West team hopes chemistry counts
Lake Stevens teammates Jake Nelson, Christian Gasca could be potent combination for West team
Mark Mulligan / The Herald
Lake Stevens graduate Jake Nelson, who is headed to Central Washington this fall, throws during practice Monday afternoon at Everett Memorial Stadium for the East-West All-Star football game.
Mark Mulligan / The Herald
Oak Harbor graduate Josiah Miller, who is headed to Central Washington this fall, runs during practice Monday afternoon at Everett Memorial Stadium for the East vs. West football game.
Mark Mulligan / The Herald
Lake Stevens graduate Christian Gasca, who is headed to Central Washington this fall, runs during practice Monday afternoon at Everett Memorial Stadium for the East vs. West football game.
But that doesn't mean the quarterback-receiver duo will be taking a hiatus this summer.
Nelson and Gasca were back together again on the football field Monday afternoon, when practices for this Saturday's East-West All-Star football game began at Memorial Stadium.
While 58 players from all over the state got to know one another, Nelson and Gasca need no introductions. One of the most productive passing duos in Snohomish County history is pretty well acquainted, thank you.
"I wouldn't rather have anybody else than my quarterback," Gasca said after the West team wrapped up a three-hour practice Monday afternoon. "We've got good chemistry when we're on the field together."
This week is, in a sense, a bridge between the past and future for Lake Stevens's gridiron stars, and it's also an opportunity for three CWU players to get a head start on the fall. Nelson, Gasca and Oak Harbor graduate Josiah Miller are all playing for the West team, while fellow future Wildcat Andrew Dodd of Jackson was also scheduled to be here but won't participate because of an injury.
It would be an understatement to say that Nelson is already on the same page as Gasca -- the duo hooked up for 73 receptions and 1,166 yards while leading the Vikings to the semifinals of the 4A state tournament in the fall -- while the Lake Stevens-turned-CWU quarterback is hoping to generate some camaraderie with another future teammate this week.
Miller is lining up as a flyback/receiver this week, although he's expected to compete for a job as a running back at Central.
"It's good to have two receivers with me that I'll be throwing the ball to," Nelson said. "It's a pretty good start right now."
Miller said he was impressed with Nelson's modesty, adding that the quiet quarterback has the kind of personality he appreciates in the position.
"To get to practice with him, and to see how he plays," Miller said, "it's a good jump on the future."
Nelson and Gasca are also looking forward to the future, but for now they're not looking too far past Saturday. The annual all-star game could come down to one or two big plays, and the duo knows that familiarity could come in handy.
"It's going to help because we're going to go in there and be on the same page quickly," said Nelson, who passed for 2,508 yards and 29 touchdowns for Lake Stevens last fall.
Gasca said the longtime teammates might have an unfair advantage this week.
"I definitely hope so, that's for sure," he said with a laugh. "If it comes down to it, I think we're in a good situation. It is a big advantage. I'm not going to say I feel sorry for those other guys, but it is nice to have chemistry like that."
West head coach Gordon Elliott, who coaches at Auburn High School, said he still doesn't know exactly what kind of an advantage he has in the productive teammates but added that he likes having them aboard.
"When you have a quarterback and receiver that played together, they have familiarity. And that's always good," he said Monday. "That's always going to put you a little step ahead on offense. Offense is always going to be about timing and execution, and if the kids have already been together, that really helps."
