High School Sports

High school football: The Olympian’s 2018 All-Area team

The Olympian’s All-Area football team breaks down the top plays of 2018

What was your best play of the season? The first-team selections on The Olympian's All-Area football team break down their top plays of 2018.
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What was your best play of the season? The first-team selections on The Olympian's All-Area football team break down their top plays of 2018.

The Olympian’s All-Area football team has become an annual tradition, highlighting the best high school football players in the region.

This year, 15 schools are represented by players and coaches selected to the All-Area first and second teams.

The 30 first-team spots, broken down by leagues, are 4A SPSL (two), 3A South Sound Conference (13), 2A SPSL Sound (three), 2A Evergreen Conference (10), 1A Evergreen Conference (one) and 2B Central Mountain (one).

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

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Timberline’s Hunter Campau photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

HUNTER CAMPAU

Timberline

Quaterback, 5-8, 170, sr.

The 3A SSC MVP was a true dual-threat in the backfield, and the main source of offense for a Blazers team that advanced to the 3A state quarterfinals for the second consecutive season. Campau averaged more than 100 yards per game passing and rushing this season, finishing 108 of 175 passing for 1,487 yards, and with 240 carries for 1,381 yards. He scored 35 total touchdowns, and led the 3A SSC in total offense. Campau piled up 100-plus yards passing and rushing against six different teams this season, and has an offer from Simon Fraser.

COACHING STAFF

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Black Hills’ head coach Kirk Stevens photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

KIRK STEVENS

Black Hills

Coach of the year

Stevens has earned The Olympian’s coach of the year distinction twice since taking over the Black Hills program in 2014. This season, he led the Wolves to several program firsts — including its first 2A EvCo title, first undefeated regular season finish, first win in the state playoffs (48-8 over Burlington-Edison in the opening round), and first trip to the state quarterfinals. The Wolves also beat crosstown rival Tumwater, a perennial 2A powerhouse, for the first time since 2009 in the annual Pioneer Bowl. Black Hills finished in the top 10 in 2A in both offense (38.8 points per game) and defense (14.1 points per game allowed).

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Yelm’s offensive coordinator Bryan Irion photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

BRYAN IRION

Yelm

Offensive coordinator

The Tornados led the 3A SSC in scoring, passing offense and total offense — and that league sent three teams to the 3A state quarterfinals. Yelm made its first trip to the state quarterfinals since 1987, relying heavily on its high-flying offense. The Tornados finished the season with more than 4,300 yards of total offense, averaging 360.7 yards per game, and 6.3 per play.

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Timberline’s defensive coordinator Orlando Johnson photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

ORLANDO JOHNSON

Timberline

Defensive coordinator

This is the second straight season Timberline has won The Olympian’s defensive coordinator award — and for good reason. The Blazers shut out three teams this season, including Oak Harbor, who was their opponent in the district playoffs. Timberline led the 3A SSC in scoring against, rushing defense and total defense, and finished another run to the 3A state quarterfinals allowing just 16.3 points per game and 3.9 yards per play. Timberline was also dubbed the 3A SSC coaching staff of the year.

BACKFIELD

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Yelm’s Kyle Robinson photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

KYLE ROBINSON

Yelm

Quarterback, 5-10, 190, sr.

Two-time Olympian All-Area pick paced the Tornados to the 3A state quarterfinals on 146 of 270 passing for 2,288 yards and scored 26 total touchdowns on his way to 3A SSC first-team quarterback honors. Robinson led the league in passing, and leaves Yelm with season and career records for passing yards and passing touchdowns.

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Elma’s Taitum Brumfield photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

TAITUM BRUMFIELD

Elma

Running back, 5-10, 205, sr.

Named the 1A Evergreen offensive player of the year after racking up 1,319 yards on 219 carries and scoring 25 total touchdowns. Brumfield led the Eagles in rushing yards per game (119.9, 6.0 per carry) and all-purpose yards per game (136.9). Was also a first-team 1A Evergreen pick as a defensive end, collecting 40 tackles, including nine for losses and seven sacks.

DYLAN LOFTIS

Tumwater

Running back, 5-11, 185, sr.

Became the primary back for the T-Birds after last year’s leading rusher, Dylan Paine, suffered a season-ending injury midway through. Loftis, a transfer from Minnesota, finished with 128 carries for 1,399 yards and 20 touchdowns. Was a first-team 2A EvCo pick and helped the T-Birds reach the 2A state quarterfinals.

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Black Hills’ Ethan Loveless photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

ETHAN LOVELESS

Black Hills

Multi-purpose, 6-0, 180, sr.

