The Star Times all-area defensive team huddles up at Qwest Field. From left to right: Amataga Sailiai, West Seattle; Oga Faumui, Auburn Riverside; Manny Mendoza, Evergreen;Anthony Felder, O’Dea; Paul Dickey, Lake Washington; Coach Steve Gervais, Skyline; Brett Kaluza, Skyline; Taylor Mays, O’Dea; Shelton Danzy, Rainier Beach; Nate Hadley, Kamiak; Max Komar, Auburn Riverside; E.J. Savannah, Bellevue; Jason Harris, Skyline
Players and coach were selected from King and Snohomish counties by Seattle Times sportswriters and editors after the regular season.
Skyline, LB, 6-1, 195, Jr.
Harris converted from quarterback to outside linebacker and made a huge impact in his first season, recording 67 solo tackles and 15 sacks through the first two rounds of the Class 4A state playoffs. Earned KingCo 4A Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors. Fast enough to chase down the sweep and strong enough to shed blocking tight ends, he bolstered the Spartans’ strongside defense.
Kamiak, LB, 5-11, 195, Sr.
Hadley, a team captain, had 157 tackles this season, helping the Knights to the Class 4A state quarterfinals. Hadley finished with 370 tackles during his high-school career, including 26 for loss. As a junior, made a school-record 180 tackles. Hadley also captains the Kamiak wrestling and track teams and has a 3.86 GPA. He is being recruited by schools in the Northwest and Ivy League.
Skyline, safety, 6-2, 190, Sr.
One of the best all-around athletes in the area, Kaluza has five interceptions but contributes in virtually every phase of the game. He also has 1,144 yards rushing, 538 yards receiving and 24 all-purpose touchdowns. When the Spartans need a big play, he’s usually the guy to deliver it. Kaluza has signed a letter of intent to play baseball next year at Washington.
Auburn Riverside, DL, 6-3, 260, Sr.
A dominating player who led the entire SPSL in tackles for loss with 10 and had four sacks. Versatile enough to play defensive end as well as interior lineman. Defensive Lineman of the Year in the SPSL North Division. Plans to play at Dixie State College in Utah, then transfer to Hawaii.
Evergreen, DL, 6-2, 310, Sr.
The most impressive all-around player in the Seamount League King Division, Mendoza swept honors as Lineman of the Year on both defense and offense, where he played center. An exceptional athlete who played fullback and inside linebacker last season.
Auburn Riverside, DB, 5-9, 165, Sr.
Turned out for football as a junior and helped Ravens end a 33-game losing streak, keying eight victories over the past two years. Anchored defense that allowed only about 40 yards passing per game. SPSL North’s DB of the Year. Intercepted four passes, returning one for a TD, and was a first-team WR.
Bellevue, LB, 6-2, 215, Sr.
Savannah recorded 72 solo tackles, 4.5 sacks and a KingCo 3A Conference-best nine tackles for loss in helping the Wolverines to a perfect regular-season record and a conference championship. He has missed all but one play in the state playoffs with a pinched nerve in his neck, but still has many offers from big-time college programs.
Lake Washington, P, 6-3, 175, Sr.
Dickey, with one of the strongest legs in the area, pulled double duty for the Kangaroos, handling punting and kicking duties. He averaged 42.8 yards per punt with a long of 78, and consistently pinned other teams deep in their territory. He also converted all 38 of his extra-point tries and made 8 of 12 field-goal attempts.
West Seattle, DL, 6-5, 255, Sr.
The big lineman was a big part of West Seattle’s success this season as the Wildcats advanced to the state playoffs for the first time in school history. Sailiai was a standout on both sides of the ball. “He’s got a great motor,” said West Seattle coach Tom Burggraff. “He’ll just keep coming at you and battle until the whistle blows.”
Rainier Beach, DB, 5-10, 195, Sr.
Danzy starred on both sides of the ball to lead the Vikings to their first Metro League title since 2001. He intercepted four passes, returning one 41 yards for a touchdown in Rainier Beach’s first-round win over Black Hills in the Class 3A state playoffs. Danzy also rushed for 907 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging more than nine yards per carry. Has made a verbal commitment to play for Washington State.
O’Dea, LB, 6-3, 225, Sr.
Felder anchored the always stingy Irish defense (10 points per game) with 118 tackles, and was named defensive MVP of the Metro League Mountain Division. He was also a first-team running back, powering his way to nine touchdowns. A blue-chip college recruit, Felder has upcoming visits to LSU, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
O’Dea, DB, 6-3, 210, Jr.
The speedy Mays was one of the Metro League’s best receivers when he wasn’t busy shutting them down. As a safety, he intercepted five passes and was named to the Mountain Division first team. On offense, the defending 100- and 200-meter state champion had 25 catches for 514 yards and seven touchdowns, earning league offensive co-MVP honors. Mays also returned three punts for touchdowns. Helped O’Dea reach the state playoffs for the 11th consecutive season.
Gervais led a seamless transition for Skyline as it moved from Class 3A to 4A this season. The Spartans (12-1), playing unfamiliar and larger opponents, improved steadily after a season-opening loss to Lake Washington and enter Saturday’s state-championship game against Evergreen of Vancouver on a 12-game win streak. Gervais, whose son, Griffin, and stepson, Jake Randolph, are seniors on this year’s team, has a 211-81 (.723) career record with four state titles. He is 60-17 (.779) overall since taking over at Skyline in 1998.