West team hopes chemistry counts

EVERETT — Jake Nelson and Christian Gasca spent the fall victimizing opponent after opponent for the Lake Stevens High School football team, and they fully intend on continuing their assault on the record books over the next few years at Central Washington University.

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)

More in Sports

Kamiak senior’s 52-point outburst this season was historic

Carson Tuttle’s performance was one of the best in the history of current Wesco 4A and 3A schools.

Art Thiel: Carroll has no choice but to be ‘very aggressive’

With just two years left on his contract, the Seahawks coach has no choice but to go for it in 2018.

Dan Mack steps down as the head football coach at Kamiak

He served as the Knights’ head coach for 20 seasons

Police question friends of WSU quarterback who killed himself

The redshirt sophomore died Tuesday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police.

Wednesday’s prep results, with links to recaps

Here are Wednesday’s prep results, with links to recaps: BOYS BASKETBALL Northwest… Continue reading

Wednesday’s prep stars of the night

Here are Wednesday’s prep stars of the night: Carolyn Brunner, P, Kamiak… Continue reading

Conroy fills crucial role in center of UW bench

The Huskies fiery assistant coach serves as a bridge between coach Mike Hopkins and the players.

Area girls soccer players earn all-state honors

King’s Stella named the Class 1A MVP; a pair of Jackson players land spots on the 4A first team

Kokanee exhibit added to sportsmen’s show

The Kokanee Tank is likely to be one of the most popular additions to the sportfishing seminar lineup.

Most Read