The South Sound is comprised of about 60 schools and more than 10 leagues, ranging from Class 4A to 1B. With input from coaches and both individual and team success factored in, The News Tribune’s All-Area football team is carefully selected and traditionally publishes on Thanksgiving Day.
This year, 20 different South Sound schools are represented with players and coaches on the All-Area first team. The 30 spots broken down by leagues are 4A Narrows (8), 3A SPSL (8), 3A Narrows (4), 4A SPSL Northwest (3), 4A SPSL South (3), 4A SPSL Northeast (2), 2A Evergreen (1), 2A SPSL (1), 1A Nisqually (1).
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
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Player of the year and Quarterback, 5-11, 175, sr.
Portland State commit almost hit 4,000 total yards (2,825 passing, 1,091 rushing) and had 12 rushing TDs, 34 passing TDs and just two interceptions including playoffs. Two-time 4A Narrows League player of the year, two-time All-Area player of the year and two-time captain one of best QBs in the state.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my family, friends, my football family and all of my supporters.”
Read more about Alexander: TNT All-Area football player of the year Davis Alexander of Gig Harbor is not short on talent
Jefferson hadn’t finished a season with a winning record in more than a decade, let alone win a league title. But Zenisek, in his second season at Jefferson after leaving Tenino, not only guided Jefferson to a 7-3 record and a district playoff berth, but its first outright league title in school history.
Thankful for in 2015: “Just thankful to watch our kids grow as a family. We talked about it all year. And I’m blessed that I have a great family and a wife who is very supportive and a son, but trying to get that instilled in a football team? That’s why we had the success that we did. We just became one big family.”
Multi-purpose, 6-2, 210, sr.
What can’t Montana commit do? Missed one game with a concussion, but still set school records with 2,971 passing yards and 30 touchdowns this year, had 219 rushing yards, led a game-winning drive against Lakes to erase a 21-point deficit, and was an all-league DB who occasionally filled in at LB.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my football family and all my supporters. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
Running back, 5-8, 160, jr.
Yeah, he’ll be back next year. In his first season in Brynie Robinson’s unbalanced, no-huddle, hand-the-ball-to-Hoisington system, Hoisington ran for a state 11-man single-season record 2,929 yards in 10 games on 337 carries with 32 touchdowns, including 573 yards and nine touchdowns in the season finale.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my family, especially throughout the season with them always being at every game supporting me. That’s always nice.”
Running back, 6-1, 225, sr.
Raiders’ workhorse did a bit of everything. 4A SPSL Northwest’s scoring leader finished with 259 carries for 1,665 yards and 25 total TDS (including rushing, passing, receiving and defensive) in leading Jefferson to district playoffs and first outright league title in school history.
Thankful for in 2015: I’m thankful for God, first and foremost, and I’m thankful for my family and my friends for supporting me all year.
Quarterback, 6-2, 200, sr.
Big presence with a big arm. This year showed what he can do when healthy. First-team 3A SPSL QB could not only put up the big numbers (420 yards against Sumner) but he did so with few mistakes and was allowed more mobility as season progressed, with Lancers playing in Tacoma Dome on Friday.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for God and my family and my teamates and all of my coaches for helping me out.”
Offensive lineman, 6-4, 265, jr.
When Panthers imposed will with downhill ground game during playoff run (which resulted in first state quarterfinal berth in school history), Davis led charge. 3A SPSL co-lineman of the year controls Bonney Lake O-line, and on D-line had two sacks on first series in state quarterfinal against Eastside Catholic.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my family and my coaches for all of the support they have given me this year and all my coaches believing in me and what I can do.”
G. Paul Gicewicz
Offensive lineman, 6-5, 280, sr.
The G stands for Gregory, but could also stand for Giant. The Lions’ three-year starter at left tackle extremely athletic for his stature, and the first-team 4A Narrows offensive lineman helped pave way for Ahmad Lewis’ more than 1,600 rushing yards. Gicewicz also holds a 3.9 grade-point average.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m mostly thankful for my family because through thick and thin they’ve always been there supporting me. After bad games they’ve been there for me so I’m really grateful for having such good support at home.”
Offensive lineman, 6-5, 275, sr.
