The awards are starting to roll in for the Marysville Pilchuck football team.
Running back/defensive back Austin Joyner was named the 2014 Gatorade Washington State Player of the Year on Thursday, one day after Tomahawks head coach Brandon Carson was chosen as the 2014 Seattle Seahawks Coach of the Year.
Joyner, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior running back, rushed for 1,765 yards and 33 touchdowns on 132 carries this season, helping Marysville Pilchuck (10-2) reach the 3A state semifinals for just the second time in school history. He averaged 13.4 yards per carry and a touchdown every 4.2 touches.
In the classroom, Joyner maintains a 3.16 grade-point average and is a volunteer youth football camp counselor.
“Austin Joyner is a great competitor,” Dave Telford, the head coach at Stanwood, said in a press release. “It’s hard to root against him, even though as an opponent you don’t want him to have success. He displays great sportsmanship both on and off the field. He plays full speed on every play. Off the field, he is a polite, humble person.”
Joyner is the first Marysville Pilchuck player to win the award, and joins past winners Reilly Hennessey (2013, Camas), Max Browne (2012 and 2011, Skyline), Kasen Williams (2010, Skyline), Jake Heaps (2009 and 2008, Skyline) and Tony Heard (2007, Edmonds-Woodway).
“He’s a once-in-a-lifetime type of player, for me as a coach,” Carson said of Joyner. “It’s going to be tough without him. He’s had some good guys around him, too. We’re going to have our work cut out for us next year.”
The Seattle Seahawks and the Washington State Football Coaches Association (WSFCA) selected Carson as the 2014 Seattle Seahawks Coach of the Year. In his eighth year at Marysville Pilchuck, Carson has made the Tomahawks perennial playoff contenders.
“Coach Carson and his football staff showed strength and leadership in guiding the football team to a highly successful season under very difficult and tragic circumstances,” WSFCA said in a press release, referencing the fatal school shooting at Marysville Pilchuck on Oct. 24. “Through this adversity, numerous acts of sportsmanship, community sharing, healing and a spirit of cohesiveness became markers for this particular team as they moved forward.”
Carson was quick to turn the spotlight on others, thanking his coaches and players.
“I’m flattered by the honor. And it comes down to two things,” Carson said. “One, I have great players who had a great year. And the other thing is I have great assistant coaches. You don’t win these awards alone. You have to have great players and great coaches, and I happen to have both of those.”