Miksovsky's big season shows there's plenty of talent at Sehome

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 14, 2013 

Sehome’s Evan Miksovsky catches a pass against Ferndale on Friday, Sept. 13, in Bellingham.

ANDY BRONSON — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

While it's uncertain whether Sehome's miraculous postseason ride will end this week or with the Mariners celebrating on the Tacoma Dome's floor, coach Bob Norvell has gained a heck of a recruiting pitch thanks to Evan Miksovsky.

The star basketball player turned wide receiver is a textbook example of the high-caliber athletes stashed within Sehome High and how their skills can transition to the football field.

Miksovsky previously played tennis, but he approached Norvell after last year's football season and asked if he could play this year, Norvell said.

Even though Norvell was more than pleased to add him, Miksovsky didn't commit to playing until late in the summer.

"Evan is super athletic, and I knew the way he played basketball he would love football," Norvell said in a phone interview. "You'll see him diving on his chest out of bounds into the bleachers. He was worried about getting hurt, and I said, 'Are you kidding me?"

The only pain Miksovsky's inflicted is the headaches he's given opposing secondaries. His 44 catches are most in the Northwest Conference, and his 12 touchdowns tie him for the league lead. His 696 receiving yards rank third.

He caught five passes for 42 yards and two touchdowns during Sehome's thrilling 35-13 win over undefeated No. 5-ranked Lakewood during a winner-to-state Class 2A Bi-District Tournament game last week, earning the Mariners their first state berth since 1999.

Sehome travels to play undefeated No. 1-ranked Tumwater in the round of 16 at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16.

Miksovsky, who's more known for his basketball skill, recorded 11.7 points per game last year for Mariners hoops coach A.J. LaBree. His numbers ranked second on the team, and he helped Sehome make a deep Class 2A Northwest District Tournament run.

He's proved a wealth of football knowledge and experience isn't needed to thrive on the varsity level.

"This is his first year playing football," Norvell said. "He has strong hands from playing basketball. The first time we threw the ball to him, he sucked it right in. We were, 'Oh, my gosh, he's going to be fun to throw the ball to. He will make some amazing plays.'"

Miksovsky's done just that. Besides making memorable catches, he's also made some big interceptions playing defensive back.

What's been most impressive, though, is how he's learned the position as quick as he has.

"You can't jam him," Norvell explained. "He can get off the ball. He does these spin moves in basketball, and he can make those kind of moves in football, too. He told me, 'I'm not fast,' but I said, 'You're the quickest guy I have ever been around.' He can give an inside-outside move, and it creates space."

He's also made a big impact in Sehome's run game. Whenever quarterback Daniel Ziegler, who's run for 975 yards and nine TDs, breaks off a big run, Miksovsky is right there blocking for him, Norvell said.

But one of the Sehome coach's favorite Miksovsky memories wasn't a highlight-reel-worthy catch. It was a touchdown-creating block.

"During the Squalicum game, he scored a couple touchdowns, but I remember him coming up to me and saying, 'Coach, did you see my block?'"

On top of all his measurable contributions, Miksovsky has infused the same high-motor, ultra-hustling style of play into the Mariners football team that he's done for the basketball squad.

Norvell said that attitude can be infectious.

"I think it is guys like Evan coming out and playing football that makes that difference," Norvell said. "There are still guys like him that haven't played football and aren't doing anything other than school. We have guys who are playing and really having fun, and I think Sehome is starting to show what kind of football can be played in Bellingham. I think if anybody talked to (Miksovsky), he'd tell them he's had a blast."

What's played out for Sehome the past two weeks has exceeded what most players could imagine at the beginning of the year. The Mariners capped the regular season beating Bellingham and earning a city championship in the process and then won a thrilling walk-off Kansas City Tiebreaker against Anacortes before beating Lakewood to earn their first state berth in 14 years.

Norvell said the buzz around Sehome has been outstanding.

"There is a lot of excitement," he said. "Our boys and coaches are just having a blast playing football. I talk to the guys a lot, and one of the things they really wanted was to earn respect, and I don't see that happening until we get a couple of playoff wins. Even though we feel good for the program, to step up to the next level and for people to believe, we have to knock off Tumwater and take it to the next level."

Reach Andrew Lang at andrew.lang@bellinghamherald.com or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County updates.

PLAYOFF FOOTBALL

CLASS 2A STATE FIRST ROUND

Friday's game

? Kingston at Lynden (at Civic Stadium), 7 p.m.

Saturday's game

? Sehome at Tumwater, 7 p.m.

CLASS 1A STATE FIRST ROUND

Saturday's games

? Meridian at Cashmere, 1 p.m.

? Blaine at La Center (at Ridgefield), 3 p.m.

? Woodland at Mount Baker (at Civic Stadium), 6 p.m.

CLASS 1B TRI-DISTRICT PLAYOFFS

Friday's game

? Taholah at Lummi, 6 p.m.

Reach ANDREW LANG at andrew.lang@bellinghamherald.com or call ext. 862.

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