Williams named state’s top player

Associated Press

SEATTLE – This week, it was Michigan’s turn to court Reggie Williams.

The football star from Tacoma’s Lakes High School has been busy trying to figure out his football future, and Michigan is one of four teams in the picture. The others are Notre Dame, UCLA and Washington. He will visit them all before making a decision.

And Williams now has a new honor he can share with recruiters. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound wide receiver and free safety is The Associated Press high school player of the year for Washington state.

He led Lakes to second place in Class 3A as a senior and third place as a junior. The team went 23-2 during those two years when he was captain, winning consecutive Pierce County League titles.

This season, Williams caught 45 passes for 811 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also rushed 34 times for 512 yards and seven touchdowns. On defense, he made eight interceptions and ran two of them back for touchdowns.

“I’ve been coaching football for 20 years, and I have never seen a high school football player like Reggie,” Lakes coach Dave Miller said. “This is a big honor. There are a lot of very good players out there, and Reggie certainly is deserving. He contributed so much to our program in the four years he’s been here.”

Williams was a two-way starter for three years and also is a state champion in track. He won the triple jump and ran the anchor leg in his team’s winning 400-meter relay. On top of all that, Williams maintains a 3.4 grade point average.

He has a unique combination of size and speed, Miller said.

Some scouts have compared Williams to NFL receivers Randy Moss and J.J. Stokes. Williams says he developed his game by watching NFL players for many years, picking up their techniques.

“I just think it’s a great honor,” Williams said. “I’m put up there with the top guys who have been up there in the state of Washington, so it’s exciting to be up there with them.”

Williams was selected from players of the year in six state school classifications. The other top players by class were: Doug Vincent of Pasco, Class 4A; Pat Bennett of Forks, Class 2A; Jeremy Scroggins of Royal, Class 1A; Clark Pauls of Davenport, Class B-11; and David Tonasket of Inchelium, Class B-8.

All are seniors except Pauls, who is a junior. The selections were made by sports writers and broadcasters statewide.

Vincent, 6-1 and 210 pounds, was a three-year starter at linebacker for Pasco and led the team in tackles all three years. He beat out teammate Skyler Allen and South Kitsap’s Ryan Cole for player-of-the-year honors in Class 4A.

Williams’ competition for player of the year in Class 3A included Ben Woodard of Cheney and Mitch Browne, quarterback for state champion Skyline.

At Forks, Bennett became the state’s fourth-best career rusher after running for 2,448 yards on 298 carries for 30 touchdowns his senior season. Forks lost in the state quarterfinals.

Bennett, a 6-1, 213-pound running back and linebacker, has verbally committed to Washington State University. His 2,448 yards this season made him third all-time on the state single-season list. For his career, he rushed 763 times for 5,420 yards and 67 all-purpose touchdowns.

On defense, Bennett had 148 tackles, four sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Bennett has a 4.0 grade point average.

“He is a better person than he is a football player,” said Forks coach Terry Jensen. Other 2A player-of-the-year vote-getters included East Valley’s Thomas Ostrander, Othello’s Dan McCourtie, Omak’s Ryan Cate and Trent Bray of Pullman.

Scroggins, a 5-11, 175-pound tight end/receiver and strong safety, scored 128 points for state champion Royal, including 13 receiving and five rushing touchdowns. He also scored on a fumble return and an interception return. He caught 44 passes for 719 yards and rushed 32 times for 368 yards. On defense, he made 75 tackles and four interceptions.

Other A nominees for player-of-the-year included Royal teammate Will Sutor and Okanogan’s Will Derting.

Davenport’s Pauls, a 6-foot, 240-pound middle linebacker and offensive guard, made 223 tackles, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and blocked four kicks for the B-11 champion Gorillas. Other B-11 players nominated for player-of-the-year honors were teammate Andy Schreck, Manson linebacker Eric Garton and Marshall Donnelly of DeSales.

At Inchelium, the 5-9, 165-pound Tonasket led the state champion Hornets with 25 touchdowns and four two-point conversions. He carried 204 times for 1,783 yards and made 10 catches for 221 yards. On defense, he had 28 solo tackles, 15 first hits, 18 assists, three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Tonasket beat out Sprague-Harrington’s Colin Floyd and Touchet’s Tim Wagoner for player-of-the-year honors.

The all-state team is dominated by seniors, but several underclassmen also were recognized. Included among them is a lone freshman – DeSales quarterback T.J. Conley.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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