By David Krueger Herald Writer
MUKILTEO — There was football royalty in the building at the 32nd annual Snohomish County Football Officials Association (Hall of Fame Banquet on Wednesday night at the Rose Hill Community Center.
Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan and placekicker Steven Hauschka were the featured speakers at this year’s celebration, which is put on by the county’s football officials to honor a lineman and a back from each Snohomish County high school. The association then presents scholarships of $1,500 and $750 in each category. Jeff Schireman, who is a member of the SCFOA, and his wife, Betty, also sponsor an additional award in honor of the armed services.
This year’s scholarship winners were Lucas Waller and Hunter Bingham (both Monroe High); Brandon Stickels and Tanner Wilcoxson (both Marysville Getchell High); and Nicolas Tagliavavore (Kamiak High).
The student athletes sat in awe as they listened to players, who play for many of the athletes’ favorite team, talk about their lives and give the kids some advice for theirs.
“(High school) was probably the most memorable years of playing sports in my life,” Ryan said to those in attendance. “… Really cherish these times. Really enjoy each other. These are the times you’ll never forget.”
The Seahawks helped the SCFOA honor those athletes in attendance, five of whom were given scholarships to help them further their education.
“That was the first Seahawk I’ve ever seen in person,” said Waller, who won $1,500 lineman award. “And to have them say congratulations to me is pretty exciting.”
Boasting a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA and four years in the Monroe football program, Waller is a three-year letterman and 2013 team captain. He’s also a member of Monroe’s basketball and track and field teams, is a member of student government and is an ASB Supreme Court Justice for Monroe High School.
He also volunteers at Sky Valley Food Bank, as a math tutor for underclassmen and in the phone bank aiding in District Levy passing.
All of his activities don’t leave Waller with a lot of free time. Most of it comes on the weekend, when he watches Ryan, Hauchska and the Seahawks on Sunday afternoons.
“I have Sunday to rest a little and that’s about it,” Waller said. “I get to watch football.”
Monroe’s Bingham, won the $750 back award. He plays football, basketball and baseball, the latter of which he was named first-team, all-league last season. He boasts a 3.97 GPA despite spending a lot of his time mentoring and caring for his diabetic 7-year-old brother.
“It was awesome to see Monroe represented,” Waller said. “It was cool to have us both get awards.”
Marysville Getchell’s Stickels was awarded the $1,500 back scholarship sponsored by Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill and Irish Pub, while Wilcoxson won the $750 lineman award.
Voted the team’s most inspirational player for the past three seasons, Stickels also plays baseball for the Chargers and is an ASB class officer. He is also a camp counselor for Science Camp and a PTA volunteer at Pinewood Elementary School.
“It’s exciting,” Stickels said of the award. “I just turn 18 tomorrow. It’s the best birthday present.”
The Marysville Getchell senior already has applied to Seattle University and the University of Washington and is working on applications to Stanford, Princeton and Gonzaga. He hopes to study political science and eventually go to law school.
Wilcoxson has a 3.98 GPA after taking Advanced Placement and Running Start classes at Everett Community College. He was a four-year letterman for the Chargers and a captain on the squad his senior year. Wilcoxson has lettered in wrestling and track and field as well.
Kamiak’s Tagliavavore, who participated in the United States Naval Academy’s Summer Seminar Program and is applying to the school, won the $1,500 Armed Services award. Tagliavavore was a captain this season and a four-year player for the Knights. He has a 3.75 GPA and has applied to both the U.S. Naval and Military academies to continue his education.
Tagliavavore’s father is a 23-year Navy veteran and his sister graduated from the Naval Academy. He said he’s always had a desire to follow in his family’s footsteps and join the armed forces to give back to his country.
“I feel like that is for me,” Tagliavavore said. “Personally, I want the opportunity to give back.”
Athletes honored at the Snohomish Football Officials Association Hall of Fame banquet:
Archbishop Murphy—Foster Wade, Conner Longoria; Arlington—Max Gray, Sean Patnode; Cascade—Nathan Elliot, Randin Crecelius; Darrington—Garrett Green, Colin Davis; Edmonds-Woodway—Davis Giles, Travis Bakken; Everett—Pablo Yeo-Torres, Lucas Arnestad; Glacier Peak—Zachary Petersen, Nick Hensley; Jackson—Nicholas White, Jake Miles; Kamiak—Nicholas Taglialavore, Henderson Belk; Lake Stevens—Gavin O’Neil, Tanner Krenz; Lakewood—Eric Murray, Jacob DeWitt; Lynnwood—David Vo, Hunter Lord; Mariner—Nickolas Smith, Curtis Billen; Marysville-Getchell—Brandon Stickels, Tanner Wilcoxson; Marysville Pilchuck—Ryan Spiva, Ben Northrop; Meadowdale—Isaiah Barhoum, Aaron Yared; Monroe—Hunter Bingham, Lucas Waller; Snohomish—Michael Sanders, Corey Rodgers; South Whidbey—Nick French, Beck Davis; Stanwood—Drew Wright, Alec Scappini; Sultan—Christopher Branham, Taylor Comfort.
Armed Services Award—Nicholas Taglialavore, Kamiak
$1,500 lineman—Lucas Waller, Monroe
$1,500 back—Brandon Stickels, Marysville Getchell
$750 lineman—Tanner Wilcoxson, Marysville Getchell
$750 back—Hunter Bingham, Monroe