Monroe senior Cole Pruett (left) excelled on offense, defense and special teams for the Bearcats. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Monroe senior Cole Pruett (left) excelled on offense, defense and special teams for the Bearcats. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

The Herald’s 2021 All-Area high school football teams

A look at the top prep football players in the area this fall.

Editor’s note: The Player of the Year and All-Area teams were chosen by The Herald sports staff based on coach recommendations, season statistics and first-hand observations.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Dylan Carson, sr., RB/LB, Marysville Pilchuck

Click here for The Herald’s player of the year story on Carson.

Marysville Pilchuck senior Dylan Carson compiled a record-setting season at running back and also starred on defense while leading his team to the 3A state semifinals. (Tony Overman / The Olympian)

Marysville Pilchuck senior Dylan Carson compiled a record-setting season at running back and also starred on defense while leading his team to the 3A state semifinals. (Tony Overman / The Olympian)

COACH OF THE YEAR

Bryant Thomas, Kamiak

Thomas engineered a massive program turnaround and guided the Knights to a breakthrough 7-2 season in his fourth year at the helm. After three consecutive one-win seasons from 2017 through 2019, Kamiak followed a 4-0 spring by reaching the seven-win mark this fall for the first time since 2014. The Knights also earned their first trip to the Week 10 winner-to-state round since 2014.

Fourth-year Kamiak coach Bryant Thomas guided the Knights to a breakthrough season. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Fourth-year Kamiak coach Bryant Thomas guided the Knights to a breakthrough season. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

FIRST TEAM

Trent Nobach, sr., QB, Arlington

Nobach spearheaded the Eagles’ high-scoring aerial attack, completing 69.9% of his passes for 2,593 yards, 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The Rocky Mountain College commit led Arlington to the program’s first state playoff berth since 2012.

Arlington quarterback Trent Nobach (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Arlington quarterback Trent Nobach (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Dylan Carson, sr., RB, Marysville Pilchuck

Carson compiled one of the best statistical seasons in state history, rushing for a school-record 2,671 yards and 46 TDs while leading Marysville Pilchuck to the 3A state semifinals. The star back flirted with a pair of 11-man football single-season state records, finishing third in all-purpose TDs and eighth in rushing yardage, according to state prep football historian David Maley. Carson averaged a staggering 12.5 yards per carry and 205 rushing yards per game in Marysville Pilchuck’s Slot-T attack, including a school-record 427 yards and five TDs in a state quarterfinal win over Yelm. He was a constant home-run threat, with 17 TDs of 40-plus yards.

Marysville Pilchuck running back Dylan Carson (Tony Overman / The Olympian)

Marysville Pilchuck running back Dylan Carson (Tony Overman / The Olympian)

Jayden Limar, jr., RB, Lake Stevens

Limar showcased why he’s one of the nation’s top running back recruits, totaling 1,918 yards from scrimmage and 24 offensive TDs while helping lead the Vikings to the 4A state championship game. The four-star tailback rushed for 1,549 yards and 20 TDs, averaging 7.4 yards per carry. He also had 369 yards receiving, four TD catches and a kickoff return score.

Lake Stevens running back Jayden Limar (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Lake Stevens running back Jayden Limar (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Ryder Bumgarner, jr., RB, Stanwood

Bumgarner rushed for 1,516 yards and 19 TDs in the Spartans’ new Wing-T attack, averaging 8.2 yards per carry while leading Stanwood to its first state playoff berth since 1996. The hard-running junior also had 165 yards receiving and two TD catches and was a standout returner on special teams. He ran for 279 yards and three TDs in the Spartans’ stunning upset of Lincoln-Tacoma in the Week 10 winner-to-state round.

