After polling coaches and sports writers from across the state, The News Tribune has finalized its 2009 Preseason All-State Football Team.
I think you’ll see that this pre-season all-state team has quite a bit of geographic variety. Players from Eastern Washington, Central Washington, Whatcom County, Vancouver, the Kitsap Peninsula are represented, as well as the greater Seattle and Tacoma areas.
Skyline leads the way with four players — QB Jake Heaps, WR Kasen Williams, LB Anthony DeMatteo and OL Jase Butorac. Heaps and Williams were easy picks. DeMatteo’s status as the reigning KingCo Crest Division Defensive Player of the Year and all-state honors earned him a spot on the team, while Butorac has scholarship offers from BYU, EWU, Montana State and Portland State.
Lakes is second with three players — DL Sione Potoa’e, LB Darius Waters and DB Jamaal Kearse — and you could argue that we shorted the Lancers. Nine Lakes players have scholarship offers from Division-I programs. Auburn, O’Dea and Union each have two players.
Not surprisingly, players from 4A and 3A schools dominate the list — 17 from 4A and 10 from 3A. This year, Lynden defensive back Blair Bomber, who recently committed to WSU, is the only player not from a 4A or 3A school to make the team. Last year, there were three — Cascade Christian lineman Neil Fuhrmann, Prosser receiver Kirby Moore and Lynden defensive end David Gaylord.
Some players, like North Mason senior John Fullington, a WSU commit, did not make the list because they are switching positions. Fullington has primarily been a tight end at North Mason, but this fall will play offensive tackle, the position he intends to play at WSU. Putting him on the preseason team at either position — one he used to play and one he has not played — seemed foolish. I don’t doubt he’ll earn consideration for the all-state team we pick at the end of the season, however.
Then there are the players that are all-state caliber, but are left off the list because they play at a loaded position. I had a difficult time leaving off Heritage QB Garrett Grayson, Ferris QB Conner Halliday, Mead TE Aaron Dunn and Bothell TE/DE Michael Hartvigson. But Heaps and Gig Harbor TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who has offers from Florida, Oklahoma and nearly a dozen other schools, are head-and-shoulders above the pack at their respective positions. We also had some trouble at running back, with Issaquah’s Grant Gellatly, Lewis and Clark’s Levi Taylor and Marysville-Pilchuck’s Austin Denton earning consideration.
For what it’s worth, 14 of the 25 players on last year’s Preaseason All-State Team were named to our All-State Team at the end of the season. So, this clearly is not an exact science, but we’re not making wildly blind guesses, either.
|RB||Bishop Sankey||Gonzaga Prep||Jr.||5-11||190|
|TE||Austin Seferian-Jenkins||Gig Harbor||Jr.||6-7||253|
|ATH||Colten Williams||Mt. Spokane||Sr.||5-11||177|
|K||Kelyn Rowe||Federal Way||Sr.||5-9||165|
|DE||Jake Rodgers||Shadle Park||Sr.||6-7||245|