The season is over and we’ve had a week to digest the State Championships.
First off, congratulations to the six state champions. Winning a State Championship is no small accomplishment, and every team was more than deserving.
Below is our Cascadia Preps awards for each classification. We have taken a lot of things into account for this list (stats, coach recommendations, all-league), but it is mostly the eye test and the athletes we feel were best fit for each category.
Some athletes got an edge over others due to playoff performance. We feel it is right to reward great play during the most important part of the year, but that doesn’t mean an athlete had to make the playoffs to be considered.
Our lists are no different than others. They are for fun and nothing more than us giving recognition to athletes we feel were deserving.
Coverage will not slow down for Cascadia Preps during the offseason. You can scroll to the bottom slide to see what we have in store over the next couple weeks.
Let’s have a look at who won Awards this season!
The Almira-Coulee-Hartline Warriors were as dominant as any team you’re going find, and the state championship game was never close.
It isn’t often a team takes as many awards as ACH does this year, but they are truly deserving.
When thinking about some of these picks it was hard. There were players with better stats, but fact of the matter is ACH starters weren’t playing into the second half of games. It was pretty obvious after thinking about things that the ACH Warriors deserved almost all of the awards.
Most Outstanding Player: Grady Murray, ATH, Almira-Coulee-Hartline
Offensive Player of the Year: Dane Isaak, QB, Almira-Coulee-Hartline
Defensive Player of the Year: Parker Roberts, LB, Almira-Coulee-Hartline
Lineman of the Year: Reece Isaak, OL/DL, Almira-Coulee-Hartline
Underclassman of the Year: Deakon Budnek, OL/LB, Quilcene
Head Coach of the Year: Brandon Walsh, Almira-Coulee-Hartline
Assistant Coach of the Year: Casey Parrish, Almira-Coulee-Hartline
The 2B classification was the toughest for me to decide.
Well, other than Most Outstanding Player. Jackson Esary to me was the best small school athlete in 2020.
Keith Olson could go down as the best lineman to come out of 2B level, and there have been some good ones, especially at Napavine.
Max Cox has been Esary’s favorite target in his time at Kalama and is well deserving of an OPY honor.
Most Outstanding Player: Jackson Esary, QB, Kalama
Offensive Player of the Year: Max Cox, WR, Kalama
Defensive Player of the Year: Kolby Mozingo, LB, Onalaska
Lineman of the Year: Keith Olson, Napavine
Underclassman of the Year: Ashton Demarest, QB, Napavine
Head Coach of the Year: Sean McDonald, Kalama
Assistant Coach of the Year: Brandon Walker, Kalama
The Royal Knights continue to dominate the 1A ranks.
Honestly, I could’ve made Avery Ellis and Derek Bergeson Co-Most Outstanding Player, and I can’t imagine anyone would’ve tried to argue. Those two young men were hands down the two best players in 1A this season.
A pair of Eatonville Cruisers get rewarded for a fine season. Kyle Cox is just a junior, so he will be back next season. The lineman award could’ve easily went to his teammate Tristan Lewis as well.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch Kade Eldridge from Lynden Christian, you are badly missing out. I think that young man has D1 talents.
Most Outstanding Player: Avery Ellis, LB/RB, Royal
Offensive Player of the Year: Derek Bergeson, QB, Royal
Defensive Player of the Year: Blain Hanly, LB, Eatonville
Lineman of the Year: Kyle Cox, OT, Eatonville
Underclassman of the Year: Kade Eldridge, RB/DL, Lynden Christian
Head Coach of the Year: Jim Shapiro, King’s
Assistant Coach of the Year: Jeremy Scroggins, Royal
2A has been littered with big time names over the last few years, and this year is no exception, but you won’t find a lot of the usual names on this list.
Lane Heeringa of Lynden was incredibly important to his team on both sides of the ball. He led Lynden in both rushing yards and tackles. That simply doesn’t happen too often above the 1A level.
Teammate Taivin VanDalen was actually tied with Heeringa for the lead in tackles. I am not sure there was a more important athlete to any defense in the state this year. His abilities cannot be understated.
Colton Bower carried North Kitsap to the semifinals, but couldn’t get by the two young men mentioned above. It seemed like every week there was a SC Top Ten type play coming out of Poulsbo.
