It’s tough to say goodbye.
For a number of local athletes this past weekend was the final whistle they’ll hear in their high school athletic career. Their swan song. Their coda. So we decided to celebrate the best of the best. Using recommendations from athletic directors and Herald writers, we picked a senior boy and girl athlete from each local school to represent the Class of 2012. These athletes aren’t just the best on the field, but also exemplified the best of all student-athletes in the classroom and the community.
We’re also having a fun competition. Go here and vote for your five favorite athletes of 2012. Then we’ll take the top five — throw in an extra Herald selection — and pick our boy and girls student-athletes of 2012. This is strictly for fun and to spark a little school pride so share this poll on Facebook and Twitter.
The voting ends Monday, June 4.
For the girls nominees, click here.
Shober starred on Murphy’s football team, which finished second in state. He was four-year starter for the Wildcats and was named first-team all-Cascade Conference in 2010, 2011 and was all-state honorable mention linebacker in 2011. He also played on the Archbishop Murphy basketball team. He maintained a 3.97 GPA and took multiple AP classes. He will attend Stanford University next year.
McPherson, a three-sport athlete, is headed to Westpoint upon graduation. Despite suffering a severe knee injury last season, he was the quarterback of the football team, a favorite at the state wrestling championships until suffering an injury and was a state participant in three events at last week’s track and field state championship, finishing second in the javelin. McPherson, who hopes to play football and participate in track at Army, has received several scholarships, stays active in the community and maintains a 3.98 grade point average.
Bishop played football and soccer for the Bruins. He was a second team All-Wesco defender for the soccer team this past season.
Paxman wrestled, played football and boys soccer and even did two years of track and field. As a captain on the wrestling team, Paxman finished second at the Mat Classic this past winter after taking third as a junior. He was voted most outstanding wrestler of the WIAA District 1 Regional in 2012. Paxman, who has a 3.3 GPA, is headed to BYU of Idaho next fall.
As a member of the football team, Mitch Pelroy was a two-time All-Conference first-team selection at wide receiver and defensive back and was also named the Special Teams Player of the Year. In track he went to state in the 100, 200, and the 300 hurdles. The Coupeville Lions Club named him as Student of the Quarter in March, basing it on academic excellence, community service and school activities.
Olson is a three-sport athlete, lettering all four years in basketball and two years in baseball. Despite not being a big fan of football, Olson played two years, including at free safety this past fall. As a senior, Olson made Northwest 1A/2B all-league second team and averaged 15 points per game. He attended Army basic training last summer and is currently a Private First Class in the U.S. Army and is currently training to be a mechanic. He maintained a 3.2 GPA this year.
Barnes was a key member of the football team that rebounded from a slow start this past season to win the Wesco South championship. He made the All-Wesco South first team defense and made The Herald’s All-Area first team defense as a linebacker. In the winter, Barnes wrestled for the Warriors at 182 pounds and led E-W to a Wesco South title.
Soelling is a four-year letterman on Everett’s tennis team and a captain for the baseball team his junior and senior seasons. He played No. 1 singles for the Seagulls and went 35-8 during his final three years, earning first team all-Wesco honors each season. He received the Most Inspirational Award for the tennis team this year. On the diamond, Soelling was named to the All-Wesco first team. He has a 3.7 GPA and will be attending Gonzaga University.
Tarvin was a standout member of the Grizzlies basketball and track teams. In the winter, Tarvin led the Grizzlies to a second-place finish at the 3A District 1 tournament and a state berth. On the track team, Tarvin finished second in the 400 and helped the 1,600 relay at the district meet, qualifying for state in both events. With a 3.63 GPA, Tarvin will be attending Brigham Young University, where he hopes to walk on to the Cougars’ track team.
Sheppard is a four-year letter winner in cross country, has participated in wrestling and is a letter winner in track. Last year he qualified for state in the pole vault and this year he set a personal best of 14 feet in the pole vault at the Eason Invitational. He also has a 3.9 GPA and has taken a number of AP classes. He also designed the new Granite Falls School District’s logo.
One thing is certain, Brown has an arm. He is the quarterback of the football team and an ace pitcher for the Timberwolves. Brown was also a member of the basketball team that made it to the state tournament this past season; his timely shooting helped Jackson get there. He was a key member of the baseball team that placed second at state in 2011 and helped lead the Timberwolves back to the state tournament this year and was named to the All-Wesco first team. Upon graduation he is headed to the University of Arizona to play baseball.
Carlson was a key member of the Knights football team, catching 15 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown as a wide receiver in the fall, and basketball team.
The Knights harrier won a state title at the 1A state cross country meet this year and won the 1,600 race at the state track meet last week. He won the Cascade Conference and state title last year in the 800 against current University of Washington runner Tyler King. A strong student, Emmons is accepted to the Naval Academy and UW.
Gasca plays football, basketball and baseball for the Vikings and along with several of his football teammates is headed to Central Washington University upon graduation. Gasca has earned praise from his coaches for his work ethic and passion for the sports he plays. In football season, Gasca and his teammates made it to the 4A state final four before falling to Skyview and Gasca was named to the All-Area team as a wide receiver and defensive back. The basketball team was a win away from regionals and the baseball team only had one blemish on their record in the regular season en route to a state appearance.
