The Everett Elite Flag Football 14-under team practices Sunday morning at Harbour Pointe Middle School in Mukilteo, Washington on January 16, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Community roundup: Monroe alum Rybar named D-III All-American

Plus, Edmonds-Woodway graduate Ali Gaye decalares for the NFL draft, Jackson alum Jon Cook competes at the swim world championships and more.

Blake Rybar is an All-American.

The Monroe High School graduate, who’s now a junior linebacker on the Linfield University football team, was named a third-team NCAA Division III All-American by

Rybar, the captain of Linfield’s defense, appeared in 10 games for the Wildcats. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder finished with 67 tackles, including 13 for loss, as well as 3.5 sacks, three pass breakups and a forced fumble. Rybar was named the Northwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Rybar helped Linfield finish the season 10-1 and reach the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.

Gaye foregoes bowl for NFL draft

Edmonds-Woodway High School graduate Ali Gaye, who just finished his fifth-year senior season with the LSU football team, opted out of the Tigers’ bowl game as he officially declared for the NFL draft.

Gaye, a defensive end, appeared in 13 games for LSU this season, including 12 starts. He finished with 36 tackles, including six for loss, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two passes defensed. However, he chose not to participate in Monday’s 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.

The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gaye is considered a mid-to-late-round draft candidate.

Johnston catches TD in national title game

Snohomish High School graduate Josh Johnston, who just completed his senior season with the Colorado School of Mines football team, caught a touchdown pass in the NCAA Division II national championship game.

Johnston, the Orediggers’ No. 2 receiving threat, caught six passes for 85 yards in the title game against Ferris State on Dec. 17 in McKinney, Texas. That included a leaping 14-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter as Colorado School of Mines lost 41-14.

Johnston finished the season with 7 catches for 1,373 yards and 13 touchdowns as the Orediggers went 13-3.

Cook competes at swim world championships

Jackson High School graduate Jon Cook, who graduated from Stanford University last spring, represented the Philippines at the FINA short course World Swimming Championships, which took place Dec. 13-18 in Melbourne, Australia. It was the second straight year Cook competed for the Philippines at the meet, which is competed in a 25-meter pool rather than the 50-meter Olympic-sized pool.

Cook competed in two events, placing 28th out of 35 competitors in the 200 breaststroke in a time of 2 minutes, 12.91 seconds, as well as 44th out of 61 competitors in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:00.87.

Alter earns GNAC weekly honor

Stanwood High School graduate Ashley Alter, now a senior wing on the Seattle Pacific University women’s basketball team, was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for Dec. 26-Jan. 1.

Alter had 17 points and 14 rebounds in the Falcons’ 58-45 victory over Northwest Nazarene on Thursday, then followed up with 31 points and nine boards in a 70-63 victory over Central Washington on Saturday.

For the season Alter is averaging team-leading totals of 16.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals for an SPU team that’s 3-1 in conference play and 8-4 overall.

If you have an item for the community sports roundup, email Nick Patterson at

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Jean-Luc Baker leads advanced students through a warmup during the Seattle Skating Club 2024 Your True Step figure skating seminar on Saturday, June 15, 2024, at Olympic View Arena in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Patterson: What’s next for local Olympian Jean-Luc Baker?

The Edmonds ice dancer brought Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen to town with Your True Step.

Logan Gilbert of the Seattle Mariners throws a pitch during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park on June 16, 2024, in Seattle, Washington. (Alika Jenner / Getty Images)
Mariners week: Gilbert’s brilliance lifts Seattle to sweep

Seattle’s 8 1/2-game lead in the AL West is its largest since the 2001 season.

AquaSox week in review: Mariners’ Polanco does rehab stint

Everett wins five of six on the road against Eugene; Schreck and Garcia have big weeks.

Women’s PGA Championship offers fans chance to watch and learn

The women’s golf major tournament comes to Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish beginning Thursday.

Jackson senior and UNLV commit Yanina Sherwood is The Herald’s 2024 Softball Player of the Year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
2024 Softball Player of the Year: Jackson’s Yanina Sherwood

With both her arm and bat, Sherwood led the Timberwolves to their second-straight state title.

Kamiak’s Synclair Mawudeku (2) pitches during a 4A softball game between Kamiak and Jackson at Kamiak High School on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. Jackson won, 9-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2024 All-Area softball team

Editor’s note: The Player of the Year and All-Area teams were chosen… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba catches the game-winning touchdown pass as Eagles cornerback James Bradberry defends in the fourth quarter on Dec. 18. (Yong Kim / Tribune News Service)
Seahawks look to fully unlock Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s potential

Seattle is expecting good things from the receiver, who was taken 20th overall in the 2023 draft.

Everett 8-year-old Ryder Romano was selected to compete in the prestigious Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Walker)
Everett 8-year-old selected to prestigious hockey tournament

Ryder Romano will play at the Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament on July 1-7 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon (21) celebrates a stop of Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) during the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Nov. 30, 2023. The Cowboys won, 41-35. (Tom Fox / Tribune News Service)
Captain of the Seahawks defense? Why it could be Witherspoon

The talented second-year cornerback brought ‘outrageous energy’ to Seattle’s minicamp.

Drew Bryson, the new Arlington boys basketball head coach, at Arlington High School on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington taps alum Bryson to continue boys hoops tradition

The former Eagles star succeeds Nick Brown as Arlington’s head coach.

Why Seahawks are joining NFL trend with joint practices

Seattle will conduct practices with the Tennessee Titans prior to their preseason game.

Seattle Storm head coach Noelle Quinn on the sidelines June 15, 2023, during a game against the Las Vegas Aces in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt / Las Vegas Review-Journal, file)
As WNBA exposure grows, Storm content to quietly stack wins

Amid the Caitlin Clark-fueled buzz, Seattle has won seven of its past eight.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.