Skyline quarterback Max Browne uses last season’s title-game loss as motivation

August 31, 2011

NEW — 9 a.m. Aug. 31, 2011

For all the things Max Browne accomplished as a sophomore, it is the one thing he didn’t that pushes Skyline’s quarterback.

When the 2010 Class 4A state title game ended with Ferris claiming a 24-16 victory over the Spartans, Browne didn’t drop his head, at least not right away. Instead, he turned to the Saxons’ sideline. He watched them celebrate.

“Some people may think it’s crazy,” he said. “But it definitely fueled me.”

From that moment on, through every workout, camp and practice, one thing has continued to carry him: Get it back.

“His dedication to this team is unbelievable,” Skyline coach Mat Taylor said.

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Skyline Spartans reload for championship run

August 30, 2011

Max Browne, Skyline junior quarterback, looks for a receiver during practice Aug. 25. By Christopher Huber

It didn’t take long for the Skyline High School Spartans football team to bounce back from defeat at the 2010 state 4A title game.

From players’ reactions after the final buzzer sounded, the loss to Ferris stung.

Ultimately, it inspired the team to start preparing for the 2011 season earlier than ever. Players began optional workouts in January instead of March. And, coupled with the handful of team and 7-on-7 camps they attended, the Spartans seemed to exude as much confidence as ever during late August practices. That’s despite losing Kasen Williams, considered by many national publications to be last year’s top wide receiver prospect in the nation.

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Jake Heaps piles up honors at college level

August 23, 2011

Brigham Young University sophomore Jake Heaps, one of the most celebrated quarterbacks in Skyline High School history, is earning preseason attention.

Of course, accolades are nothing new for Heaps, who earned all-state and national honors during his Skyline days.

Among his recent honors is being named to the 2011 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List. One reason why Heaps is on the list is because of the sensational freshman season he had last fall for the Cougars.

Last season, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Heaps broke every freshman Brigham Young University quarterback record, including wins, games started, passing yardage, completions and touchdowns. He started 10 games in 2010, completing 219 of 383 passes for 2,316 yards and 15 touchdowns.

The former Spartan great, who led Skyline to three straight state championships, could follow the accolades of former BYU quarterbacks Jim McMahon, Steve Young and Ty Detmer. Each of these BYU greats won the O’Brien Award — McMahon in 1981, Young in 1983, and Detmer in 1990 and 1991.

This year’s list, compiled by a subset of The O’Brien National Selection Committee, featured 38 of the nation’s top collegiate quarterbacks who were picked based on their performance last year and their expectations heading into the 2011 season. Heaps is one of eight sophomores on the list.

The field of candidates will be narrowed to 16 semifinalists Oct. 24. The O’Brien Foundation and selection committee will announce three finalists Nov. 21 and the winner will be announced Dec. 8.

In addition to the O’Brien attention, Heaps is on the cover of the Athlon Sports College Football 2011 preseason football magazine. He shares the cover with Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Boise State’s Kellen Moore. Luck is regarded as the No. 1 quarterback in the nation and the likely top pick in next year’s National Football League draft. Moore, from Prosser, has been one of the nation’s premier signal callers, too. So Heaps is in fine company.

Where are they now?

List of local athletes playing college football this fall based on most current rosters available:

Issaquah

  • QB Ryan Bergman, Western Oregon
  • QB Joey Bradley, North Dakota
  • OL Jay Deines, Eastern Washington
  • DB Adam Dondoyano, Linfield
  • OL Jacob Everson, Minot State
  • OL Greg Finch, Puget Sound
  • OT Daniel Fleischman, Wyoming
  • RB Grant Gellatly, Cornell
  • OL Paul Goertz, Washington State
  • DB Kyle Hansen, Claremont-McKenna
  • LB Nik Landdeck, Idaho
  • WR Evan Peterson, Linfield
  • OT Christian Rennie, Southern Utah
  • OL Jared Warren, Whitworth
  • RB Taylor Wyman, Willamette
  • WR Ross Zuhl, Puget Sound

Liberty

  • DB Jake Bainton, American River CC
  • LB Marcelle Bell, Montana-Western
  • DE Robert Blair, Montana-Western
  • DB Taylor Hamann, Willamette
  • OL Coleton Langdon, Portland State
  • LB Nolan Liefer, Montana-Western
  • OL Rob Marlow, Pacific Lutheran
  • LB Cameron Talley, Linfield
  • QB Trey Wheeler, Simon Fraser
  • DB Justin Whitman, Pacific Lutheran

