Shadle Park High School’s Brett Rypien toured football stadiums in Spokane like a rock-star quarterback, amassing gobs of passing yardage.
But he has one small regret: Not getting the opportunity to take his show to the Tacoma Dome.
The Boise State University-bound signal caller is not only the career passing leader in the Greater Spokane League, his 13,044 passing yards are the most ever produced by a high school quarterback in the state of Washington. His total is also the eighth-best all-time across the country, according to records kept by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
And after losing his top four receivers and offensive linemen from last season’s Class 3A state semifinal squad — and his coach Alan Stanfield, who ended up going to Whitworth University as an offensive coordinator — Rypien, the nephew of Super Bowl XXVI MVP Mark Rypien, posted his best season statistically as a senior.
He threw for 4,552 yards and 50 touchdowns, rushed for another 400 yards and a score — and is The News Tribune’s 2014 state player of the year.
“It was an adjustment, but guys in my class did an outstanding job getting ready to play,” Rypien said.
Shadle Park’s season — and Rypien’s prep career — ended in the 3A quarterfinals to GSL-rival Mount Spokane in a 35-20 loss.
“I think about that (not getting to Tacoma) all the time,” Rypien said. “Obviously our goal every single year was to get to the Tacoma Dome to play for a state championship. Falling short … was disappointing.”
From 2009-11, the Highlanders were the GSL’s bottom feeders, winning two games in three seasons.
With Rypien at the helm, and Stanfield calling the shots, Shadle Park was competitive in 2012 (4-6). then made the state playoff the past two seasons.
“You don’t seem one of these types come around very often,” Stanfield said. “He is a super smart kid in the classroom. He ran our offseason program … for six months. He was a big leader, and guys flock to a guy like that.”
This season, Rypien had a special guest in the booth as the Shadle Park offensive coordinator — his father, Tim. A former baseball player in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, Tim Rypien first coached his son in football as a seventh and eighth grader at Salk Middle School in Spokane — then this season.
“We would argue a lot on the field, and over the headset when he was up in the booth,” Brett Rypien said. “But he wanted to help me out, and get me ready for the next level.”
Under his father, Rypien was allowed to call plays for entire offensive series in some games.
It was in the state playoff loss to Mount Spokane where Rypien — who finished with 329 yards and two touchdowns — eclipsed former Skyline quarterback Max Browne’s state career passing record (12,953) set from 2009-12.
Browne, now at USC, congratulated Rypien through social media for breaking the record.
“I knew that number (Browne’s career total), but I did not know if it was reachable or not,” said Rypien, who leaves for Boise State on Jan. 10. “To get it is really humbling.”
2014 ALL-STATE TEAM
Player of the year: QB Brett Rypien, Shadle Park, Sr.
Coach of the year: Dave Ward, Sedro-Woolley2014 ALL-STATE OFFENSE
Quarterback: Jordan Kitna, Lincoln, 6-1, 195, Jr.
- 3A Narrows player of the year led state with 55 TD passes; NCAA Division I recruit for 2016.
Running back: Myles Gaskin, O’Dea, 5-10, 180, Sr.
- A blazer who caused headaches for any defense, the UW-bound Gaskin closed his prep career with 26 TDs this season.
Running back: Austin Joyner, Marysville-Pilchuck, 5-11, 185, Sr.
- Gatorade state player of the year led team’s charged run to 3A semifinals; recently de-committed from Washington State.
Running back: Austin Urlacher, Chiawana, 5-11, 185, Sr.
- Cousin to ex-NFL linebacker Brian Urlacher, he set single-season rush record (2,776 yards) last week against Graham-Kapowsin.
Wide receiver: James Price, Camas, 6-2, 200, Sr.
- 4A Greater St. Helens League co-player of the year led league with 1,255 receiving yards; is getting NCAA Division I interest.
Wide receiver: Dayzell Wilson, Bothell, 6-2, 175, Sr.