1 Nikolaj LaCour, 6-2, 210, WR/DB, Redmond
2 Bryan Cassill, 5-10, 175, DB/WR, Eastlake
7 Jake Nelson, 6-2, 195, QB/DB, Lake Stevens
8 Colton Hordyk, 5-11, 190, RB/DB, Arlington
10 Alex Wood, 5-11, 170, P/K, Mercer Island
11 Malik Barnes, 6-4, 200, DB/WR, Ingraham
12 Caleb Saulo, 6-2, 218, QB/LB, Kentlake
19 Taggart Krueger, 6-2, 180, WR/DB, Skyline
20 Ian Nobmann, 5-9, 180, RB/LB, Kennedy Catholic
21 Austin Lee, 5-10, 190, QB/DB, Sammamish
22 Jason Smith, 6-1, 182, WR/DB, Tahoma
23 Adam West, 6-1, 170, WR/DB, Mount Vernon
25 Josiah Miller, 5-0, 160, RB/DB, Oak Harbor
28 Alex Schwend, 5-9, 175, RB/DB, Woodinville
37 Traishawn Patrick, 5-10, 220, LB, Jackson
40 Jaray Bates, 6-2, 220, RB/OLB, Auburn Riverside
42 Jordan Moore, 6-1, 195, RB/DB, Monroe
44 Cameron Ogard, 5-9, 195, LB/TE, Mercer Island
45 Kyle Newsom, 6-2, 205, OLB/RB, Meadowdale
49 Tanner Lucas, 6-1, 220, RB/LB, Kentlake
51 Colton Niblack, 6-3, 240, OL/DL, Jackson
55 Jalen Robinson, 6-2, 270, C/DL, Liberty
57 Sawyer Whalen, 6-4, 225, OL/DL, Woodinville
59 Jordan Barnes, 6-3, 200, OL/LB, Edmonds-Woodway
62 Cody Tupen, 6-2, 240, OL/DL, Lake Stevens
70 Gino Bresolin, 6-2, 265, DL/OL, Eastlake
71 Cory English, 6-4, 285, OL/DL, Auburn
72 Sam Flor, 6-4, 285, OL/DL, O’Dea
73 William Jenkins, 6-2, 300, OL/DL, Kennedy Catholic
75 Anthony Olobia, 6-4, 230, OL/DE, Liberty
76 Austin Richert, 6-2, 225, OL/OLB, Issaquah
80 Bo Brummel, 6-3, 225, TE/LB, Arlington
85 Christian Gasca, 5-11, 180, WR/DB, Lake Stevens
90 Corwin Perkins, 6-0, 210, LB/TE , Meadowdale
Head Coach: Gordon Elliot (Auburn)
Assistant Coaches: D.J. Baddeley (Woodinville),Boone Borden (Auburn), Dan Irwin (Auburn), Kjel Kiilsgaard (Auburn), Wayne Maxwell (Woodinville)
1 Moe Handcox, Jr., 5-10, 170, WR/DB, Walla Walla
2 Kieran McDonagh, 6-2, 240, QB/LB, Skyview
3 Skyler White, 5-8, 175, WR/DB, Auburn Mountainview
5 Emmanuel Thompkins, 6-1, 210, DB/RB, Lincoln
6 Jordan Thompson, 6-3, 195, WR/DB, Timberline
11 Justin Hordyk, 6-1, 175, QB/DB, Bethel
16 Drew Sharkey, 6-2, 250, DL/RB, Ferris
17 Gaven Deyarmin, 6-1, 190, DB/QB, Central Valley
19 James Segura-Mitchell, 5-11, 180, WR/DB, Timberline
20 Tyler Bergeron, 6-0, 190, RB/DB, Battle Ground
22 Grant Woods, 5-7, 165, RB/DB, Kennewick
23 Alex Jacot , 6-0, 190, LB/RB, Central Valley
25 Zach Marshall, 5-9, 180, RB/LB, Camas
26 Richard Johnson, 6-1, 195, QB/DB, Lincoln
27 Lavonte’ Littlejohn, 6-0, 190, RB/DB, Lakes
28 Zach Bruce, 6-1, 170, RB/DB, University
30 Jordan Downing, 6-1, 205, LB/RB, Chiawana
31 Miquiyah Zamora, 6-1, 190, DB/WR, Chiawana
33 Kurtis Karstetter, 6-2, 195, LB/RB, Ferris
39 Cole Lemer, 6-3, 190, WR/DB, Ferris
45 Josh Richards, 5-10, 160, WR/DB, Southridge
48 Zach Fuller, 6-1, 230, DE/TE, Bellarmine Prep
50 Josh Stoltz, 6-2, 240, OL/DL, Mountain View
52 Zak Porche, 6-0, 200, OL/DL, Timberline
53 Justin Frost, 6-0, 205, OL/LB, Columbia River
63 Dylan Bratlie, 6-5, 285, OL/DL, Skyview
65 Cody Erpelding, 6-5, 315, C/DL, Emerald Ridge
66 Tyler Connors, 6-0, 200, OL/DL, Central Valley
67 Alex Deutsch, 6-1, 250, OL/DL, University
71 Zaheer Webb, 6-3, 327, OL/DL, Lakes
75 Timothy Ah-Hee, 6-4, 250, OL/DE, Lincoln
77 Kyle Lanoue, 6-1, 255, OL/DL, Central Kitsap
79 Max Kelly, 6-7, 260, OL/DL, Gonzaga Prep
99 Ryan Johnson, 6-2, 235, TE/DE, Mountain View
Head Coach: Steve Kizer (Skyview)
Assistant Coaches: Dan Eyman (Eisenhower), Matt Hamlin (Skyview), Aaron Hazel (Skyview) Rick Giampietri (Central Valley), Julian Williams (Skyview)