The Lynden Lions for the fourth straight season concluded the year at the Tacoma Dome where they played for a Class 2A state championship. Lynden lost to Northwest Conference rival Sedro-Woolley, but several Lions were rewarded for their contributions when the 2014 Associated Press Washington All-State Prep Football Team was released Tuesday, Dec. 23.
Quarterback Sterling Somers, lineman Bryce Sterk and wide receiver Jordan Wittenberg earned Class 2A all-state first-team selections. Sterk, who was voted by league coaches the 2A/3A NWC Most Valuable Player, was a first-team choice on the offensive and defensive line.
Sterk’s impact on the Lions’ season was paramount. At 6-5, 230 pounds he served as a strong blocker, protecting Somers and also was a force in the run game. He wreaked havoc on defense, finishing with a school record 10 sacks, 83 tackles with 64 assists and logged 24 quarterback harasses.
Somers put together another impressive season, often carrying the offense with his arm due to struggles in the run game. The junior completed 197 of 310 passes for 3,167 yards and threw for 35 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He also ran for 581 yards and scored a team-best 10 rushing touchdowns.
Wittenberg had the best season of any Whatcom County receiver in recent memory. He set new school records in catches (87) and yards (1,476), and his 14 receiving TDs matched Lynden’s school record.
Other Whatcom County all-state first-team selections included Ferndale offensive and defensive lineman Chris Hernandez, Sehome defensive back Taylor Rapp, Lummi offensive and defensive lineman Adam Lawrence and Lummi linebacker Hank Hoskins.
Hernandez, who at 6-foot-5, 285 pounds was dominant all season in the trenches, earned first-team nods on both sides of the ball, as did Lummi’s Lawrence. Hoskins was arguably the Blackhawks’ best defensive player, and Rapp, who has received multiple Division I offers, had another stellar year on defense.
Class 2A second-team selections included last year’s 2A Player of the Year, Trent Postma. Postma earned second-team recognition at both running back and linebacker. Kicker Per Wolfisberg was the Lions’ only other second-team pick.
Squalicum had a pair of second-team selections in quarterback Christian Jorgensen and defensive lineman Chris Paz. Blaine also had two picks in running back Riley Fritsch and offensive lineman Jon Fakkema.
No 1A first-team selections came as a surprise, but second-team picks included Nooksack Valley’s Tanner Myhre, who was a selection at quarterback and defensive back, Mount Baker offensive lineman Paul Lebedev and Meridian tight end/receiver Kyle Young.
Lummi wide receiver Dean Williams earned a Class 1B second-team selection.
Class 2A’s Player of the Year was Ellensburg’s Gabe Caskey, the 1A Player of the Year was Cascade Christian quarterback Jaelin Goldsmith and the 1B Player of the Year was Neah Bay’s Cole Svec. Chiawana running back Austin Urlacher, who set the state’s 11-man single season rushing record with 2,877 yards and 32 touchdowns, was voted all-classification Player of the Year.
Teams were selected by statewide voting from various sports writers and editors.
Offensive line: Jackson Elsasser, jr., Touchet; Lucas Rittel, sr., Republic; Marcus Sheridan, sr., Cusick.
Defensive line: Elisha Winck, sr., Neah Bay; Kelly Gregory, sr., Clallam Bay; Lucas Rittel, sr., Republic.
Linebacker: Gabe Montoya, sr., Lyle-Wishram; John Lesser, jr., Liberty Christian; Casey Randall, sr., Clallam Bay.
Defensive back: Cole Svec, so., Neah Bay; Tyler Thurman, sr., Garfield-Palouse.
All-purpose/returner: Colter McKeown, sr., Touchet.