There’s a reason coach Jim Sandusky wanted all the Lummi Nation players he could get on his team for the 2017 Native All-Star Football Classic Saturday in Arlington, Texas – they’re pretty darned good players.
Sandusky surrendered a few extra draft picks to get all seven Lummi players – Ferndale’s Winterhawk Leighton and Lummi’s Free Borsey, Raven Borsey, Elder Roberts, Keegan Jojola, Shawn Diggs and John Ballew – on his Blue Eagles roster for the senior all-star game.
“I figured they’re my guys, and I’d rather lose with them than win without them,” Sandusky said.
Turns out, Sandusky got the best of both worlds. He not only got his guys, but they led the Blue Eagles to a 12-0 victory, sweeping the Most Valuable Player trophies while helping Sandusky improve his record in the game to 3-1, in the process.
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Raven Borsey was selected MVP of the game after he carried the ball 14 times for 130 yards and a touchdown and intercepted a pass he returned for 45 yards.
Twin brother Free Borsey was selected the Blue Eagles’ Offensive MVP after he carried the ball eight times for 92 yards and a TD and completed 7 of 11 passes for 132 yards as the team’s quarterback.
Leighton was selected the Blue Eagles’ Defensive MVP after logging 12 tackles and three sacks.
Ballew recorded five carries for 23 yards and two tackles on defense, while Jojola played on both lines and logged six solo tackles and 10 total. Elder Roberts had five tackles, and Diggs was perfect with his snaps at center.
“The whole trip was great,” Sandusky said. “They (the Lummi players) were leaders among everyone there. The guys really rallied around them there. It was a great group of kids that are going to go on and do some great things. Six of the seven are going on to play at the college level.”
Leighton has signed to play at Central Washington University next fall, while the Borseys received scholarships to play at Whitworth College. Jojola received a scholarship to play at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas, while Ballew and Diggs will play at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Minnesota, Sandusky said.
While in Texas, the Lummi contingent got to tour AT&T Stadium and go to a water park in addition to combine-like workouts before the game.