Lake Stevens High School

Lake Stevens senior Ahmad Banishamsa tries to work for a pin during a dual meet against Tahoma on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (John Gardner / Pro Action Image)

After leaving Palestine, Lake Stevens senior finds place with wrestling team

Ahmad Banishamsa moved to the U.S. in sixth grade. He’s now a top wrestler in the state despite picking up the sport just two years ago.

 

Lake Stevens quarterback Kolton Matson keeps it himself for a long first half run against Graham-Kapowsin during the WIAA 4A Football State Championship on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Lake Stevens’ Matson named Gatorade Washington Football Player of the Year

The junior quarterback tossed a program-record 49 TD passes while leading the Vikings to a 2nd straight Class 4A state title.

 

Lake Stevens girls surge past Kamiak with 4th-quarter rally

Nisa Ellis pours in a game-high 34 points and scores the deciding bucket in the Vikings’ 62-60 victory.

Lake Stevens players take photos with the championship trophy after their win over Graham-Kapowsin during the WIAA 4A Football State Championship on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens players take photos with the championship trophy after their win over Graham-Kapowsin during the WIAA 4A Football State Championship on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Kolton Matson (12) poses for a photo at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

The Herald’s 2023 Football Player of the Year: Kolton Matson

The junior quarterback racked up a program-record 49 TD passes while leading Lake Stevens to a second straight state title.

Kolton Matson (12) poses for a photo at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Lake Stevens head coach Tom Tri hugs quarterback Kolton Matson after the Vikings’ victory against Graham-Kapowsin in the WIAA 4A Football State Championship on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens head coach Tom Tri hugs quarterback Kolton Matson after the Vikings’ victory against Graham-Kapowsin in the WIAA 4A Football State Championship on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens players celebrate Jesse Lewis’ second-half touchdown against Graham-Kapowsin during the WIAA 4A Football State Championship on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Back to back!: Lake Stevens wins 4A state football title

The Vikings beat Graham-Kapowsin 31-6 for their second straight Class 4A state championship.

Lake Stevens players celebrate Jesse Lewis’ second-half touchdown against Graham-Kapowsin during the WIAA 4A Football State Championship on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens senior Jesse Lewis takes a short pass all the way for a first half touchdown against Graham-Kapowsin during the WIAA 4A Football State Championship on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Notebook: Lake Stevens’ Jesse Lewis has best game on biggest stage

Plus, key adjustments for the Vikings defense and Kolton Matson’s impact with his legs.

Lake Stevens senior Jesse Lewis takes a short pass all the way for a first half touchdown against Graham-Kapowsin during the WIAA 4A Football State Championship on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
A gang of Lake Stevens Vikings take down the ball carrier during the 4A semifinal against Graham-Kapowsin on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Looking back at the Lake Stevens vs. G-K state playoff rivalry

The Class 4A powers are set to face for the third straight postseason and sixth time since 2015.

A gang of Lake Stevens Vikings take down the ball carrier during the 4A semifinal against Graham-Kapowsin on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens’ David Brown snags a game-sealing interception in the fourth quarter of the 4A semifinal against Graham-Kapowsin on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Coaches weigh in on Lake Stevens vs. Graham-Kapowsin title game

Three coaches from Snohomish County and one from Pierce County give their perspectives on the teams.

Lake Stevens’ David Brown snags a game-sealing interception in the fourth quarter of the 4A semifinal against Graham-Kapowsin on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens’ Jaxson Lewis (8) runs with the ball during a Class 4A state semifinal game between Lake Stevens and Kamiakan at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 48-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Another state title well within reach for surging Lake Stevens

The Vikings head into Saturday’s championship clash riding a string of dominant performances.

Lake Stevens’ Jaxson Lewis (8) runs with the ball during a Class 4A state semifinal game between Lake Stevens and Kamiakan at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 48-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Graham-Kapowsin’s Daveon Superales keeps the ball on a quarterback run during the 4A semifinal against Lake Stevens on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

4A state championship capsule: Lake Stevens vs. Graham-Kapowsin

A by-the-numbers look at Saturday’s state title game, plus game picks from our experts and readers.

Graham-Kapowsin’s Daveon Superales keeps the ball on a quarterback run during the 4A semifinal against Lake Stevens on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens’ Keagan Howard (80) scores during a Class 4A state semifinal game between Lake Stevens and Kamiakan at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 48-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Lake Stevens advances to 4A state title game with rout of Kamiakin

The Vikings cruise past another playoff opponent en route to Husky Stadium.

Lake Stevens’ Keagan Howard (80) scores during a Class 4A state semifinal game between Lake Stevens and Kamiakan at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 48-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Lake Stevens’ Talha Rai (18) moves with the ball during a football game between Lake Stevens and Woodinville at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 41-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Lake Stevens’ Talha Rai (18) moves with the ball during a football game between Lake Stevens and Woodinville at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 41-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Lake Stevens’ Kolton Matson (12) moves with the ball during a game between Lake Stevens and Kennedy Catholic at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 44-21. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Lake Stevens not looking past Kamiakin in state semifinals

The path through the playoffs has been quite different for the Vikings and their challenger.

Lake Stevens’ Kolton Matson (12) moves with the ball during a game between Lake Stevens and Kennedy Catholic at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 44-21. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
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: Skoog takes 2nd at NAIA cross country championships

Also, Taylor Roe posts an All-American time, Efton Chism III earns All-Big Sky honors, and a slew of athletes receive All-NWAC selections.

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)
Lake Stevens players celebrate a touchdown during a football game between Lake Stevens and Woodinville at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 41-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Unheralded group becomes Lake Stevens’ deepest set of receivers

After waiting behind others, a balanced, senior-heavy contingent has keyed another playoff run for the Vikings.

Lake Stevens players celebrate a touchdown during a football game between Lake Stevens and Woodinville at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 41-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
A gang of Lake Stevens defenders stop Xe'Ree Alexander against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

4A state quarterfinal capsule: Lake Stevens vs. Kennedy Catholic

The Vikings host the Lancers in a rematch of last year’s state championship game.

A gang of Lake Stevens defenders stop Xe'Ree Alexander against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lynnwood’s Ady Martin, right, celebrates with her teammates during a Wesco 3A District volleyball matchup against Shorecrest on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lynnwood’s Ady Martin, right, celebrates with her teammates during a Wesco 3A District volleyball matchup against Shorecrest on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)