Everett’s Frauenholtz is West’s MVP

EVERETT — A week ago Jake Frauenholtz wasn’t sure he belonged with the high-profile athletes picked to play in the 2009 East-West All-Star Football Game.

But his mindset certainly changed on Saturday.

Making huge plays on both sides of the ball, Frauenholtz of Everett High School was named the West team’s most valuable player in a game won by the East, 13-12. The Carroll College (Helena, Mont.) football recruit made three receptions for 42 yards. He also returned an interception 34 yards, which helped set up the West’s second TD.

“Man, it was really surprising, to be honest with you,” he said. “I just wanted to come out in the game and try hard. Things just started working for me and going my way.”

In the first quarter, Frauenholtz made a clutch reception — his first of the game — by diving back toward the ball. The stunning 8-yard catch on a fourth-and-3 play gave the West a first down. T.J. Lee of West Seattle zoomed into the end zone on the next play, giving the West a 6-0 lead.

“Right when I made that catch,” said Frauenholtz, “I just knew that I was going to have a good game out there.”

“He made me look good,” said West team quarterback Nick Baker of Lake Stevens, who connected with Frauenholtz on the fourth-down pass.

Frauenholtz impressed East team MVP Blake Bledsoe, a quarterback from Spokane’s Central Valley High, with his all-around contributions. “That kid’s a stud,” Bledsoe said.

“He’s a competitor,” West team head coach John Ondriezek of Mariner High School said of Frauenholtz. “Quite simply, he’s just a winner.”

Even though this time his team lost by a point, Frauenholtz was all smiles afterward, bouncing happily between reporters and well-wishers. He will never forget his week as an East-West All-Star.

“I met a lot of cool people. I’m going to be probably life-long friends with a lot of these guys,” Frauenholtz said. “They’re all great football players, but we all had a lot in common. This whole week it was just a great experience getting to know these guys.”

Great finish for East head coach

In what might have been his final game as a head coach, the East team’s Greg Kittrell went out in style. Kittrell resigned this week as Moses Lake High School’s longtime head football coach and took an administrative job at the school. On Saturday, East players sent Kittrell out a winner, rallying for a one-point triumph.

“I do like a tight game like that. It’s a lot of fun. It’s fun to watch the kids react and it’s fun to watch the coaches react,” said Kittrell, whose team executed several effective fourth-down quick kicks that gave the West poor field position. The East squad, which used a hurry-up, spread offense, also used a tricky running play to pick up a first down on a fake punt.

Scholarship winners

Ferndale’s Orin Paul (West team) and Bledsoe (East team) both received $500 scholarships at the game. Paul, a linebacker/lineman, received the Tony Whitefield Memorial Award. Bledsoe received the Lynn Rosenbach Memorial Award. At the end of the third quarter, Paul and Bledsoe were presented the awards, which symbolize dedication, attitude, sportsmanship and athletic ability, according to the game program.

The West’s great start

After a promising beginning, the West team struggled to take advantage of opportunities on offense. The West defense forced a three-and-out series on the opening possession of the game. Then the West offense compiled a stellar 14-play, 60-yard scoring drive that culminated with T.J. Lee’s 4-yard TD burst around the right side. The scoring march — guided by Baker — lasted 7 minutes, 12 seconds. After that, the West team lost three fumbles and was intercepted once.

Team captains

The West team captains, picked by West coaches, were Meadowdale’s Nasser Kyobe, Issaquah’s Dillon Reagan, Lindbergh’s Zack Nielsen and Skyline’s Grant Engel. The East captains, selected by East players, were Enumclaw’s Connor Elder, Lakes’ Tuiasosopo Niusulu, Bledsoe, Heritage’s Steve Forgette and Lewis &Clark’s Chris Mastin.

Heavy hitter

If game officials gave an award for the day’s biggest hit, the hands-down winner would have been defensive back Stan Langlow, a graduate of Curtis High School, who played for the East.

Late in the game, Langlow put a shoulder into West receiver Spencer Hannah of Ferndale High School just as he touched the ball on a downfield crossing route. It was a jarring blow, and one that left Hannah on his back for a few minutes as trainers rushed to his aid.

Langlow’s teammates on the East sideline broke into noisy cheers after the hit, and finally had to be shushed by their coaches when Hannah stayed on the ground.

Hannah was eventually helped to the sideline, and after the game Langlow sought him out to be sure he was OK. They shared a congenial handshake.

The 6-3, 195-pound Langlow received a scholarship offer from Central Washington University for next season, but instead has been invited to walk on at the University of Washington. He expects to start out at wide receiver.

“That’s always been my dream, to go to the UW,” Langlow said. “It’s close to home and a great atmosphere. So I’m excited. It’ll be the chance to go play my dream.”

Memorable week

Although losing was a disappointment, Ondriezek was pleased by the week-long experience.

“Any time you compete you want to win the football game,” said Ondriezek. “But these kids (on the West team) played hard. They had a great week. They developed friendships with kids they didn’t know.

“This is an experience they’ll take with them for a lifetime,” he said.

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