an American. And, I hang out with a bunch of great people.”
QB: Elijah Johnson, W.F. West, 5-11, 180, sr.; Tristan Robinette, Elma, 5-10, 165, sr.
RB: Colton Paller, Shelton, 6-1, 190, sr.; Thomas Pier, Tenino, 5-8, 190, sr.; Brandon Thompson, Yelm, 5-9, 190, jr.
WR: Jewell Day, Black Hills, 6-1, 180, sr.; Kaleb Lunderville, Yelm, 6-2, 185, jr.; Nolan Wasson, Centralia, 6-2, 185, sr.; Garrett Yarter, W.F. West, 6-2, 170, sr.
TE: Tiki Hickle, Rochester, 6-3, 210, sr.
OL: Austin Daisa, Black Hills, 6-2, 260, jr.; Brin Hanson, Tumwater, 6-1, 225, sr.; Colten Moorhead, W.F. West, 6-2, 260, sr.; Caleb Price, River Ridge, 6-5, 330, jr.; Peter Veis, North Thurston, 6-4, 245, sr.
MP: Jordan March, Black Hills, 6-0, 175, sr.
PK: Skyler Davis, Olympia, 5-11, 180, jr.
DL: David Ainuu, Capital, 5-10, 260, jr.; Roberto Alveranga, W.F. West, 6-0, 320, sr.; Jesse Nubbe, Rainier, 5-11, 195, jr.; Devon Shedd-Kirkland, Tumwater, 6-0, 190, sr.; Cole Tobin, Black Hills, 5-11, 225, sr.; Dalton Todd, Elma, 5-11, 225, sr.
LB: T.J. Borden, Black Hills, 6-0, 220, sr.; Jarryn Bush, Timberline, 6-3, 225, sr.; Tim Clifford, Rainier, 5-10, 185, sr.; Jared Gearhart, Capital, 6-1, 215, sr.; Nihls Peterson, Tenino, 6-5, 210, sr.; Colby Steen, W.F. West, 5-8, 180, jr.
DB: Gabe Adamson, Black Hills, 5-10, 155, sr.; Alex Coleman, River Ridge, 5-10, 160, jr.; Jacob Crawford, Tumwater, 5-9, 175, sr.; Christian Reed, Olympia, 6-2, 195, sr.; Trayten Rodriguez, Tumwater, 5-10, 155, jr.; Zachary Sibley, North Thurston, 6-2, 190, sr.
P: Joe Finch, Centralia, 6-0, 205, sr.