2A had a lot of good choices for lineman of the year, but we went with Ortega because he excelled at a high level on both sides of the ball.
Ridgefield had a great season in 2021, and Wyatt Bartroff was a big reason why. His is incredibly important to both the offense and defense. Also, who doesn’t love a good Center?
The Blake And Blake Show isn’t some bad 80’s sitcom in Lynden, it’s the duo that leads the Lions. That being said, it wouldn’t be fair to mention them without their assistants, and I am sure they wouldn’t want it any other way. Ed Bomber, Brock Heppner, Scott Noteboom, Mike Regis, Cauy Shagren, Trey Shagren, Zach Vis, Cody Swendt… All deserving.
Most Outstanding Player: Lane Heeringa, RB/LB, Lynden
Offensive Player of the Year: Colton Bower, QB, North Kitsap
Defensive Player of the Year: Taivin VanDalen, LB, Lynden
Lineman of the Year: Gavin Ortega, OL/DL, Sehome
Underclassman of the Year: Wyatt Bartroff, C/LB, Ridgefield
Head Coach of the Year: Blake VanDalen, Lynden
Assistant Coach of the Year: Blake Witman, Lynden
Get used to hearing about Bellevue in the 3A classification. Not only are the Wolverines back, but they are here to stay.
Head coach Michael Kniep has done a tremendous job building this program. He’s got a young coaching staff, with plenty of experience and energy.
William Wang was a lot of fun to watch and hands down the 3A Most Outstanding Player.
Dylan Carson had one of the best years at RB the 3A classification has ever seen. Week in and week out, he was one of the most exciting players to watch in the entire state.
I think FBS schools are missing out on Bronson Childs. There are athletes committed to FBS schools that are not as good as Childs right now, and do not have a higher ceiling, plain and simple.
What more is there to say about Josh Conerly? He and Vega Ioane were the two most dominant lineman I saw all season. Not far behind was Landen Hatchett of Ferndale, who comes in with the Underclassman of the Year award.
Most Outstanding Player: William Wang, RB, Bellevue
Offensive Player of the Year: Dylan Carson, RB, Marysville-Pilchuck
Defensive Player of the Year: Bronson Childs, LB, Kennewick
Lineman of the Year: Josh Conerly, OL/DL, Rainier Beach
Underclassman of the Year: Landen Hatchett, C/DL, Ferndale
Head Coach of the Year: Michael Kneip, Bellevue
Assistant Coach of the Year: Matt Gilbert, Bellevue
The Graham-Kapowsin Eagles started and finished the season in the top spot. They dominated one opponent after another, and capped it off with a 44-7 win in the state championship.
To us, the Player of the Year is obvious. Joshua Wood was simply the state’s best player. Some games his stats may have been minimal, but his impact was always huge.
Graham-Kapowsin’s offensive line deserves a steak dinner at every restaurant in Pierce County. The work those young men did this season was truly impressive.
It was awesome being in attendance to see Eric Kurle win a state championship. That guy has put in a ton of work over the years and is incredibly deserving of that trophy.
Most Outstanding Player: Joshua Wood, QB, Graham-Kapowsin
Offensive Player of the Year: Jayden Limar, RB, Lake Stevens
Defensive Player of the Year: Griffin Miller, LB, Eastlake
Lineman of the Year: Vega Ioane, OL, Graham-Kapowsin
Underclassman of the Year: Mason Juergens, WR, Olympia
Head Coach of the Year: Eric Kurle, Graham-Kapowsin
Assistant Coach of the Year: Eric Dinwiddie, Lake Stevens
Cascadia Preps will be talking football related topics all offseason.
Be sure to signup for our mailing list by emailing CascadiaPreps@gmail.com. Use the subject “Newsletter” and we will add you to the database.
We will have our “Way Too Early #1 Teams” post soon. It is just a fun look at who the top teams will be in 2022.
Podcasts will continue, and I might even add a podcast each week where I interview a player, coach or other figure that is important in the football world.
Following February Signing Day we will start our Exit Interview series where we give some of the top athletes one last article before they head off to college. It is a look inside some of their favorite things and a fun way to say goodbye.
This offseason we will also be introducing a series of top players to watch in 2022 by position, and by league. If you are a coach and feel like you have someone we need to look at, email me RylandSpencer@CascadiaPreps.com and I will take a look.