Just call Bryce Hoisington an unassuming star.
After a 2015 season that broke a pair of state 11-man football records and being named The Associated Press’ Class 1A player of the year, the Vashon High School senior is getting used to life in the limelight.
“People are going to look at me and know what I can do,” said Hoisington, who scored 32 touchdowns and started at linebacker as Vashon finished with a 4-6 record.
What he can do is break records. In Vashon’s season finale against Coupeville, Hoisington racked up 51 carries for 573 yards and nine touchdowns to set the state record for most yards in an 11-man football game. He finished the season with 2,929 yards, also a state 11-man record.
Now, he said, “people want to know if I can do it again.”
That seems unlikely as the Pirates adjust to a new regime under head coach Clay Eastly, who coached Vashon from 2007-12 and in late July replaced Brynie Robinson, who was injured in a car accident.
“Bryce is going to get his yards,” said Eastly, who runs a spread offense, “but we’re going to have a balanced attack and pass the ball more.”
Eastly said Hoisington’s season will not be defined by yards.
“He’s not going to carry the ball 50 times a game in my offense,” he said, adding that 20 to 25 carries would be realistic. “But if his yards per carry are as good or better, I don’t look at that as a step back, at all.”
Hoisington is fine with that. Rather than besting his records, his goal is to increase his yards per carry from 8.7 last season to between 12-15.
“I want to win games with my team,” said the co-captain of a young Pirates team that features just three seniors. “It’s not all about me.”
In turn, Hoisington’s success is viewed as a team victory, said junior quarterback Connor Hoisington.
“We all wanted him to break that record,” Connor said of the Coupeville game, “and since I was calling the plays, I knew what I had to do to get him there.”
Eastly said that Hoisington, one of just three seniors on a young team, is “very unassuming.”
“There’s no big-headedness at all,” he said. “He’s there to do work, get better and help his teammates.”
Connor Hoisington said that Bryce, who is 18 months older, is a strong leader.
“He’s an example to everyone around him — especially me.”
Hoisington said his dream is to play college football, but as a Latter-day Saint, any offer he receives would be deferred for two years while he serves a church mission.
“I’ve always been the underdog,” said Hoisington, who is 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds after putting on about 20 pounds in the offseason. Last winter, he placed second at Mat Classic in the 152-pound weight class.
Hoisington said he wasn’t allowed to play football until seventh grade, but he grew up watching Brigham Young University and Seattle Seahawks games. Running back Marshawn Lynch’s powerful style was particularly appealing.
“He’ll get hit, and his feet will never stop driving,” he said of Lynch, who retired after last season. “I do the same thing — just keep driving.
“Growing up, I was taught if you want something, you have to go get it.”