Two area high school football players who were instrumental in leading their teams to state championships were named players of the year in their respective classifications in honors released by the Associated Press on Thursday.
Three-year starting quarterback Dylan Hartz of Lind-Ritzville/Sprague was named the 2B player of the year. Hartz led the Broncos to a repeat title as LRS finished 13-0 for a second straight year.
Hartz had 25 touchdown passes and threw only three interceptions while running for another five touchdowns.
Voting for the All-State teams by sports writers and editors statewide was organized by the Yakima-Herald Republic newspaper.
Freeman junior running back Markus Goldbach and Zillah’s Brady Widner were voted co-players of the year in 1A.
Goldbach led Freeman to a 14-0 season culminating in the school’s first state title. He had nearly 1,500 yards rushing and 25 TDs.
Three Shadle Park players were named to the 3A first team: junior quarterback Brett Rypien, senior tight end Nick Kiourkas and senior wide receiver Tanner Pauly.
Two other Freeman players were named to the first team – senior receiver Kian Genteman and senior defensive back Max Laib.
Five other LRS players were named to the first team, including senior running back Connor O’Neill, senior receiver Ryan Whitmore, senior linemen Jarradd Morley and Tyler Frederick, and senior linebacker Colin Sheffels. Frederick and Morley were named first team on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
Senior Jake Straughan of Colton was named first team in 1B at quarterback and defensive back.
Several other area players were named to second teams. (See Scoreboard, page B6.)
Bellevue senior standout Budda Baker, who led the Wolverines to a sixth straight State 3A championship, has been voted the 3A and overall Washington state player of the year.
Camas quarterback Reilly Hennessey is 4A player of the year.
Lynden running back Trent Postma was honored in 2A while Josiah Greene of Neah Bay was in 1B.
Baker did it all for the Wolverines. He was a dynamic running back, a ball-hawking defensive back and explosive when given chances in the return game. Baker racked up 59 tackles, three interceptions and three forced fumbles as a defensive back and had four touchdowns on special teams and defense. He’s being courted by every major program on the West Coast and is considered the top college recruit from Washington state for the 2014 class.
Hennessey was the offensive player of the year in the Greater St. Helens League for the team ranked No. 1 in the state all season and lost before losing to Chiawana in the 4A title game. Hennessey threw for more than 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Postma was the MVP of the Northwest Conference helping lead Lynden to the state championship.
Postma ran for more than 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns, and had more than 90 tackles at linebacker on defense.