June 26, 1997 in Sports

Standing Tall Among Giants Pullman’s Star Receiver Doesn’t Let Lack Of Size Hold Him Back

By The Spokesman-Review
 

When Forest Hurlbert arrived at the first gathering for players in the East-West All-Star Football Classic he kept glancing around for someone his size.

He had a hard time finding anyone that size, not because he couldn’t see around all the bulk but because few players at an all-star game go 5-foot-9, 165-pounds.

Despite his small stature as a football player, the Pullman wide receiver had the big numbers that earned him an invitation to Friday’s 7:30 p.m. game at Albi Stadium.

“When I got here on the first day I was looking around for someone my size. It’s been like that my whole life,” Hurlbert said. “On every play I have to come out and prove something.”

Only one player on each team is smaller than Hurlbert, but no one had better numbers. He had 77 catches for 1,137 yards and 15 touchdowns to earn All-State honors after being named Frontier League Most Valuable Player.

“They’re a great bunch of players. Huge guys,” he said with a shake of his head as he glanced at the other All-Staters on the practice field at Gonzaga. “There’s a lot of talent; I feel fortunate. My size is a reach. It’s just a different caliber, that’s all I can say. The linemen at my school were 210 pounds, these guys are 260. But these guys are really cool.”

Maybe Hurlbert is accepted because he never drops a ball.

“When I came out for (practice), I knew if I wasn’t confident in my game I wouldn’t stand a chance,” he said.

Or maybe he fits in because he always has something to say. Mention him to any of the East coaches and they immediately smile.

“He isn’t very big, but he’s quick and he’s ‘coachable’ and he’s fun to be around,” East head coach Mike McLaughlin of Mead said. “Everybody talks about size. To be successful when you don’t have that attribute, something is clicking inside. He obviously has that mental capacity.”

Yes, he knows the keys to survival: “Moving my feet and fright. When I catch the ball in the middle, I see these guys coming and make my cuts - quick … I have to know where I am at all times.”

Hurlbert was determined to play college football, and he earned a scholarship at Western Montana College.

“That was the bottom line before my senior year,” he said.

“I love the game and want to keep going.”

He’s just as determined to make the most of this week.

“I just have to play my best, be in top-notch physical form. I have to learn the plays and go all-out on every snap.,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of good stuff out of practices. I have to see what I can do against the best.”

Sometimes biggest isn’t best.

Going deep

East quarterbacks are Sam Baurichter of Gig Harbor, who is headed to Washington State, and Scott Mitchell of Kamiakin, who signed with Eastern Washington. … WSU-bound linebacker Serign Marong of Pullman is staying with the East players even though a hamstring injury is keeping him out of the game. … Anacortes tight end Dan Curley couldn’t make the game and was replaced by teammate Neal Kloke, a quarterback. However, it appears an arm injury will keep Kloke out.

Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students. G&B; Select-A-Seat is handling ticket sales. … At halftime one fan will have a chance to kick a 40-yard field goal for a chance to win $10,000. The contest is sponsored by Athletic Roundtable, the game sponsor.

The complete coaching staff for the East includes McLaughlin’s Mead assistant Larry Stranahan and head coaches Clarence Hough of Ferris, Bill Beattie of Olympia and Kevin Rideout of Hoquiam. … The West staff is head coach Larry Lunke of Anacortes and his assistant Mike Lancaster and head coaches Terry Agnew of Woodinville, Tom Boehme of Stanwood and Mike Thomas of Juanita.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: EAST-WEST ROSTERS

