Jack Hiller of La Center and Riley Miller of Union take home top honors
VANCOUVER — The La Center and Union football programs each had some big wins during the 2017 season. Wednesday night, they took home a couple more victories.
Jack Hiller of La Center and Riley Miller of Union earned the top scholarships at the 26th annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet for the Clark County chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
Always love hearing Rey Reynolds of Vancouver PD sing the national anthem. Here tonight at the awards banquet of the Clark County chapter of the National Football Foundation. pic.twitter.com/wWqERIr7cE
— Paul Valencia (@ValenciaCCT) January 18, 2018
In all, eight football players from the region earned scholar-athlete awards, while another was highlighted for his sportsmanship at the event at Hudson’s Bay High School.
The 29 nominees from Southwest Washington, dressed in tuxedos, were introduced with their parents and and other loved ones to open the evening. Later, each player had his own moment in the spotlight as their lists of accomplishments were announced.
Hiller took home top honors for linemen and Miller got the nod for the backs. Each earned $3,500.
“It’s a great finale to everything that’s happened,” said Hiller, recalling his final year of high school football, when his Wildcats reached the state semifinals for the second consecutive season. “An awesome journey.”
“It’s hard to feel like getting credit, going up with all these other guys,” Miller said. “They all excelled, not only on the football field but in the classroom. To be named the best is quite the honor.”
Besides their skills on the field, all nominees must have an excellent academic record. Nominees also boost the quality of life of those around them through school leadership and community involvement.
“This group of guys is incredible,” Hiller said. “So accomplished.”
Here is a story on Hiller being named ClarkCountyToday.com’s small-school Lineman of the Year:
Miller, too, was grateful to be part of this group of seniors, and part of the banquet.
“If I had to describe this event in one word I would say elite,” Miller said. “They are all guys who have left their own marks on their schools, their own legacies.”
Miller also got a laugh when he reminded the audience that Union did, in fact, beat Camas this fall.
Mitchell Delmage of Mountain View earned a $2,500 scholarship for second place in the “backs” category. Nathan Kunz of Columbia River earned $1,500.
Michael Lundgren of Skyview earned $2,500 in the “lineman” category. Three players shared third place, each earning $500: Taylor Adams of Camas, Kyle Brabec of Hockinson, and Zeek Fromel of Mountain View.
Hudson’s Bay was the recipient of the sportsmanship award, named by the Evergreen Football Officials Association. The team’s coach, Ray Lions, selected lineman Angel Terry to accept the $1,000 scholarship.
Here is our story on Angel Terry from this past fall:
Rick Steele, who engineered Hockinson’s state championship season, earned the Gary Boggs Award for Head Coach of the Year. Jay Beckman of Evergreen was selected for the John Hadley Award as top assistant.
Rich Ray, in his final year of being the chapter’s photographer, was honored for his outstanding contributions to amateur football.
Longtime sports writer Paul Danzer, now working for The Portland Tribune but who spent 18 years in Clark County, received the distinguished American award.