Signing Day: Patience pays off for Hockinson’s Sawyer Racanelli

Receiver signs with Huskies; plus more signings from Camas, Skyview and Union

Sawyer Racanelli says he is more spiritual and more patient these days.

He is also, officially, a Washington Husky.

Racanelli, a senior from Hockinson, lost his senior season of football due to a knee injury, but he gained a better understanding of himself as he dealt with the setback.

Sawyer Racanelli of Hockinson signed his letter of intent Wednesday to play football for the University of Washington. Photo by Paul Valencia

Wednesday, he rewarded himself by signing a letter of intent to play for the Huskies. 

He was one of a number of athletes from Clark County who made their college football decisions official. 

Caadyn Stephen of Camas signed with the University of Southern California. Camas teammates Rush Reimer and Bryce Leighton are headed to Montana State.

At Skyview, running back Jalynnee McGee is going to Portland State. 

Over at Union, quarterback Caleb “CJ” Jordan signed with Idaho.

Wednesday was the first day of the “early signing” period for college football players. There is another signing period in February. 

Skyview quarterback Yaro Duvalko, for example, has announced his intention to sign with Utah State but as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, there were no reports that he had yet signed.

Racanelli’s journey to college football took an unexpected turn this past summer when he suffered a season-ending injury. Had he played this season for the Hawks, he most likely would have become the state’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards.

“Not playing led me to a more spiritual path,” said Racanelli, who prays on the field after every game and thanks God during interviews. “I learned a lot of patience.”

Racanelli acknowledged that he was pretty much known as simply a football player.

“Nothing really was me, except for football. That’s what I do,” he said. “When it was taken away, it led me to a more spiritual way of having to find out who I am besides football. Patience was a big deal with it. I was just waiting, waiting, waiting. It was hard to sit there and not be able to do anything for four months.”

Instead, he became more of a coach for the Hawks, helping Hockinson reach the Class 2A state semifinals.

Racanelli announced his intention to sign with Washington last spring. He had his official visit this past weekend.

“It reassured me on my decision,” he said.

The Huskies are in a transition after head coach Chris Petersen resigned and the promotion of Jimmy Lake to the top spot.

Racanelli said Petersen laid the foundation, and Lake is calling the new Huskies “bricklayers.” 

Stephen of Camas missed most of his senior year due to injury, as well. The offensive lineman posted a picture of him and his family as he signed his letter to USC Wednesday.

Reimer, a lineman, and Bryce Leighton, a kicker and punter, were given shout-outs by the Montana State Athletic Department on social media.

Together, they all helped Camas to a 14-0 record and a Class 4A state championship.

McGee of Skyview rushed for 28 touchdowns in 11 games, helping the Storm to the state playoffs. 

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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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