West All-Stars Player Ht Wt Pos School 1 J.J. Butler 5-9 155 RB-DB Cascade (Everett) 2 Elijah Baker 5-9 180 RB-DB Curtis 3 Mark Leazer 6-1 173 WR-DB Clover Park 4 Drew Miller 6-0 185 QB Lakes 4 Reed Bumgarner 5-11 180 WR-DB Stanwood 6 Anthony Tenner 5-10 185 RB-DB Olympic 7 Andy Linscott 6-0 170 DB-WR Kentridge 8 Marques Tuiasosopo 6-2 200 QB-DB Woodinville 9 Brent Adkins 6-0 175 WR-DB Eastlake 10 Garrett Schnarr 5-11 180 DB-WR Renton 11 Grady Smalling 6-0 215 LB-RB Lynnwood 12 Jason Patterson 5-10 165 DB-WR Enumclaw 16 Neal Kloke 6-2 195 QB Anacortes 20 Antonio Conley 5-7 150 WR-DB Rainier Beach 22 Charley Wellnitz 6-2 200 DB-RB Blanchet 34 Brian Cook 5-11 184 DB-RB Mount Rainier 36 Matt Waller 6-2 215 TE-LB Mount Si 38 Darren Bunich 5-11 210 LB-RB Snohomish 40 Brian Kartson 6-2 240 OL-DL Woodinville 42 Justin Johnson 5-9 200 RB-DE Bellevue 48 Josh Jansen 6-0 195 LB-RB Kamiak 51 Tom Priestman 6-3 270 OL-DL Federal Way 52 Lee Eckl 6-1 235 OL-LB Sehome 54 Matt Bricker 6-1 250 C-DL Everett 55 Rock Nelson 6-5 280 OL-DL Shorecrest 63 Chris Polinder 6-3 260 OL-DL Lynden 64 Ray Gombiski 6-3 285 OL-DL Cedarcrest 66 Monte Britt 6-3 265 OL-DL Eastside Catholic 70 Kyle Benn 6-3 290 OL-DL Bishop O’Dea 77 Richard Zeller 6-1 215 C-DL Kent-Meridian 78 James Eastman 6-7 285 OL-DL Kentridge 92 Adam Chambers 6-3 250 OL-DL Sumner Head Coach: Larry Lunke, Anacortes. Assistant Coaches: Terry Agnew, Woodinville; Tom Boehme, Stanwood; Mike Lancaster, Ana cortes; Mike Thomas, Juanita.

East All-Stars Player Ht Wt Pos School 2 Anthony Matthews 5-9 160 RB-DB Woodrow Wilson 3 Anthony Giffin 5-10 183 WR-DB Capital 7 Kyle DeLorme 6-3 225 TE-DE West Valley (Yakima) 8 Scott Mitchell 6-3 184 QB Kamiakin 9 Ron DeBolt 5-11 180 WR-DB Walla Walla 10 Ty Gregorak 6-3 250 QB-LB West Valley (Spokane) 11 Forest Hurlbert 5-9 170 WR-DB Pullman 12 Omare Lowe 6-2 180 RB-DB Tahoma 14 Eric Zahler 5-10 190 RB-DB Eisenhower 18 Sam Baurichter 6-5 190 QB Gig Harbor 19 Donovan Dashiell 5-8 180 RB-DB South Kitsap 21 Jimmy Smith 5-10 165 WR-DB Sunnyside 23 Travis Reed 6-0 175 DB-WR Pasco 24 Jon Burbidge 6-1 195 WR-DB Tumwater 32 Nathan Shepard 5-10 205 RB-LB Washougal 33 Scott McGlocklin 6-0 218 RB-LB Mead 36 Jason Martin 6-4 207 LB-RB Evergreen (Vancouver) 43 Brad Packer 6-0 192 DB-WR Fort Vancouver 44 Lance Gustafson 6-1 195 RB-DB Tumwater 59 Brad Phillips 6-4 245 OL-DL Kelso 64 Serign Marong 6-2 200 OL-LB Pullman 65 Erik Larson 6-4 260 C-DL Capital 68 Justin Davenport 6-5 265 OL-DL Hoquiam 71 Marcus Hall 6-2 270 OL-DL Prosser 72 Jake Barber 6-4 230 OL-DL White River 74 Josh Johnson 5-11 265 OL-DL Richland 75 Ryan Keele 6-4 250 OL-DL Othello 76 Matt Armstrong 6-2 265 OL-DL Eatonville 77 Joe Collier 6-7 270 OL-DL Mead 78 Al Cotton 6-4 250 OL-DL Woodrow Wilson 79 Jason Soukanec 6-3 300 OL-DL Mountain View 92 Bryce Stack 6-3 192 TE-DE Lewis and Clark 99 Chad Karthauser 5-10 230 OL-DL Prosser Head Coach: Mike McLaughlin, Mead. Assistant Coaches: Bill Beattie, Olympia; Clarence Hough, Ferris; Kevin Ridout, Hoquiam; Larry Stranahan, Mead.

