The first day of high school football practice is still a week and a half away, but a pair of Whatcom County seniors have already begun to haul in accolades.
Ferndale defensive lineman Chris Hernandez and Sehome defensive back Taylor Rapp were selected to Ron Siegel’s Preseason Senior All-State Football team. Siegel, a member of the Pacific Northwest Football Hall of Fame, annually releases his top senior picks in the state, regardless of classification.
Hernandez has been selected to the Class 2A/3A All-Northwest Conference first team the past two years, and earned the honor as both an offensive lineman and defensive lineman as a junior.
He terrorized offensive lines with his 6-foot-4, 280-pound build, showing an ability to dictate opposing teams’ running ability inside the tackles. He was part of a defense that limited opponents to 4.0 yards per carry and was selected first-team all state on both sides of the ball in the Class 3A ranks by the Associated Press last season.
Like Hernandez, Rapp was selected first-team all-state by the Associated Press in Class 2A after last season. He also earned first-team all-NWC honors as a defensive back as a sophomore and a junior and has already received a number of scholarship offers from NCAA Division I programs.
Rapp displays a rare combination of speed, quickness, strength and tackling ability from the safety position for the Mariners, making him a very tough player to throw against and also very good at coming down in run support. He also was a major threat on offense, where he earned second-team all-NWC honors as a receiver and finished with 682 yards rushing and five TDs, 25 receptions for 349 yards and four scores and also threw for a score.
Joining Hernandez and Rapp on the first-team all-state defense were: linemen Evan Weaver (Gonzaga Prep), Lakota Wills (Richland) and Joel Dublanko (Aberdeen); linebackers Erik Glueck (Bellarmine Prep), Brandon Wellington (Eastside Catholic) and Andrezej Hughes-Murray (Federal Way); defensive backs Gavin Robinson (Auburn Mountainview), Isaiah Gilcrist (Bellevue) and Justin Ioimo (Auburn); punter Kyle Urban-Olson (Peninsula) and multi-purpose players Dyllan Harris (Oak Harbor), Amandre Williams (Tahoma) and Noah Samsen (Gig Harbor).
The all-state offense consists of: quarterbacks Jacob Eason (Lake Stevens) and Harlery Kirsch (Eastside Catholic); running backs Donnell Diego (Curtis) and Rashaad Boddie (Skyline); receiver Matt Laris (Eastside Catholic); tight end Blake Roy (Camas); offensive linemen Korbin Sorenson (Kamiakin), Scott Peck (Central Valley), Trevor Wochnick (Camas), Ezra Cleveland (Spanaway Bethel) and Josh Watson (Everett Cascade); kicker Andrew Slyton (Kentwood) and multi-purpose players Eric Briscoe-Hernandez (Yakima Davis), Emmanuel Diagbe (Kent-Meridian) and Justin Rogers (Bellevue).