Named 4A SPSL South’s co-offensive lineman of the year as physical right tackle on G-K’s league title team, which ran undefeated until the 4A state quarterfinals. Paved way for more than 2,000-yard rushing attack even without Foster Sarell for eight games. Heading to Naval Academy next year.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m really thankful for the opportunity to make friends with our so-called ‘Trench Crew,’ some of the closest friends I’ll probably ever have in life. I’m thankful for the offers I received this year and I’m thankful for all my coaches pushing me to be the best.”
Offensive lineman, 6-8, 300, sr.
Has been big since he entered Lincoln’s halls, but grew into body this season and developed pass- and run-blocking technique considerably this year. The 3A Narrows League lineman of the year helped Abes run for 2,770 yards and holds offers from WSU, Hawaii, New Mexico and Utah State.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m just thankful for the season that I played this year. I’m thankful for all the friends I played with in football, the brotherhood I was able to make, and I’m thankful for all of the college looks that I’ve gotten, and I just feel blessed every day for the things I’ve had in my life.”
Offensive line, 6-5, 235, sr.
Easily the lineman of the year in the 4A Narrows. Relentless blocker for team that ran for more than 3,000 yards (including school record 503 against Yelm), but also dominated on defense, finishing with six blocked kicks and seven sacks.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful to live in a place that I love and play my favorite sport.”
Tight end, 6-2, 220, jr.
Doesn’t say much, but first-team 3A SPSL tight end’s play speaks enough. Safety blanket in Lakes receiving corps with 10 receiving TDs – more than any Lakes pass catcher on No. 1 scoring offense in 3A classification – then he lines up at linebacker, where he’s one of the team’s leading tacklers.
Thankful for in 2015: “This year I’m mostly thankful for my family and friends. They’ve been a big part of my life.”
Wide receiver, 6-0, 180, sr.
Led South Sound in receiving yards for almost the entire season, finishing with 54 catches for 1,098 yards and 10 touchdowns. One thing to keep him from catching it, another to bring him down afterward. Family emigrated from Liberia when he was 7. Doubles as a state wrestling champion.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for God giving me the opportunity to play this game. I’m thankful for my coaches, the people I surround myself with, all the positive vibes and things like that.”
Wide receiver, 6-0, 185, sr.
Second year in a row a player goes from All-Area punter to All-Area wide receiver after transferring schools (Jayson Williams, Curtis to Lincoln). Olson-Urbon transferred from Peninsula to Gig Harbor and set school records with 57 catches for 1,045 yards and 16 TDs. Also averaged 36 yards per kick return.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’ve just been thankful for the opportunity to play the game and the people that I surround myself with and the teammates and coaching staff.
All-purpose, 6-3, 200, sr.
4A Narrows offensive player of the year played QB (10 of 15 passing for 221 yards), RB (92 carries, 727 yards), WR (31 catches, 484 yards), DB (71 tackles, 4 interceptions, 1 blocked kick), returned kicks (489 yards, TD) and finished with 15 total touchdowns. If that’s not all-purpose, what is?
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for all my family and friends and everyone surrounding me.”
Shalls Jacome, Lincoln
Lincoln’s offense was the best in the state year, but lost seven players to college football. Jacome moved with coach Masaki Matsumoto to Tacoma from California and the offense, despite losing QB Joey Sinclair, averaged 46 points and had more than 5,000 total yards (with almost 1,000 more rushing than last year).
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m definitely thankful for my family and friends. I think moving up here from California, I’m also thankful for the support from everybody in the Lincoln community. I think there are key people who, coming up here and not having a place to live right away, them having us in their house, I wouldn’t be here if it were not for the people of Pierce County and of course the Lincoln community.”
Defensive line, 6-6, 290, sr.
Imagine trying to tackle this Boise State commit? While he towered along Bethel’s interior line and had 20 tackles for loss and four sacks despite constant double teams, cut blocks and offenses who never wanted to run at him, he finished the season doubling as one of the Braves’ running backs.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my mom and dad for the transportation to all of the games, coming to my practices and most of all my head coach making it available for me to go to the next level.”
Defensive line, 6-1, 260, sr.
