ILWACO - Ilwaco, although not bound for a playoff berth this week, was crowned the ninth most prolific scoring team among the 2A ranks in the state with a 32.3 points per game average. Evergreen Conference leader, Elma, led the state 2A teams with a 48.0 scoring average during the regular season.
The Fishermen, who finished in fourth place in the Trico-League with a 4-5 record in 2002, placed no less than six players on the first team all-league roster. Defensive lineman, Dan Davis, was second among all vote-getters at that position. Chris Lemons was the top player at linebacker.
On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Kevin Brown led all players at that position, as did wide receiver Andy Hudkins and tight end Ryan Cadwell. The Fishermen's Heath Miller trailed only John Peru from Ridgefield at the running back spot as he rounded out the last of Ilwaco's six All-Trico League first team picks.
Offensive tackle, Tony Kangas, earned second team honors and defensive back, Montez Pogue, did likewise for Ilwaco. Honorable mention performers for the Fishermen were defensive lineman, Mike Pickering, and center, Justen Schaak.
Woodland's 300 pound all-everything lineman, Tyler Manring, was named Trico-League most valuable player. The top defensive player was LaCenter's lineman, Josh Williamson and the best offensive player was Ridgefield's speedy running back, John Peru. The Fishermen were able to bottle up Peru and hold him to his least-productive game of the season when they defeated Ridgefield at home in week six.
Brown led Ilwaco in passing in 2002 with 111 completions in 202 attempts for a 55 percent success rate. Even more impressive, the senior quarterback tossed 20 touchdown passes and had a miniscule five interceptions for his senior year campaign.
Miller, a durable and shifty runner, gained 1195 yards on 212 carries for an average of 5.6 yards per carry. The versatile and talented senior also had 29 receptions for another 456 yards and he crossed the goal line for 13 touchdowns. Miller averaged an exemplary 266 yards in total offense per game for the Fishermen in 2002.
Hudkins again led Ilwaco in receptions and receiving yardage, catching 52 balls for 871 yards for the season, an average of almost six catches per game with a gain of 97 yards per contest. Senior Hudkins scored a total of 11 TD's for the year.
Cadwell, a junior, caught 23 passes for 371 yards and four touchdowns. Senior linebacker, Lemons, led the Fishermen in tackles with 104, even though he sat out most of the last two games with a bad knee. He averaged nearly 15 tackles per contest.
According to statistics released by Coach Dustin Lamb, Hudkins was second in tackles with 67, followed closely by Miller with 64 and Cadwell with 61. Kangas brought down 54 enemy ball carriers, and Davis 43, also scoring two defensive touchdowns from his defensive lineman position.
Other top tacklers were Greg Iverson 38, Pickering 35, Pogue and Matt Bonney with 29 each, Schaak 26, Brown 24, freshman Mooch Smith 23, Rocky Mirelez 21, and Randy Wiegardt with 21 tackles.
Davis topped the Fishermen with five quarterback sacks and Bonney followed with four. Hudkins, Lemons, and Kangas had three sacks and Pickering and Schaak got to the QB twice for losses in 2002.
According to Lamb, Hudkins, Lemons, and Miller all have been nominated to play in the 2A all-star football game to be played in the spring. The players on the 2002 Fishermen football team have earned a great many honors and have accomplished many individual milestones, but it's a solid bet that each of them would have gladly traded any of their individual awards for a trip to the state playoffs in a heartbeat.