After leading the Meridian football team within one play of a Class 1A state championship Saturday at the Tacoma Dome, Trojans quarterback Simon Burkett was selected the Most Valuable Player of the 1A Northwest Conference by the league’s coaches when the all-league team was released this week.
Burkett, who has committed to Eastern Washington University, passed for 3,868 yards and 45 touchdowns and rushed for 623 yards and 12 scores this season in leading Meridian to a 13-1 record, the 1A NWC title and the Class 1A state championship game, where the Trojans fell 33-27 to Royal.
Meridian had 10 other selections to the All-1A NWC team: Manny Sabalza was selected on the offensive line and at linebacker; Adam Kruzich was selected on the offensive and defensive lines and Tony Schleimer was selected at tight end and at linebacker, while Bryce Vandenhaak (receiver), Kevin Galiano (kicker), Dylan Hickok (linebacker) and Lukas Hemenway (secondary) also made the team.
Nooksack Valley, which advanced to the first round of the state playoffs, had eight selections: Luke Winter on the offensive and defensive lines, Kyle Veldman at tight end and linebacker and Baylor Galley at receiver and defensive back, along with Kirk Veldman at offensive line and Casey Bauman at quarterback.
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Lynden Christian also had eight selections: Dylan Kaemingk at offensive and defensive line, Max Likkel at offensive line, Jordan Riddle at running back, Kalai Jandoc at receiver, Blake De Ruyter at punter, George De Jong at defensive line and Ty Van Dyken in the secondary.
Mount Baker, which advanced to the first round of the state playoffs, had four selections: Carson Enghom at running back and defensive back, Thomas Barbo at receiver and Carson Brandland at linebacker.
Of the selections, only Galley, De Ruyter, Kruzich, Kaemingk and Hickok are juniors – all others are seniors.
The league also nominated Burkett, Bauman, Sabalza, Riddle and Winter for the All-State game.