2A EvCo offensive MVP swapped positions midway through the season when a shoulder injury prevented him from throwing, but still finished 42 of 83 passing for 625 yards and seven touchdowns. Added 22 carries for 288 yards and six scores, and 199 yards and four touchdowns on 10 catches once he moved to receiver. Also caught the decisive 32-yard touchdown pass that snapped rival Tumwater’s nine-year winning streak in the Pioneer Bowl. Loveless added 56 tackles, 14 pass break-ups, four interceptions and four forced fumbles at defensive back. Signed to play baseball at Portland.

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River Ridge’s Tomasi Manu photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

TOMASI MANU

River Ridge

All-purpose, 5-9, 170, sr.

Two-time Olympian’ All-Area pick as an all-purpose player was a threat everywhere on the field for the Hawks, and racked up more than 1,000 yards in total offense with 14 total touchdowns scored by passing, rushing and on punt returns. Was a first-team 2A SPSL Sound pick at running back, and helped the Hawks reach the district playoffs.

RECEIVERS

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Olympia’s Will Anderson photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

WILL ANDERSON

Olympia

Wide receiver, 6-0, 170, jr.

Broke three program records for catches in a game (13), receiving yards in a game (192) — both of those stood for 38 seasons before Anderson snapped them — and catches in a season (52). Needs 15 catches next year as a senior to break Olympia’s record for career catches. Anderson finished his junior campaign with 52 catches for 752 yards and seven touchdowns, and was a second-team 4A SPSL pick.

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Yelm’s Kodee Gifford photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

KODEE GIFFORD

Yelm

Wide receiver, 5-11, 180, sr.

3A SSC first-team pick led the league in receiving, and finished with 64 catches for 1,160 yards and 11 touchdowns in Yelm’s run to the 3A state quarterfinals. Also returned kickoffs, averaging 17.8 yards per return, and was the Tornados’ punter, averaging 30.8 yards per attempt. Yelm coach Jason Ronquillo says Gifford had the surest hands on the team.

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Capital’s Chris Penner photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

CHRIS PENNER

Capital

Wide receiver, 6-1, 195, sr.

Three-time Olympian All-Area pick was again Capital’s biggest playmaker, finishing with 32 catches for 835 yards and 13 total touchdowns, despite being hampered by injuries. In his final high school game, Penner had eight catches for 248 yards and three touchdowns — and he only played the first half. Penner is also a three-time 3A SSC first-teamer, and has an offer to play basketball at Seattle Pacific.

OFFENSIVE LINE

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Yelm’s Jacob Dimond photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

JACOB DIMOND

Yelm

Offensive lineman, 6-6, 290, sr.

3A SSC lineman of the year was the biggest force up front for Yelm, and blocked for an offense that piled up more than 4,300 yards of total offense, averaging 360.7 yards per game, and 6.3 per play. Dimond has college offers from Redlands, Simon Fraser and Southwest Minnesota State.

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Tumwater’s Villami Hofoka photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

VILIAMI HAFOKA

Tumwater

Offensive lineman, 6-3, 260, jr.

Tumwater’s go-to running play was always behind Hafoka, T-Birds coach Bill Beattie says. The 2A EvCo first-teamer blocked for a wing-T offense that rushed for more than 4,000 yards, and was one of the keys up front in helping the T-Birds reach the 2A state quarterfinals for the seventh consecutive season.

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Tumwater’s Caden Hicks Photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

CADEN HICKS

Tumwater

Offensive lineman, 6-2, 240, sr.

Three-year starter for the T-Birds was named a first-team 2A EvCo lineman for the second consecutive season. He blocked for Tumwater’s vaunted rushing attack, which collected more than 330 yards per game on the ground. Hicks is also a two-time state placer in wrestling.

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River Ridge’s Herb Polu photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

HERBERT POLU

River Ridge

Offensive lineman, 6-3, 235, sr.

Was named the 2A SPSL Sound defensive lineman of the year, collecting 38 tackles, but played every down for the Hawks on offense, too. Polu has been a two-way starter for River Ridge the past two seasons, and blocked for an offense that averaged 330.2 yards per game, and 6.8 yards per play this season. Coach Steve Schults says Polu is an “iron man with great ability.”

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Olympia’s Kahalua Tuitele photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

KAHALUA TUITELE

Olympia

Offensive lineman, 6-0, 360, jr.

Moved to Olympia from American Samoa this summer, and coach Steve Davis says Tuitele is already one of the best run blockers he’s seen in 27 years coaching high school football. Tuitele finished with more than 70 pancake blocks — including eight in his debut against Emerald Ridge — and played defense in Olympia’s goal-line packages. Second-team 4A SPSL pick.