Stanwood running back Ryder Bumgarner (Pete Caster / The News Tribune)

Stanwood running back Ryder Bumgarner (Pete Caster / The News Tribune)

Drew Carter, sr., WR, Lake Stevens

Carter hauled in 68 catches for 1,135 yards and 15 TDs while helping lead the Vikings to the 4A state championship game. He also ran for 97 yards and a TD. The Eastern Washington University signee had a massive performance in Lake Stevens’ state semifinal win over Eastlake, catching 13 passes for 166 yards and two TDs.

Lake Stevens receiver Drew Carter (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Lake Stevens receiver Drew Carter (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Cole Pruett, sr., WR, Monroe

Pruett caught 61 passes for 979 yards and 12 TDs while helping lead the Bearcats to a share of the Wesco 3A South title. The do-everything senior also excelled on special teams, with five punt return TDs and one kickoff return TD.

Monroe receiver Cole Pruett (center) (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Monroe receiver Cole Pruett (center) (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Trayce Hanks, sr., WR, Lake Stevens

After moving from running back to receiver prior to the season, Hanks totaled 1,248 yards from scrimmage and 14 offensive TDs while helping lead the Vikings to the 4A state championship game. The versatile senior had 625 yards receiving, 623 yards rushing, seven TD catches, seven TD runs and two punt return scores.

Lake Stevens receiver Trayce Hanks (John Gardner / Pro Action Image)

Lake Stevens receiver Trayce Hanks (John Gardner / Pro Action Image)

Wesley Garrett, sr., All-purpose, Kamiak

Garrett was the focal point of the Knights’ fly-sweep attack, totaling 1,641 yards from scrimmage and 20 TDs while leading Kamiak to a breakthrough 7-2 campaign. The versatile playmaker had 902 yards receiving and 14 TD catches, with an average of 30.1 yards per reception. He also rushed for 749 yards and seven TDs, averaging 13.1 yards per carry.

Kamiak receiver Wesley Garrett (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Kamiak receiver Wesley Garrett (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Nate Elwood, sr., OL, Marysville Pilchuck

Elwood anchored a dominant offensive line that played a massive role in Marysville Pilchuck’s run to the 3A state semifinals. The three-year starter helped pave the way for a high-powered Slot-T attack that averaged 366 rushing yards per game and a staggering 10.9 yards per carry. According to coach Brandon Carson, Elwood is “the best guard this school has ever had.”

Kaleb Potts, sr., OL, Marysville Pilchuck

Potts was another key cog in Marysville Pilchuck’s dominant offensive line. The three-year starter helped pave the way for a high-powered Slot-T attack that averaged 366 rushing yards per game and a staggering 10.9 yards per carry.

Jakobus Seth, sr., OL, Lakewood

Despite coming off a broken leg he suffered in basketball, the Washington State University signee turned in another dominant season in the trenches. Seth totaled 44 pancake blocks and helped pave the way for a big season on the ground from dual-threat quarterback Justice Taylor.

Lakewood lineman Jakobus Seth (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Lakewood lineman Jakobus Seth (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Austin Emmons, sr., OL, Glacier Peak

Emmons was an imposing force at left tackle for the Grizzlies. He cleared lanes for running back Trey Leckner and helped Glacier Peak to its first 4A state playoff berth.

Grant Lynch, jr., OL, Lake Stevens

Lynch spearheaded a young and inexperienced offensive line that played an important role in the Vikings’ run to the 4A state championship game. The junior center surrendered only one sack all season and helped pave the way for a strong rushing attack that rose to the occasion when standout quarterback Grayson Murren was out with an injury.

Jacob Erickson, sr., DL, Glacier Peak

Erickson filled the stat sheet with 10 sacks, five tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, an interception and a fumble return TD. He helped the Grizzlies earn their first-ever 4A state playoff berth.

Josh Snow, sr., DL, Arlington

Snow posted 12 sacks and six tackles for loss while helping anchor a defense that allowed just 11.4 points per game. He helped the Eagles to their first state playoff berth since 2012.