The Cougars starting tight end was named to the All-Conference first-team offense after catching 21 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns despite missing the final three games of the season and leading Lakewood to its first Cascade Conference title. He also led the Cougars basketball team in scoring and was named to the All-Cascade second team. He’s headed to Oregon State on a football scholarship next fall.
Lord was a team captain for the Royals’ football and baseball teams. In the fall he played quarterback for the Royals and led Wesco 3A in passing as a senior. As one of the leaders on the baseball team, Lord played shortstop and was one of the team’s key hitters. He has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Saint Martin’s University next year.
One of the most highly recruited football players to come out of Snohomish County in some time, Russell chose to attend Notre Dame next season on athletic scholarship. Russell received offers from every school in the Pac-12 before making his decision. In the spring, Russell used the same speed that helped him stand out on the football field to find success in track, earning a spot at state in the 100 and 200 and helping the Marauders 400 relay team to a fourth-place finish. It isn’t just athletics where Russell excels. He is also co-ASB president and an outstanding student.
As a captain on Marysville Getchell’s first varsity football team, Stewart was a positive leader through an 0-10 season. He volunteered at the Chargers track meets as well as the middle school track meets and has helped build ramps for people with special needs in a contruction program through MGHS. Stewart plans on joining the Army next year with hopes of being an Army Ranger.
As a running back/defensive back, House led the Marysville Pilchuck football team and was All-Wesco honorable mention. Normally a three-sport athlete for the Tomahawks, House was forced to take the winter off after sustaining an injury during the football season, but he came back to be a standout sprinter on the track and field team, including helping the Tomahawks 400 relay team finish sixth at the state meet.
Coffey was a first team All-Area selection defensive lineman for football this season — and a member of The Herald’s inaugural all-area Twitter team — and won the Coach’s Award for leadership and sportsmanship this season. He was also a captain for the baseball team, batting around .400 for the Mavericks while playing primarily designated hitter and catcher and was named to the All-Wesco second team. Coffey will be playing football — and possibly baseball — at Willamette University in Salem, Ore.
Moore played football and track for the Bearcats and this past season led the football team to its first winning season in 19 years. He led Wesco 4A rushers in yards and was first-team All-Wesco as a running back and linebacker and first-team All-Area as a linebacker and second as a running back. In track, Moore went to state in the 110-meter hurdles and the triple jump. He is on his way to Dickinson State after graduation on a football and track scholarship.
Milner was a team captain on the Mountlake Terrace tennis and track and field teams, earning the Outstanding Leadership Award and Coach’s Award. In track, he was a district finalist in the long jump and triple jump. He was one of four students from Terrace chosen as an Edmonds School District Scholar Athlete for 2012 — he was one of two students to earn a $3,000 scholarship — and he carries a 3.5 GPA, including multiple AP courses. He will be attending University of Puget Sound in the fall.
MICHAEL WASHINGTON, JR.
A back-to-back selection to the 3A basketball first team, Washington Jr. finished his career as the all-time leading scorer at Oak Harbor with 1,526 points. He was named the ESPN High School boys basketball player of the week on Dec. 20 after netting 41 points in a double-overtime victory, tying the second best single-game score in Wildcats’ history. Also a member of the football team, Washington, Jr. has a 3.98 GPA and will be continuing his basketball career at Princeton.
Chibuogwu was the Wesco 3A boys basketball player of the year and a team captain of the 17-8 Shorecrest Scots. Chibuogwu averaged 17.9 points per game, good for third best in the conference. He scored five points and grabbed nine rebounds in the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association (WIBCA) all-state game in March.
At the swim and dive championships in February, Young won the 3A state diving championship for the second straight year. The year before that, as a sophomore, Young was the 4A state champion. The running start student has received a diving scholarship to Brigham Young University.
Hamlin was named The Herald’s All-Area basketball player of the year as well as being named to the All-State team. He scored a season-high 43 points in a victory over Monroe this past season and led the Panthers within a victory of playing in the Tacoma Dome. Hamlin was one of the 4A state leaders in scoring this season and helped the Panthers maintain a top-10 state ranking for most of the season. When he isn’t in the gym working on his game, he remains active in other school activities.
Lee was a starter on the Falcons football, basketball and boys soccer teams this past year and did it all while keeping up good grades in the classroom. In the past he participated in track in the spring, but decided to try out for the boys soccer team this year and was named a starting defenseman.
Ness is the starting catcher for Stanwood’s baseball team and also played football for the Spartans. He maintains a 3.93 GPA and is headed to Pacific University in Oregon on an academic scholarship after graduation. Ness also plays on the FCA-U18 (fellowship of Christian athletes) team based out of Woodinville. Ness, a three-year starter for the Spartans, was named to the All-Wesco second team.
Cooper lettered in football, cheerleading, baseball and marching band. He maintained a 3.14 cumulative GPA as well. He was a leading rusher on the Turks football team and was All-Conference second team outfielder in baseball for the second year in a row. He did all of it this year despite learning his mother had stage four breast cancer as the football season was winding down. The family recently learned she is presently cancer free.
Choose five to represent the Class of 2012