DEFENSIVE LINE

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Capital’s Mason Bertelli photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

MASON BERTELLI

Capital

Defensive lineman, 6-1, 210, sr.

Coach Terry Rose says Bertelli displayed a “motor that never quit” in his first season playing defensive end. The first-team 3A SSC pick finished with 51 tackles, six sacks, three tackles for losses, forced two fumbles and had one interception for a Capital team that nearly returned to the district playoffs.

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Black Hills’ Julian Kennedy photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

JULIAN KENNEDY

Black Hills

Defensive lineman, 6-0, 180, jr.

Majorly disrupted what other teams were trying to do on offense, coach Kirk Stevens says, and made plays all over the field. Finished with 71 tackles, including 32 for losses, 15 sacks and four fumble recoveries. 2A EvCo first-teamer also caused two fumbles and a safety, blocked a punt and scored a touchdown.

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Tumwater’s Jacob Schuster photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

JACOB SCHUSTER

Tumwater

Defensive lineman, 6-3, 200, soph.

Opposing offenses could not run the ball up the middle with Schuster on the defensive line, Tumwater coach Bill Beattie says. Schuster made such an impact for the T-Birds — who allowed just 13.3 points per game — he was named the 2A EvCo defensive player of the year as a sophomore.

LINEBACKERS

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Black Hills’ Jordan Claridge photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

JORDAN CLARIDGE

Black Hills

Linebacker, 5-10, 220, sr.

2A EvCo first-team pick made such a big impact, teams started running away from him, coach Kirk Stevens says. Claridge still finished with 66 tackles, including 14 for losses, and had three pass breakups, two interceptions and caused a fumble. Also started at left tackled for the Wolves.

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Timberline’s Jamin Fa’alogo photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

JAMIN FA’ALOGO

Timberline

Linebacker, 6-3, 235, sr.

Two-time Olympian All-Area pick thrived as a linebacker this season, after making the switch from defensive back as a junior. 3A SSC first-teamer finished with 132 tackles, 19 for losses, seven sacks, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. “He lets his play and his actions speak for themselves, and the players feed off that,” coach Nick Mullen says. “He never just talks about it. He is about it.”

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Timberline’s Justin Kuhn photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

JUSTIN KUHN

Timberline

Linebacker, 5-10, 205, sr.

3A SSC first-team pick at linebacker had a breakout season for the Blazers, finishing with 121 tackles, 17 for losses, nine sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception. “He is one of the fastest kids on the field, and holes that should be open close extremely fast with Justin out there,” coach Nick Mullen says.

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Yelm’s Derrick Platt photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

DERRICK PLATT

Yelm

Linebacker, 6-1, 195, sr.

Two-time Olympian All-Area pick was also the 3A SSC defensive player of the year, and led the league in tackles, tackles for losses and sacks. Platt was one of the state’s top tacklers, finishing with 142, and set program records for single-season tackles for loss (21) and sacks (15). He also scored a pair of defensive touchdowns. Platt is also the defending 3A state wrestling champion at 182 pounds. “From sideline to sideline, he’s one of the fastest defensive players I’ve ever coached,” coach Jason Ronquillo says. “His instinct and nose for the football is what sets him apart.”

DEFENSIVE BACKS

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River Ridge’s Kieran Hunkin photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

KIERAN HUNKIN

River Ridge

Defensive back, 6-0, 180, sr.

Named a first-team 2A SPSL Sound pick at defensive back after tying River Ridge’s program record for career interceptions (eight) this season, and has returned three of those for touchdowns. Coach Steve Schultz says Hunkin is a ball magnet — four of his picks came this season — who played big in big games. He also rushed for more than 1,000 yards as the Hawks’ starting runnning back, and scored 19 total TDs.

ZACH LOFGREN

Rainier

Defensive back, 6-1, 180, sr.

Two-time Olympian All-Area pick was a first-team 2B Central Mountain selection at defensive back this season, finishing with 35 tackles and four interceptions. Lofgren also played quarterback, was 25 of 57 for 461 yards, had 88 carries for 774 yards and collected 17 total touchdowns. He leaves Rainier as the career leader in total touchdowns (64), total yards (5,255), total offensive yards (4,266) and kickoff return touchdowns (two, tied for first).

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Black Hills’ Taylor Simmons photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

TAYLOR SIMMONS

Black Hills

Defensive back, 5-9, 165, sr.

2A EvCo MVP stood out on offense and defense. At defensive back, Simmons had 36 tackles, 23 pass breakups and five interceptions. At running back, he finished with 144 carries for 1,123 yards, six catches for 135 yards and 20 total touchdowns. “Teams rarely challenged Taylor deep, and when they did, it usually ended in an interception,” coach Kirk Stevens says. “Offensively, he was a threat to score every time he touched the ball.”

