High School Sports

The Olympian's All-Area Football Players of the Year (Defense)

Dylan Swanstrom

Timberline

Linebacker

Senior

Bio: The Olympian’s co-Player of the Year, Swanstrom was voted the Olympic Western League’s defensive MVP. He racked up 125 tackles (nine for loss) and had three sacks as a middle linebacker in Timberline’s tough-nosed defense. He also was a first-team all-OWL punter, averaging a league-best 42 yards per punt.

Sam Gauksheim

Olympia

Linebacker

Senior

Bio: The first-team all-Narrows League linebacker had a monster year for the Bears on defense. He led the team with 101 tackles (12 for loss), including 78 solo tackles and four sacks. Against Gig Harbor in Week 1, Gauksheim had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

Brady Grondel

Tumwater

Linebacker

Junior

Bio: Grondel, a first-team all-Evergreen Conference pick at outside linebacker, was the Thunderbirds’ defensive leader. He had a team-high 51 solo tackles and 39 assists. He also had two sacks for minus-15 yards and one fumble recovery.

Jake Steelhammer

Chehalis

Linebacker

Senior

Bio: Despite missing the first four games with a back injury, Steelhammer was a force on the field and the heart of the Bearcats’ defense. He was named the Evergreen Conference defensive MVP for the second straight year. He had 36 solo tackles (12 for loss), 46 assisted tackles, six sacks and two forced fumbles.

Ryan Campbell

Montesano

Linebacker

Senior

Bio: Campbell was the Southwest Washington 1A League Evergreen Division’s offensive and defensive MVP. As a linebacker, he posted 87 tackles for a Montesano defense that had nine shutouts and gave up only 21 points. As a running back, he had 1,071 rushing yards (8.11 yards per carry) and scored 21 TDs.

Travis Erb

Yelm

Defensive line

Senior

Bio: Erb was the only lineman in the Olympic Western League to earn first-team honors on both sides of the ball. As a defensive lineman, he had 65 tackles (10 for loss) and four sacks, caused eight quarterback-center fumbles and had three fumble recoveries.

Jeff Henke

North Thurston

Defensive line

Senior

Bio: Henke, a two-year starter and first-team all-OWL pick, led the way for North Thurston’s defense. He had 43 tackles and four sacks.

Jeff Waldner

Olympia

Defensive line

Senior

Bio: A first-team all-Narrows League pick as a defensive end, Waldner had 56 tackles (14 for loss), 31 solo tackles and 61/2 sacks. He also had three fumble recoveries and ran back two of them for touchdowns.

Kellen Camus

Capital

Defensive back

Senior

Bio: A first-team all-OWL pick as a defensive back, Camus had 38 tackles, eight interceptions and one fumble recovery as a leader on the Cougars’ defense. Camus also was a second-team pick as a wide receiver after two seasons as Capital’s starting quarterback.

John FerrEIra

Timberline

Defensive back

Senior

Bio: As one of the OWL’s top defensive backs, Ferreira had 40 tackles, including six tackles for loss and two sacks. He also caught 39 passes for 576 yards and seven touchdowns.

Quinton Sison

Timberline

Special teams

Sophomore

Bio: Sison was Timberline’s do-everything player. He had 423 yards rushing, 234 yards receiving, 117 tackles (10 for loss), eight interceptions, one punt return for a touchdown and three blocked kicks.

Riley Baker

North Thurston

Kicker/punter

Senior

Bio: A two-time all-area pick, Baker made all but one of his point-after tries and was 6-for-7 on field goals, including one of 51 yards. He also hit a 27-yard, game-winning field goal in North Thurston’s 17-14 state preliminary round win over Seattle Prep.

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