Coach Dave Miller calls him one of the best linemen he has ever coached. Emerged as a lane-clogging run stuffer at defensive tackle, and paved way for offense that’s averaged 47 points, including playoffs. Was named the 3A SPSL’s offensive lineman of the year and a first-team defensive lineman.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for just having a great team, great supporters, a great family and great friends.”
Defensive line, 6-5, 230, sr.
Finally played a season injury free and what happened? He was the top focus of every opposing team’s game plan, both on the defensive line and tight end, on his way to earning the 3A Narrows League MVP. Helped Wilson reach state playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Thankful for in 2015: “I would have to say my family. They’ve always been there for me from the get-go. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today, so I’m very thankful for my family.”
Defensive line, 6-3, 210, sr.
Might not ever see another Amandre Williams. Led the South Sound with 3,235 passing yards (also leading the 4A SPSL in passing two straight years), yet doubled as a menacing defensive lineman. The UW commit (for defense) had 61.5 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m just thankful for all my friends and my family and for just the ability to live the healthy lifestyle that I have.”
Linebacker, 6-0, 230, jr.
Coach Steve Schutz said no one played bigger in the biggest moments. Three year starter earned the 2A SPSL defensive player of the year for team that was unbeaten until losing to North Kitsap in the state playoffs. Has school record for career tackles (213 total) and single-season tackles (91 total this year).
Thankful for in 2015: “It’s got to be my parents and my family. They are always there, always have my back for everything, pushing me. I would definitely not be the person I am today without them.”
Linebacker, 6-2, 230, sr.
Solid senior season only capped what was a fantastic career. Three-time 4A Narrows first-team linebacker easy to notice with intimidating neck roll. Committed to WSU as a preferred walk-on after finishing career with more than 220 solo tackles. He’s led team in tackles three consecutive seasons – all ending in state playoffs.
Thankful for in 2015: “My parents. My family and my parents. They are kind of my rock. They do as much as they can for me and I’m so grateful for that. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without them.”
Linebacker, 6-3, 230, sr.
When the team was crashing around him – a litany of injuries forcing the Eagles to turn to their fifth-string quarterback among other depleted position groups – Hughes-Murray, who committed to Oregon State played through his own injuries and was a stabilizing (and explosive) presence both on defense and offense.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m definitely thankful for my family because without them I definitely wouldn’t be in the place I am today. They’ve done so much for me so I just want thank them and make it all up to them.”
Linebacker, 5-10, 180, sr.
Helped Sumner’s defense limit teams to 13.6 points per game. Finished with 47 solo tackles as an outside linebacker, but key to funneling running backs into the heart of the Spartans’ defense. Maybe even more key on offense, finishing with 139 carries for 1,039 yards, 10 TDs. Heading to Montana as a decathlete next year.
Thankful for in 2015: ‘I’m thankful for my family and coaches and my team just because obviously without any of them I wouldn’t have had the season or be the person I am today.”
Defensive back, 6-0, 185, sr.
Consistently lines up against the opposing team’s best receiver, or whatever else is asked of him. The 2A Evergreen Conference most valuable player was also a big part of Tumwater’s run game (whether at wing back, halfback or split end) and has the Thunderbirds in state semifinals for fifth time in past six years.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m most thankful for my family, friends and support system that have come along with me throughout my life.”
Defensive back, 5-11, 190, jr.
The best athlete on the field every game. The 3A SPSL’s most valuable player had four interceptions on defense, had almost 500 return yards on special teams, and led the Spartans’ with 1,532 rushing yards while splitting carries with another 1,000-yard rusher. Finished with 24 touchdowns.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for everyone who has supported me through the recruiting process. I’m truly thankful for my coaches, family, friends and all who have had a significant impact on my life.”
Defensive back, 6-2, 190, sr.
4A Narrows League defensive player of the year was heart and soul of Tides’ defense. Receivers who dared to run into the safety’s territory paid the price. Finished with 114 tackles (82 solo), 16 deflected passes and two interceptions. Father was a safety at BYU.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my family, friends, teammates and coaches for everything they have done for me so far in my life.”
Defensive back, 5-9, 165, sr.
