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HS football notes: Salute to unsung heroes

Season has come to an end for non-playoff teams

The playoffs begin tonight for high school football, but not every team made the playoffs.

The next five weeks will be all about those postseason games, but for today, we’d like to give a shout-out to players who did not make it to November contests.

We posted a story about the eight seniors from Fort Vancouver, who provided leadership despite tough times on the field. And now, we are posting a story to celebrate unsung heroes of other teams that saw their seasons come to an end last week.

Also read:

Battle Ground Tigers

Unsung hero: Boden Strouse

Boden Strouse
Boden Strouse

“He provided leadership we were really looking for, for the younger kids,” Battle Ground coach Mike Kesler said. “He’s a full-time Running Start student who keeps his grades up and is just a phenomenal athlete on both sides of the ball. Not a real verbal leader but sets the tone and does things by example.”

Heritage Timberwolves

Unsung hero: Aevery Napoleon

“Always positive, always a great guy,” Heritage coach Matt Gracey said. Napoleon, in the program all four years, became one of the top defensive players on the team. “Everybody likes him. One of those kids, from a program standpoint, you’ll absolutely miss just because of the person who he is.

Trent Hemann
Trent Hemann

Evergreen Plainsmen

Unsung hero: Trent Hemann

“Here’s a kid who has been a four-year player, a three-year varsity guy,” Evergreen coach Terry Hyde said. “The leading rusher a year ago. Lost that position this year, but here’s why he’s that guy: He broke his collarbone in June. Battled back to be one of our better defensive players. Just a great kid. Never complains. He has a quiet, workman mentality. ‘I just gotta do my job.’”

Hudson’s Bay Eagles

Levi Grahnert, left tackle
Levi Grahnert, left tackle

Unsung hero: Levi Grahnert

“Moved from right tackle to left tackle because of some shifting on the front line. Levi has been a consistent lineman for us, and we could count on him leading the direction of our front line,” Bay coach Ray Lions said. “He has always been undersized, but his technique and selflessness allowed him to be a great left tackle for us.”

Ridgefield Spudders

Unsung hero: Cole Anderson

 

Cole Anderson
Cole Anderson

“Had not played for the last couple of years. He came out this year and was just pretty constant. Worked hard both in school and on the field. A good friend to his teammates,” Ridgefield coach Chris Abrams said. Anderson was one of four seniors who returned to football after a break and helped make for a memorable season.

 

Washougal Panthers

Unsung hero: Gus Shelley

A junior defensive lineman, “he was a force, playing with an unselfish attitude and a motor that never quit,” Washougal coach Dave Hajek said. “Gus uses his speed and quickness to create problems with opposing offense.” He had 56 tackles with nine sacks, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.

King’s Way Christian Knights

Unsung hero: Andrew Voorhies

He started off as a cornerback, moved to safety due to injuries, then started the last two games at running back, also due to injury. “This was Andrew’s second year playing football and two new positions,” King’s Way Christian coach Brian Rodriguez said. “Andrew attended all the workouts prior to the season, never missed a game, played through injuries. More importantly, Andrew played with passion and never gave up on his teammates. He played with commitment, consistency, communication and Christ-like character every day and game.”

Seton Catholic Cougars

Unsung heroes: The seniors

Seton Catholic Cougars
Seton Catholic Cougars

Taj Muhammad, Joey Dearey, Myles McGovern, Seth Moore, Aidan Kirby, Bobby Voitik, and Samuel Lopez. Coach Will Ephraim said he wanted to give his seniors a final shout-out after helping the Cougars make quite the transition in the past four years. Six of the seniors were on the team as freshmen when Ephraim joined the program.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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