- Blazing fast with unbelievable hops, he was KingCo 4A’s most dynamic receiver (20.4 yards per catch).
Tight end: Mason Tobeck, Cascade Christian, 6-3, 230, Sr.
- Reliable target for QB Jaelin Goldsmith (22 catches, 497 yards, eight TDs); will likely play linebacker at Utah State.
Offensive lineman: Trey Adams, Wenatchee, 6-7, 270, Sr.
- Long, lean and athletic, when the two-way CBBN lineman of the year puts on 50 pounds at UW, watch out.
Offensive lineman: Henry Roberts, Bellevue, 6-6, 270, Sr.
- UW commit had national interest, and has been selected a U.S. Army All-American Bowl starter in January.
Offensive lineman: Foster Sarell, Graham-Kapowsin, 6-6, 310, So.
- Has Pac-12 schools drooling over him; two-time All-Area pick could be a top-five recruit nationally in 2017.
Offensive lineman: Calvin Throckmorton, Newport (Bellevue), 6-6, 280, Sr.
- KingCo’s best rushing team found many holes behind this bulldozer; has given an oral commitment to Oregon.
All-purpose: Chico McClatcher, Federal Way, 5-9, 175, Sr.
- All-Area player of the year finishes spectacular career with more than 8,000 all-purpose yards and 91 touchdowns.
Placekicker: Spencer Petit, Glacier Peak, 5-9, 165, Sr.
- The Grizzlies felt comfortable sending Petit out for 50-plus-yard field goals because of his leg power.
Defensive lineman: Cody Baker, Eastside Catholic, 6-4, 260, Sr.
- A real force at the point of attack, the Montana commit has 71/2 sacks heading into 3A title game.
Defensive lineman: Josiah Bronson, Kentwood, 6-6, 275, Sr.
- Beastly pass rusher was centerpiece of one of state’s best defensive fronts (five sacks).
Defensive lineman: Benning Potoa’e, Lakes, 6-4, 265, Sr.
- Three-time 3A SPSL first-teamer is arguably state’s top recruit for 2015; multiple Pac-12 offers.
Defensive lineman: Evan Weaver, Gonzaga Prep, 6-3, 225, Jr.
- Almost single-handedly tortured area playoff teams Bellarmine Prep and Beamer; has offers from WSU, Boise State.
Linebacker: Mustafa Branch, Bellevue, 6-1, 220, Sr.
- Stanford commit is fastest athlete every time he steps on field; perimeter rushing attacks doomed from start.
Linebacker: Gabe Caskey, Ellensburg, 5-11, 185, Sr.
- Ended up as the offensive and defensive player of the year for the deep CWAC.
Linebacker: Trent Postma, Lynden, 6-1, 200, Sr.
- Team’s lone loss was when he was out of the lineup (knee); still one of Lynden’s tackling leaders (120).
Linebacker: Jusstis Warren, Lincoln, 6-3, 225, Sr.
- Rebounded from severe knee injury to become Abes’ most feared hitter; likely Pac-12.
Defensive back: Ross Connors, Bellevue, 5-11, 180, Sr.
- Coach Butch Goncharoff calls him as good an impact defender as he’s had — and that is saying something.
Defensive back: Dre Dorton, Chiawana, 5-10, 180, Sr.
- Shutdown cover man (six interceptions) still roams under the radar; NCAA Division I athlete
Defensive back: Sam McPherson, Bothell, 5-11, 185, Sr.
- KingCo offensive and defensive MVP; saw his season end in the playoffs with ACL injury
Defensive back: Brandon Wellington, Eastside Catholic, 6-1, 220, Jr.
- Co-defensive MVP of Metro Mountain League is arguable the best speed-size athlete in state; UW commit.
Punter: Jake Talbot, Redmond, 6-2, 185, Sr.
- Averaged 43.6 yards over the past two seasons; had one punt measured at 73 yards this season.