Arlington defensive end Josh Snow (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Arlington defensive end Josh Snow (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Nate Elwood, sr., DL, Marysville Pilchuck

The standout offensive lineman also made a major impact on defense, totaling 16 tackles for loss and five sacks to help lead a unit that yielded just 16.7 points per game. He helped Marysville Pilchuck reach the 3A state semifinals.

Jakobus Seth, sr., DL, Lakewood

The Washington State University signee and standout offensive lineman also made his presence felt on defense. Seth had three tackles for loss and a forced fumble, but his impact went well beyond the stat sheet. He regularly drew triple teams from opponents and was described by coach Dan Teeter as “a generational type of talent at the high school level.”

Madison Wynkoop, sr., LB, Lake Stevens

Wynkoop totaled 21 tackles for loss, two sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception to help anchor a defense that yielded just 17.2 points per game. He helped the Vikings reach the 4A state championship game.

Noah Faber, jr., LB, Marysville Pilchuck

Faber posted 32 tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble and five pass breakups as the leader of a defense that allowed just 16.7 points per game. He helped Marysville Pilchuck reach the 3A state semifinals.

Quintin Yon-Wagner, sr., LB, Arlington

The three-star recruit was the centerpiece of a talented defense that allowed just 11.4 points per game. Yon-Wagner had two sacks, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble while helping lead the Eagles to their first 3A state playoff berth since 2012. “It all (started) in the middle there with Quintin,” Arlington coach Greg Dailer said.

Arlington linebacker Quintin Yon-Wagner (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Arlington linebacker Quintin Yon-Wagner (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Brayden Ulrich, sr., LB, Snohomish

Ulrich had 18 tackles for loss, four sacks and one interception in another standout season at linebacker for the Panthers. He helped lead Snohomish to a share of the Wesco 3A South title.

Drew Carter, sr., DB, Lake Stevens

The Eastern Washington University signee and star receiver was also an elite playmaker at safety for the 4A state runner-up Vikings. He totaled 10 tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception while helping anchor a defense that yielded just 17.2 points per game. “He’s the real deal,” said Gonzaga Prep coach David McKenna, whose team lost to Lake Stevens in the 4A state quarterfinals.

Cole Pruett, sr., DB, Monroe

The do-everything Pruett excelled at safety with six interceptions — including a pick-six — and two forced fumbles. As an impact player on offense, defense and special teams, he helped lead the Bearcats to a share of the Wesco 3A South title.

Trayce Hanks, sr., DB, Lake Stevens

Hanks was another two-way standout for the 4A state runner-up Vikings. He had four interceptions, a pick-six, a forced fumble and four tackles for loss while helping lead a defense that allowed just 17.2 points per game.

Jordan Velasquez, sr., DB, Marysville Pilchuck

Velasquez had two interceptions, seven pass breakups and four tackles for loss at safety for a defense that allowed just 16.7 points per game. The two-way standout helped Marysville Pilchuck reach the 3A state semifinals.

Ashton Wolff, sr., K, Marysville Pilchuck

Wolff made 79 of 83 extra-point attempts and hit all three field-goal attempts, including a 37-yarder in the 3A state semifinals. He also had a nearly 50% touchback rate on kickoffs.

James Yoon, sr., P, Jackson

Yoon showcased his leg strength by booting a 62-yard punt and his accuracy by pinning 12 punts inside the 20-yard line.

SECOND TEAM

Grayson Murren, sr., QB, Lake Stevens

Murren completed 73% of his passes for 1,856 yards, 20 TDs and just three interceptions while directing the Vikings’ high-scoring spread attack and helping lead Lake Stevens to the 4A state championship game. In just his second start since returning from a late-season leg injury, he threw for 341 yards and two TDs in the Vikings’ state semifinal win over Eastlake.

