High School Football

These 8 senior football players will represent Whatcom County in an all-star game in Texas

Raven, left, and Free Borsey were both selected to play in the 2017 Native All-Star Football Classic July 1 in Texas.
Raven, left, and Free Borsey were both selected to play in the 2017 Native All-Star Football Classic July 1 in Texas. The Bellingham Herald

Lummi football coach Jim Sandusky knows just how lucky he was last year.

“It’s an anomaly to have as many good seniors as we had this past year,” Sandusky said.

Just how good were they? Good enough to lead Lummi to the Class 1B state semifinals again, despite a host of injuries. And good enough that two of those seniors – twins Free and Raven Borsey – became the first two players in program history to receive scholarship offers to play football for a non-Native American college next year.

Both accepted the offers and will be playing in the defensive secondary for Whitworth College next fall.

“It’s pretty exciting for those guys,” Sandusky said.

But before they head off to college, the Borseys will represent Lummi Nation School one more time when they and five senior teammates – Elder Roberts, Keegan Jojola, Joseph Jefferson, Shawn Diggs and John Ballew – will play in the 2017 Native All-Star Football Classic July 1 in Arlington, Texas. Ferndale senior lineman Winterhawk Leighton will join the group and play in the game, which invites the top Native American high school seniors from tribes across the United States and Canada for eight days of “friendship, fun and football,” according to the event’s website.

0604 Leighton
Ferndale’s Winterhawk Leighton drags Oak Harbor’s Taeson Hardin down for a loss Oct. 14. Leighton has been selected to play in the 2017 Native All-Star Football Classic July 1 in Texas. Evan Abell eabell@bhamherald.com

Lummi standout Trazil Lane, who is looking to go to college to play basketball, could bring the contingent to nine, Sandusky said, should he decided to join the group.

It’s a great experience,” Sandusky said. “They’ll get to see guys from all over country and Canada and Alaska. Three things they’ll all have in common is they’re Native and they’re football players and they’re seniors. Usually more than half of them are going on to play somewhere. Some of them are just capping off their high school career with great honor. It’s an opportunity for these guys to represent the Lummi tribe, Lummi National School, the Native community and the Whatcom Community one more time.”

Sandusky will join his players, as he was invited to coach in the game for the fourth time, most recently in 2011. As a coach, he got to nominate players, but said this group was the largest he’s ever taken to the game.

Once they’re in Texas, players will go through a combine-like atmosphere for a few days, and they’ll be drafted onto one of two teams – the Red Hawks and the Blue Eagles – for the all-star game.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to coach these guys one more time,” Sandusky said. “It’s a sad thing to see this senior group go, because they were so unique. To be able to coach them one more time is a tremendous honor. To be able to represent Lummi Nation School and the tribe is big to me.”

If you’d like to help

Lummi football coach Jim Sandusky estimated it will take between $800 and $1,000 per player to take the eight or nine Whatcom County football players to the 2017 Native All-Star Football Classic in Arlington, Texas. If you would like to help with either a donation or sponsorship, contact Sandusky at:

Phone: 360-410-1736

Email: james.sandusky@lummi-k12.org

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