ILWACO - Ilwaco Middle School finished their season with a sparkling 5-1 record, defeating all the Southwest Washington teams they played except Valley, who squeaked by the Thunderbirds 30-28.
Coach Rick Bishop had praise for the running of Alex Martin and Eddie Knick and the blocking of fullback, C.J. Hawkinson. Bishop said, "Quarterback Paul Blaylock supplied excellent leadership and ball handling. Center Jeff Nesbitt was the leader of our line and did well with coordinating our sophisticated blocking system."
Other offensive linemen getting praises from coaches Bishop, Randy Bluhm, Les Smith, and Brian Smith were tackles Ronny Kary and Bennie Mazie and guards Randy Jamieson and Geoff Hylton. "Josh Shanks caught two touchdown passes and was our leading receiver this year," related Bishop.
Defensive tackles Alex Mack and David Casper had fine seasons, as did Colten Chalker and Jacob Burchett, according to Bishop. "Adam Yaun at defensive end was probably our most improved defensive player."
Bishop concluded by saying, "Our eight graders have only lost one game in junior high. They should blend well with this year's ninth graders and be very successful at the high school level. Four or five of the eight graders should be on the varsity and a couple of them should start as freshmen next season."
The rest of the team includes Nick Morrison, Adam Douty, Sam Johnson, Josh Holland, Jacob Nesbitt, Casey Marsh, Jacob Smith, Jordan DeSimone, Brandon Koczy, and Sabino Padilla.
Other Thunderbird football players are Junior Talancon, Kaleb Stenhart, Brian Marteeny, Cody Chalker, Chris Shanks, Anthony Wirkkala, Shane Persinger, Lenny McGrath, Tyler Saunders, and Brad Reeder.