Skyline

  • RB Nick Beauchamp, Santa Rosa
  • WR Eric Biege, Linfield
  • OL Jase Butorac, Eastern Washington
  • WR William Chandler, Washington
  • DE Connor Cree, Washington
  • DL Evan Day, Eastern Washington
  • RB Joey Evans, Menlo
  • DB Michael Ford, American International
  • QB Jake Heaps, Brigham Young
  • RB Kai Jandoc, California Lutheran
  • LB Devon Jonsson, Menlo
  • WR Jake Knecht, Willamette
  • OL Luke Marquardt, Azusa Pacific
  • DB Mickey Hull, Southern Oregon
  • Dl Jon Meyers, Southern Oregon
  • TE Cooper Pelluer, Washington
  • P Sean Penberthy, Willamette
  • WR Gino Simone, Washington State
  • S Jordan Simone, Washington State
  • WR Tait Stephens, Willamette
  • OL Matt Trueblood, California Lutheran
  • P-WR Paul Vanderwulp, Azusa Pacific
  • RB Nick Washburn, Eastern Washington
  • LB Tyler Washburn, Eastern Washington
  • LB Jordan Weil, Willamette
  • WR Kasen Williams, Washington

Heaps has come a long way in a year. This time last year, he entered fall camp expecting to share quarterback duties with Riley Nelson. The two shared the position in BYU’s season-opening 23-17 victory against Washington. Heaps completed 13 of 23 passes for 131 yards against the Huskies. When Nelson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury against Florida State on Sept. 18, Heaps became the starter for the remainder of the season.

He ended it with a record-setting MVP performance against the University of Texas-El Paso in the New Mexico Bowl. He was the first BYU freshman quarterback to start in a bowl game. Heaps completed 24 of 34 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns in the Cougars’ 52-24 victory.

The four touchdown passes gave Heaps 15 on the season, another record for BYU freshmen quarterbacks. He broke Detmer’s record by two.

Heaps was selected to the College Football News Freshman All-American Team as an honorable mention.

Besides all of the football attention, the other big news in Heaps’ life came in late June this year when he married Brooke Shaw, whose father was a former BYU player.

Patriots moving in different directions

Three of Liberty High School’s standouts from last fall are moving on to the college ranks. Two of them are actually changing places after committing to other schools.

Quarterback Trey Wheeler is heading north of the border. He signed a letter of intent to play for Simon Fraser University, which is a member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Simon Fraser is the only Canadian team in that conference, which includes Central Washington.

Wheeler had been recruited by several schools and was offered a scholarship from the University of Wyoming.

“He went up to Simon Fraser and liked the program and the academics. He felt it would be a good fit,” Liberty coach Steve Valach said.

Chandler Jenkins, the 3A KingCo Conference offensive player of the year last fall, is a walk-on at Washington State University. Jenkins had originally committed to the Air Force Academy. He is scheduled to play as a slot receiver for the Cougars.

Jenkins joins the Simone brothers, Gino and Jordan, who are former Skyline standouts, at WSU. Gino is a wide receiver and Jordan is a safety.

Jake Bainton, a standout receiver and defensive back for Liberty, had signed a national letter of intent with Central Washington University. However, Valach said Bainton has changed his mind and plans to play for American River Community College in California.

The three former Liberty stars helped the Patriots reach the state playoffs the past three seasons, including the 3A state title game in 2009.

Other Liberty grads who will be playing college ball this fall are Nolan Liefer, Marcelle Bell and Robert Blair at Montana-Western; Cameron Talley at Linfield; Coleton Langdon at Portland State; Taylor Hamann at the University of Puget Sound; and Justin Whitman and Rob Marlow at Pacific Lutheran.

Bradley battling for No. 1 job

Joey Bradley, who was a standout quarterback at Issaquah, is vying for the No. 1 job at North Dakota University. He is one of three candidates for the position.

Bradley transferred to North Dakota from Diablo Valley Community College in California. He led all California community college quarterbacks in passing yards (3,656 yards) and touchdown passes (33) for Diablo Valley last fall.

In the North Dakota spring game, Bradley showed promise as he hit nine of 17 passes for 105 yards.

Another former Eagle expecting to have a big season is tailback Grant Gellatly, a sophomore at Cornell. Gellatly led his team and all Ivy League freshmen in rushing with 437 yards last fall. He also caught 15 passes for 82 yards.

Two Issaquah graduates are headed for Linfield College. Defensive back Adam Dondoyano and Evan Peterson will play for the Wildcats.

Dondoyano has recovered from a torn ACL, which kept him out of action for most of last fall. Peterson was an all-league receiver for the Eagles, and set school season and career records. Dondoyano and Peterson will be roommates at Linfield.

Jacob Everson, a redshirt freshman, will be playing for Minot State this fall.

Spartans starting at Eastern

Skyline graduates Jase Butorac and Tyler Washburn are listed as starters at Eastern Washington University, the defending NCAA Championship Sub-division national champions.

Butorac, 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, is listed as the starter at right guard on offense. He is a redshirt freshman. However, he impressed Eastern coaches for his efforts on the scout team last fall. Butorac was selected as the offensive scout team player of the year.

Washburn is listed as a co-starter at strongside inside linebacker. He did not play spring ball because of surgery following an injury late in the 2010 season.