As valuable as he was as the best cornerback in the 4A SPSL South the past two years, was also big part on offense and special teams. Coach Eric Kurle tried to rest him when he could on offense, but called on him in Skyline win and Wright ran for 196 yards. Also has state track and field title in 4x100 relay.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my family, the great bond I had with these guys this year. We played a really tough season. I’m thankful for my family and friends I made this year as I finished out my senior year.”
In his 15 years as the Spartans head coach/d-coordinator, “The Shepherd” is always excited about his teams. But maybe this one more so than ever. He had the No. 1 scoring defense, No. 1 total defense and won the 3A SPSL, which sent more teams to the state playoffs (four) than any other league in the state.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful every year for my faith and my family. They are the two most important things to me.”
Punter, 6-0, 190, sr.
Didn’t miss a field goal on his 10 tries this season and added 20 touchbacks on kickoffs, but he’ll head to UW as a punter. Averaged 39 yards per attempt, with 11 punts being downed inside the 20-yard line. Was at a piano lesson when UW coach Chris Petersen called to offer a scholarship.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for my family, first and foremost, my teammates, my friends at school and just our community.”
Kicker, 6-0, 200, sr.
Named to the 4A Narrows all-league team all four years at Yelm, including three consecutive years as a first-team selection. Hardly allowed anything on kickoffs (21 touchbacks), made 39 of 41 point-after attempts and 4 of 6 field goals, including a 37-yarder.
Thankful for in 2015: “I’m thankful for staying healthy all season. I’m thankful for my fans. Yelm has a great fan section. I’m thankful for being a part of my team for four years.”
Quarterback: Jack Hohimer, Life Christian, 6-0, 170, sr.; Willie Patterson, Franklin Pierce, 5-9, 160, jr.
Running back: Tariq Ellis, Washington, 5-10, 165, sr.; RB: Ahmad Lewis, Bellarmine Prep, 5-11, 180, sr.; Scott Gunther, Olympia, 5-11, 180, jr.; Dionte Simon, Lincoln, 5-10, 190, sr.
Wide receiver: Tony Archie, Lincoln, 6-0, 180, sr.; Marques Hampton Jr., Steilacoom, 6-0, 180, jr.; Elijah McLeod, Bethel, 6-2, 200, sr.; Tyler Torgerson, Puyallup, 5-10, 170, sr.
Tight end: Cade Otton, Tumwater, 6-5, 210, sr.
Offensive line: Tommy Brassfield, Tumwater, 5-11, 145, sr.; Jared Flattum, Cascade Christian, 5-10, 220, sr.; Reece Johnson, Peninsula, 6-4, 265, sr.; Ieremia Pelupelu, Washington, 6-3, 260, sr.; Sean Reemts, Gig Harbor, 6-3, 290, sr.
All-purpose/multi-purpose: Gage Ferguson, Curtis, 6-2, 200, sr.; Noah Samsen, Gig Harbor, 5-10, 185, sr.
Kicker: Dillon Johnson, Orting, 6-3, 170, sr.
Punter: Jacob Rasher, Bonney Lake, 6-3, 205, sr.
Defensive line: Xavier Baines, Lincoln, 5-9, 290, sr.; Michael Clausen, Tahoma, 6-1, 210, sr.; Chris Hunter, Lakes, 6-3, 215, sr.; Elijah Piper, Curtis, 6-4, 280, sr.; Curtis Garner, Clover Park, 6-3, 240, sr.; Komisi Siolo, Peninsula, 6-0, 225, sr.
Linebacker: Tanner Colburn, Wilson, 5-11, 205, sr.; Jason Day, Bonney Lake, 5-8, 185, jr.; Justin Madden, Thomas Jefferson, 6-0, 200, sr.; Clay Markoff, Olympia, 5-11, 235, sr.; Kyle Milton, Cascade Christian, 5-11, 205, sr.; Sam Schuler, Enumclaw, 6-0, 200, sr.
Defensive back: Donnell Diego, Curtis, 5-10, 185, sr.; Kolby Nikolaisen, Sumner, 5-10, 175, sr.; Gavin Robertson, Auburn Mountainview, 6-2, 200, sr.; Josh Seaton, Cascade Christian, 6-1, 205, sr.; Isaiah Williams, Kentwood, 6-0, 160, sr.; Kendal Yaegle, Central Kitsap, 6-0, 190, sr.