This sidebar appeared with the story: EAST-WEST ROSTERS

West All-Stars Player Ht Wt Pos School 1 J.J. Butler 5-9 155 RB-DB Cascade (Everett) 2 Elijah Baker 5-9 180 RB-DB Curtis 3 Mark Leazer 6-1 173 WR-DB Clover Park 4 Drew Miller 6-0 185 QB Lakes 4 Reed Bumgarner 5-11 180 WR-DB Stanwood 6 Anthony Tenner 5-10 185 RB-DB Olympic 7 Andy Linscott 6-0 170 DB-WR Kentridge 8 Marques Tuiasosopo 6-2 200 QB-DB Woodinville 9 Brent Adkins 6-0 175 WR-DB Eastlake 10 Garrett Schnarr 5-11 180 DB-WR Renton 11 Grady Smalling 6-0 215 LB-RB Lynnwood 12 Jason Patterson 5-10 165 DB-WR Enumclaw 16 Neal Kloke 6-2 195 QB Anacortes 20 Antonio Conley 5-7 150 WR-DB Rainier Beach 22 Charley Wellnitz 6-2 200 DB-RB Blanchet 34 Brian Cook 5-11 184 DB-RB Mount Rainier 36 Matt Waller 6-2 215 TE-LB Mount Si 38 Darren Bunich 5-11 210 LB-RB Snohomish 40 Brian Kartson 6-2 240 OL-DL Woodinville 42 Justin Johnson 5-9 200 RB-DE Bellevue 48 Josh Jansen 6-0 195 LB-RB Kamiak 51 Tom Priestman 6-3 270 OL-DL Federal Way 52 Lee Eckl 6-1 235 OL-LB Sehome 54 Matt Bricker 6-1 250 C-DL Everett 55 Rock Nelson 6-5 280 OL-DL Shorecrest 63 Chris Polinder 6-3 260 OL-DL Lynden 64 Ray Gombiski 6-3 285 OL-DL Cedarcrest 66 Monte Britt 6-3 265 OL-DL Eastside Catholic 70 Kyle Benn 6-3 290 OL-DL Bishop O’Dea 77 Richard Zeller 6-1 215 C-DL Kent-Meridian 78 James Eastman 6-7 285 OL-DL Kentridge 92 Adam Chambers 6-3 250 OL-DL Sumner Head Coach: Larry Lunke, Anacortes. Assistant Coaches: Terry Agnew, Woodinville; Tom Boehme, Stanwood; Mike Lancaster, Ana cortes; Mike Thomas, Juanita.

East All-Stars Player Ht Wt Pos School 2 Anthony Matthews 5-9 160 RB-DB Woodrow Wilson 3 Anthony Giffin 5-10 183 WR-DB Capital 7 Kyle DeLorme 6-3 225 TE-DE West Valley (Yakima) 8 Scott Mitchell 6-3 184 QB Kamiakin 9 Ron DeBolt 5-11 180 WR-DB Walla Walla 10 Ty Gregorak 6-3 250 QB-LB West Valley (Spokane) 11 Forest Hurlbert 5-9 170 WR-DB Pullman 12 Omare Lowe 6-2 180 RB-DB Tahoma 14 Eric Zahler 5-10 190 RB-DB Eisenhower 18 Sam Baurichter 6-5 190 QB Gig Harbor 19 Donovan Dashiell 5-8 180 RB-DB South Kitsap 21 Jimmy Smith 5-10 165 WR-DB Sunnyside 23 Travis Reed 6-0 175 DB-WR Pasco 24 Jon Burbidge 6-1 195 WR-DB Tumwater 32 Nathan Shepard 5-10 205 RB-LB Washougal 33 Scott McGlocklin 6-0 218 RB-LB Mead 36 Jason Martin 6-4 207 LB-RB Evergreen (Vancouver) 43 Brad Packer 6-0 192 DB-WR Fort Vancouver 44 Lance Gustafson 6-1 195 RB-DB Tumwater 59 Brad Phillips 6-4 245 OL-DL Kelso 64 Serign Marong 6-2 200 OL-LB Pullman 65 Erik Larson 6-4 260 C-DL Capital 68 Justin Davenport 6-5 265 OL-DL Hoquiam 71 Marcus Hall 6-2 270 OL-DL Prosser 72 Jake Barber 6-4 230 OL-DL White River 74 Josh Johnson 5-11 265 OL-DL Richland 75 Ryan Keele 6-4 250 OL-DL Othello 76 Matt Armstrong 6-2 265 OL-DL Eatonville 77 Joe Collier 6-7 270 OL-DL Mead 78 Al Cotton 6-4 250 OL-DL Woodrow Wilson 79 Jason Soukanec 6-3 300 OL-DL Mountain View 92 Bryce Stack 6-3 192 TE-DE Lewis and Clark 99 Chad Karthauser 5-10 230 OL-DL Prosser Head Coach: Mike McLaughlin, Mead. Assistant Coaches: Bill Beattie, Olympia; Clarence Hough, Ferris; Kevin Ridout, Hoquiam; Larry Stranahan, Mead.


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