* AUSTIN FILKINS, Peninsula
Quarterback, 6-2, 210, sr.
Bio: SPSL 3A player of the year not only was team’s best dual threat, he was also a consummate leader for the league champion Seahawks. Numbers weren’t eye-popping (106-159, 1,374 yards, 21 total TDs), but his 165.4 passer rating was among area’s best.
What makes Thanksgiving special: “Most people focus on the turkey – we’re all football.”
* TEAGUE JAMES, Graham-Kapowsin
Running back, 5-10, 180, jr.
Bio: Who knew? In 2011, he broke his leg in the first game – and missed the entire season. This season, he collected all-SPSL South honors (162 carries, 1,329 yards, a league-high 24 TDs) as a power-running tailback who scored in every game.
What makes Thanksgiving special: “My family doesn’t have a big family dinner.”
* RALPH KINNE, Shelton
Running back, 5-11, 205, sr.
Bio: Took his first varsity carry 80 yards for a touchdown last season and has not stopped since. Rushed for school-record 2,224 yards and 28 touchdowns as the state’s regular-season rushing leader, and was named the Narrows 3A Most Valuable Player.
What makes Thanksgiving special: Family “jams and sings” with ukulele or guitar.
* CHICO McCLATCHER, Federal Way
Running back, 5-8, 155, so.
Bio: Every time he had the football in his hands, opposing coordinators cringed. Why? In eight games, 10 of his 14 touchdowns (third-most in the SPSL) were on plays of 30 yards or longer, including three punt returns (64, 73 and 40 yards). Top prospect for 2015.
What makes Thanksgiving special: “Just seeing all of my family and friends.”
* KAHLIL DAWSON, Graham-Kapowsin
Wide receiver, 5-9, 170, sr.
Bio: A terror on the edge of the field, Dawson was utilized on screen passes, fade patterns and reverse runs to get the Eagles big yardage. The Portland State-bound wide receiver (27 catches, 613 yards, three TDs) was selected to the SPSL South first team.
What makes Thanksgiving special: “Sometimes we substitute chicken instead of turkey.”
* JOSHUA ECKWOOD, Lincoln
Wide receiver, 6-3, 175, sr.
Bio: When J’Maka Love moved to quarterback, Eckwood immediately became the top big-play target in the Abes’ passing game (52 catches, 881 yards, 11 TDs). The All-Narrows 3A wide receiver scored touchdowns in seven of nine games.
What makes Thanksgiving special: “We bring all of my family to one house and spend time together.”
* VICTOR GAMBOA, Washington
Wide receiver, 5-11, 185, sr.
Bio: The two-time SPSL 2A player of the year is the complete package. Sure, he caught a lot of passes (44 receptions, 719 yards, eight TDs), but equally impressive was his downfield blocking. Being recruited by Eastern Washington and Montana.
What makes Thanksgiving special: “We all cook the food together as a family, then we sit down and eat.”
* MAT COX, Capital
Offensive line, 6-3, 230, sr.
Bio: While he had plenty of help on a fantastic line — Cox was the left tackle for a rushing attack that has averaged nearly 300 yards per game. A very athletic blocker with a great pad level, he is getting interest from Portland State, Montana State and Idaho State.
What makes Thanksgiving special: “My whole family gets together.”
* ROBERT LUKE, Charles Wright Academy
Offensive line, 6-4, 325, jr.
Bio: With his massive size, Luke was plugged in at center by the Tarriers because they needed a stronger presence against odd fronts who could also handle quicker nose guards. The Gig Harbor transfer immediately gave them what they asked for with 15 pancake blocks.
What makes Thanksgiving special: “Being with my crazy family. I love them.”
* MACARTNEY McQUERY, Bellarmine Prep
Offensive line, 6-3, 305, sr.
Bio: He’s a real tempo-setter on one of Class 4A’s most complete offensive lines. The two-time All-Narrows left guard not only establishes physicality, his core strength — aided by his club water-polo play — allows him to quickly change direction to make blocks.
What makes Thanksgiving special: “We open our door to lots of families.”
* ALEX YOUNG-SALANOA, Spanaway Lake
Offensive line, 5-11, 260, sr.
Bio: Coach John Robak called him the Sentinels’ “made-of-steel captain.” A three-year starter at right guard, he pulled or trap-blocked a lot as Spanaway Lake rushed for 264 yards per game this season. He was an All-SPSL South performer on both sides of the ball.
What makes Thanksgiving special: “We get to eat all that we want.”
* ANDREW BROWN, Tumwater
All-purpose player, 5-11, 175, sr.
Bio: The EvCo player of the year was a game-changer on offense (845 yards, 10 TDs), defense (a school-record 100-yard interception return for a score) and on special teams in particular (five returns for TDs, including a school-record 96-yard punt return).
What makes Thanksgiving special: “Spending time with my family and friends, and having a good time.”
* MITCHELL COX, Kentwood
Placekicker, 6-0, 200, jr.
Bio: He broke the SPSL record for field goals made (12), eclipsing the 11 made by Bethel’s Brandon Bailey in 2009. But he was more than a kicker – he was an ironman. Also the starting center, he did not miss one play this season.
What makes Thanksgiving special: “Each year, I travel to Wenatchee to be with all of my extended family.”
* SEFO LIUFAU, Bellarmine Prep
All-Area player of the year
Bio: He has been the leader of the area’s most consistent football program over the past three seasons, compiling a 33-4 record as the starting quarterback. And even with a newer supporting cast, the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder, who is headed to Colorado, has put together his finest season (120 of 176 passes, 1,660 yards, 16 TDs, one interception). In fact, the Narrows 4A player of the year’s season passer rating of 126.1 is No. 4 behind Federal Way’s Evan Elliott (146.6), Washington’s Jordan Mezias (129.0) and Kentlake’s Steffin Church (127.7).
* BECKETT CORDES and MARCUS YZAGUIRRE, Federal Way
All-Area co-offensive coordinators
Bios: These were the guys designing plays that blew away SPSL defenses. Cordes, in his seventh season at the school, was once a tailback at the University of Minnesota-Morris. He coordinated the Eagles’ ground game. Every tailback he has worked with has signed a college scholarship out of high school. … Yzaguirre, in his sixth season at Federal Way, is the passing-game coordinator and calls plays from the sideline. He is a graduate of Washington State University. Under their guidance, the Eagles led the area in scoring average (47.2 points) and yards-per-play (9.1 yards).
QB: Steffin Church, Kentlake, sr. RB: Zeek McNeal, Federal Way, sr.; Brandon Pritchett, Clover Park, sr.; Kai Van Sickle, Capital, sr. WR: Caleb Lyons, Lakes, jr.; Garrett McKay, Bellarmine Prep, jr.; Mike Tate, Federal Way, sr. OL: Ben Buma, Capital, sr.; Lucas Hatton, Eatonville, sr.; Dallas Hayes, Tahoma, sr.; Treshon Long, North Thurston, jr. TE: Mason Tobeck, Cascade Christian, so. AP: Spencer Crump, Timberline, sr. PK: Matthew Philichi, Bellarmine Prep, so.