Lake Stevens quarterback Grayson Murren (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Lake Stevens quarterback Grayson Murren (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Trey Leckner, jr., RB, Glacier Peak

After transferring from Snohomish and moving from receiver to running back, Leckner totaled 1,550 yards from scrimmage and 23 TDs while helping lead the Grizzlies to their first 4A state playoff berth. The physical 6-foot-2 tailback rushed for 1,134 yards and 18 TDs, averaging 7.2 yards per carry. He added 416 yards receiving and five TD catches.

Glacier Peak running back Trey Leckner (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Glacier Peak running back Trey Leckner (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Jordan Velasquez, sr., RB, Marysville Pilchuck

Velasquez complemented lead back Dylan Carson as another home-run threat in Marysville Pilchuck’s high-powered Slot-T rushing attack. The speedy two-way standout ran for 1,117 yards and 17 TDs, averaging 12.7 yards per carry while helping Marysville Pilchuck reach the 3A state semifinals. He also had 199 yards receiving and two TD catches.

Marysville Pilchuck running back Jordan Velasquez (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Marysville Pilchuck running back Jordan Velasquez (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Joshua Vandergriend, sr., RB, Snohomish

Vandergriend was the focal point of the Panthers’ offense and amassed 1,658 yards from scrimmage and 21 touchdowns while helping Snohomish claim a share of the Wesco 3A title. The 5-foot-8, 170-pound running back rushed for 1,210 yards and 16 TDs, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. He added 448 yards and five TDs receiving.

Snohomish running back Joshua Vandergriend (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Snohomish running back Joshua Vandergriend (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Jelani Guerrero, sr., WR, Archbishop Murphy

Guerrero moved to wide receiver after spending his first three seasons at Archbishop Murphy at running back and excelled as a big-play threat for the Wildcats. The speedy 5-foot-11 receiver had 826 yards and eight touchdowns receiving while averaging a whopping 23.6 yards per catch, including five TDs of 66 yards or more.

Archbishop Murphy receiver Jelani Guerrero (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Archbishop Murphy receiver Jelani Guerrero (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Connor Dow, sr., WR, Shorecrest

Dow provided quarterback Carson Christensen with a go-to option while racking up 1,023 and 11 touchdowns receiving. Shorecrest coach Brandon Christensen described Dow as “consistent, dedicated” player who helped lead an inexperienced team.

Levi Younger, sr., WR, Arlington

Younger helped lead a talented group of receivers who aided a high-octane Arlington offense that averaged 38.0 points per game. The shifty 5-foot-9 receiver had 669 yards and 15 touchdowns receiving, averaging 11.0 yards per catch. He was also a threat in the return game, providing the Eagles with one kickoff return TD and one punt return TD.

Arlington receiver Levi Younger (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Arlington receiver Levi Younger (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Justice Taylor, sr., All-purpose, Lakewood

Taylor racked up 2,432 yards of total offense and 34 touchdowns as the quarterback for Lakewood. The dual-threat QB ran for 1,395 yards and 18 touchdowns while reaching the 100-yard mark on the ground in all but one game — which he exited early due to injury. He also completed 52% of his passes for 1,037 yards with 16 TDs and seven interceptions. Taylor finished the season with 592 total yards and 11 touchdowns in just three quarters during a rout of Lynnwood.

Lakewood quarterback Justice Taylor (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Lakewood quarterback Justice Taylor (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Blake Jones, sr., OL, Marysville Pilchuck

Jones was a consistent force up front for Marysville Pilchuck’s dominant offensive line. He helped pave the way for a high-powered Slot-T attack that averaged 366 rushing yards per game and a staggering 10.9 yards per carry during a run to the 3A state semifinals.

Griffin Montana, sr., OL, Monroe

Montana, a massive 6-foot-3, 335-pound senior, anchored the offensive line for a Monroe squad that earned a share of the Wesco 3A South title and averaged 36.7 points per game on offense.

Jacob Erickson, sr., OL, Glacier Peak

Erickson helped anchor the Glacier Peak offensive line as the Grizzlies made their first-ever state playoff appearance at the 4A level. Glacier Peak coach Shane Keck described his three-year starting center as a “nasty, tough” player.