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Timberline’s Colton Steepy photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

COLTON STEEPY

Timberline

Defensive back, 5-9, 170, sr.

Steepy has been a shutdown corner for the past two seasons, and earned 3A SSC first-team honors at defensive back this season. He finished with 74 tackles, 18 pass breakups and six interceptions for a Blazers team that reached the 3A state quarterfinals. “He has perfect technique and a nose for the ball when it is in the air,” coach Nick Mullen says. “We never had to worry about Colton’s side of the field when he was on defense.”

SPECIAL TEAMS

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Timberline’s Mason Joubert photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

MASON JOUBERT

Timberline

Kicker, 5-8, 160, jr.

Proved a valuable weapon for Timberline in his first season playing football, finishing 23 of 26 on PAT attempts. He also hit the game-winning 22-yard field goal against Mount Spokane to send the Blazers back to the 3A state quarterfinals. Also averaged 40 yards per punt. “His ability to place the ball anywhere on the field on kickoff or punt is like none we have had at Timberline,” coach Nick Mullen says.

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Tumwater’s Ty Gilliland photographed at the Tacoma News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

TY GILLILAND

Tumwater

Punter, 6-3, 230, jr.

2A EvCo first-team pick at punter proved he had a big leg last season, setting a 2A Gridiron Classic record for longest punt (64 yards) as a sophomore. Gilliland was just as dominant this season, averaging 45.6 yards per attempt, and dropping four punts inside the 10-yard line.

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks — Jevon Brown, River Ridge, soph.; Grant Erickson, Capital, sr.; Josiah Johnson, W.F. West, jr.

Running backs — Carson Amendt, Yelm, jr.; Jaiyden Camoza, W.F. West, jr.; Brady Shriver, Elma, jr.

Wide receivers — J.J. Graham, Timberline, sr.; Izaiah Jerenz, Timberline, sr.; Alex Nagy, Black Hills, sr.; Austen Osso, Yelm, sr.; Dante Owens, River Ridge, soph.; Patrick Riley, Rochester, sr.; Troy Yarter, W.F. West, sr.

Tight ends — Derek Beairsto, Centralia, jr.; Carson Collard, Capital, sr.; Thomas Drayton, Tumwater, sr.; Kiaunu Trinidad, River Ridge, jr.

Offensive line — Ryan Adamson, River Ridge, sr.; Drew Ahlf, Timberline, sr.; Ammon Anderson, Shelton, sr.; Chase Conaway, W.F. West, sr.; Tate Elliott, Black Hills, jr.; Jacob Garcia, Elma, sr.; Justus Kuykendall, Centralia, jr.; Robert Marti, Tenino, soph.; Bradley McGannon, Yelm, jr.; Joel Mellin, River Ridge, sr.; Devon Morrow, Timberline, sr.; Devin Treptow, Black Hills, sr.

DEFENSE

Defensive line — Scott Duboiski, Tumwater, sr.; Leandre Gaines, W.F. West, jr.; Alejandro Hernandez, Elma, sr.; Pele Maiava, Timberline, sr.; Joseph Pati, River Ridge, sr.; Trent Peters, W.F. West, jr.; Hunter Prida, River Ridge, sr.; Tim Sellars, Olympia, jr.; Armani Tonuao, North Thurston, soph.

Linebackers — Mason Burbidge, Tumwater, sr.; Carlo Cook, River Ridge, sr.; Peyton Gendron, Yelm, sr.; Brody Klein, Rainier, sr.; Zach Loveless, Black Hills, jr.; Brian Melloy, River Ridge, sr.; Jack Prentice, Tumwater, sr.; Paxton Russell, Tenino, jr.; Zak Sloan, W.F. West, sr.; Ben Sowers, Elma, sr.; Keegan Wentworth, Capital, sr.; Tyler Woods, Olympia, jr.

Defensive backs — Regan Divina, Capital, sr.; Jayden Dougherty, Olympia, jr.; Lucas Johnson, Black Hills, sr.; Jason Kenyon, Shelton, sr.; Steven Reyes, Yelm, sr.; Colby Sobolesky-Reynolds, Centralia, sr.; Max Taylor, W.F. West, soph.; Cody Vollan, Elma, jr.; Patrick Williams, Tumwater, sr.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kickers — Reid Little, Tumwater, jr.

Punters — Nic Bovencamp, Black Hills, jr.

Lauren Smith covers the Seattle Mariners for The News Tribune. She previously covered high school sports at TNT and The Olympian, beginning in 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and Emerald Ridge High School.

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