Bryce Slezak, soph., OL, Lake Stevens

Slezak was a key contributor for a young offensive line that helped Lake Stevens make a run to the 4A state title game. The sophomore left tackle didn’t allow a sack all season.

Issiah Smith, jr., OL, Archbishop Murphy

Smith played both guard and center while providing an imposing force up front for Archbishop Murphy. The 6-foot-2, 306-pound junior had 12 pancake blocks.

Dylan Slezak, sr., DL, Lake Stevens

Slezak totaled 16 tackles for loss, six sacks and a forced fumble for a defense that yielded just 17.2 points per game. He helped the Vikings reach the 4A state championship game.

Ashten Hendrickson, jr., DL, Lake Stevens

Hendrickson had 13 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbled for a defense that yielded just 17.2 points per game. He helped the Vikings reach the 4A state championship game.

Lane Watkins, sr., DL, Snohomish

Watkins posted nine tackles for loss and seven sacks while helping Snohomish claim a share of the Wesco 3A South title.

Treasure Jordan, sr., DL, Edmonds-Woodway

Jordan had seven tackles for loss and one interception in just six games while playing nose guard for an Edmonds-Woodway squad that earned a share of the Wesco 3A South title. His interception led to a touchdown in a pivotal league win over co-champion Monroe.

Edmonds-Woodway defensive tackle Treasure Jordan (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Edmonds-Woodway defensive tackle Treasure Jordan (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Dylan Carson, sr., LB, Marysville Pilchuck

In addition to his record-setting season at running back, Carson played a key role on defense during Marysville Pilchuck’s run to the 3A state semifinals. As a hybrid player who lined up at a variety of spots, he totaled 14 tackles for loss, four sacks and four pass breakups for a unit that yielded just 16.7 points per game. “Dylan might be just as good on defense as he is on offense,” coach Brandon Carson said.

Michael Fant, sr., LB, Glacier Peak

Fant totaled seven tackles for loss, four sacks, one fumble forced and one safety while helping Glacier Peak to its first 4A state playoff apperance. He was the leading tackler on a defense that held six opponents to 21 points or fewer.

Wahi Emmsley, sr., LB, Monroe

Emmsley had seven tackles for loss, two sacks and one forced fumble. He helped Monroe claim a share of the Wesco 3A South title.

Jake Sugawara, sr., LB, Jackson

Sugawara totaled 14 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one interception and one pass breakup as the centerpiece of Jackson’s defense.

Ryder Bumgarner, jr., DB, Stanwood

On top of his offensive production, Bumgarner was also a standout defensive back for Stanwood as it made it to the 3A state playoffs. He posted five interceptions and one defensive touchdown.

Nolan Martin, sr., DB, Kamiak

Martin produced seven tackles for loss and three interceptions on a defense that allowed just 18.6 points per game. He helped lead Kamiak to its first seven-win season and first Week 10 playoff game since 2014.

Jadon Claps, sr., DB, Glacier Peak

Claps had five tackles for loss, two interceptions and one sack while helping Glacier Peak to its first 4A state playoff berth. He was a four-year starter on defense for the Grizzlies.

Glacier Peak safety Jadon Claps (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Glacier Peak safety Jadon Claps (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Hunter Eastman, sr., DB, Arlington

Eastman had four pass breakups and one interception for an Arlington defense that allowed just 11.4 points per game. He helped lead the Eagles to the 3A state playoffs and a share of the Wesco 3A North title.

Arlington safety Hunter Eastman (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Arlington safety Hunter Eastman (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

AJ Winsor, jr., K, Kamiak

Winsor made 35 of 36 extra-point attempts, with his lone miss coming on a block. He also attempted two field goals, hitting a 45-yarder and missing a 52-yarder.

Miguel Hurtado, sr., P, Lynnwood

Hurtado averaged 37.5 yards per punt, with a long of 58 yards.

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