Washburn started 12 games last season. He had one of the biggest plays of the season for the Eagles. Washburn returned a fumble for a touchdown in the Eagles’ 41-31 victory against Villanova in the semifinals.

Evan Day, another Skyline grad, is listed as a reserve defensive end for Eastern. Like Butorac, Day is a redshirt freshman. He was selected as Eastern’s defensive scout team player of the year last fall.

Joining the three Spartans is Issaquah’s Jay Deines, freshman offensive lineman.

The Eagles open their season Sept. 3 at the University of Washington.

The Eastern-UW game will resemble a Skyline alumni game. While Butorac, Washburn and Day will suit up for Eastern, the Huskies have former Spartans in wide receiver William Chandler, defensive end Connor Cree, linebacker Cooper Pelluer and wide receiver Kasen Williams.

Skyline grad Jake Heaps named to O’Brien list

August 11, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 11, 2011

Brigham Young University sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps, a former Skyline High School star, has been named to the 2011 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List.

As a freshman, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Heaps broke every freshman BYU quarterback record, including wins, games started, passing yards, completions and touchdowns. The former No. 1-ranked quarterback by Scout.com started 10 games in 2010, completing 219-of-383 passes for 2,316 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Three BYU quarterbacks have won four O’Brien awards, including Jim McMahon in 1981, Steve Young in 1983, and Ty Detmer in 1990 and 1991.

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Skyline star Jake Heaps is BYU starting quarterback

March 15, 2011

NEW — 8:30 p.m. March 15, 2011

Jake Heaps

Former Skyline High School standout Jake Heaps is in line to be the starting quarterback at Brigham Young University, Cougars head football coach Bronco Mendenhall said as the team started spring practice Monday.

Heaps finished practice completing 6-of-8 passes for 52 yards and one touchdown in practice Tuesday.

“I’ve seen good tempo, enthusiasm and confidence,” Mendenhall said in a release posted on the BYU athletics website. “I know they are trying hard and the plays and execution will catch up to the enthusiasm.”

In three years of starting for the Spartans, Heaps amassed dozens of honors for skills as quarterback, including three consecutive state football championships.

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Skyline sophomore pushed himself to keep up with his brothers

November 30, 2010

Max Browne, Skyline sophomore quarterback, throws to a receiver during the Spartans’ game against Bothell Oct. 29. By Christopher Huber

Max Browne trudged into the house, dejected.

“I am bad. I am awful. I didn’t get any hits,” the 7-year-old announced to whomever would listen.

When family members asked him what was wrong, he explained that after 27 at-bats against his older brother, Michael, he couldn’t get a hit.

He couldn’t even make contact. There was a six-year gap between the two brothers, but Max couldn’t be comforted.

He has always wanted to win.

Eight years later, Max is the sophomore starting quarterback for top-ranked Skyline (12-1), winner of three consecutive state football championships, which plays Ferris 4 p.m. Dec. 4 for the 4A title at the Tacoma Dome. Read more

Issaquah guard signs to play for Idaho State University

November 16, 2010

Issaquah High School senior guard Blaire Brady has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for Idaho State University next year.

Brady has helped the Eagles reach the Class 4A state tournament the past two years. Last winter, the Eagles finished sixth. The year before, Brady helped the Eagles win the 4A KingCo Conference title in 2009, as well as place seventh at state.

Last season, Brady earned all-KingCo second team honors, averaging 9.3 points a game and tying the school record for the number of steals in a game with 10.

“She is a quick guard who can play the one or two. She is very smart, aggressive, a great defender and a high-energy player,” Idaho State coach Seton Sobolewski said.

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Liberty High School swimmer wins 200 freestyle

November 9, 2010

UPDATED — 11:40 a.m. Nov. 9, 2010

Liberty High School’s Nicole Lecoq captured the 200-yard freestyle at the 3A Sea-King District swimming championships last weekend at Mercer Island. Lecoq won the event with a state-qualifying time of 1 minute, 56.71 seconds.

Lecoq also took second in the 100 freestyle with a state-qualifying time of 53.02.

Liberty’s Elise Tinseth had state-qualifying times in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke. Tinseth was fourth in the 200 individual medley in 2:14.76. She placed eighth in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:10.60.

The Patriots finished sixth in the meet with 91 points. Mercer Island took first place with 340 points.

Liberty competes in the Class 3A state championships Friday and Saturday at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Prelims for the 3A meet begin at 7 p.m. Friday. The finals start at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

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Skyline grad on target for BYU

September 7, 2010

Jake Heaps, who led the Skyline High School Spartans to the 4A state title last season, got his collegiate career off to a promising start for Brigham Young University Sept. 4, when the host Cougars defeated Washington 23-17.

Heaps, who split time at quarterback with junior Riley Nelson, completed 13 of 23 passes for 131 yards.

Football teams get ready to open seasons

September 3, 2010

NEW — 11:30 a.m. Sept. 3, 2010

Skyline and Liberty high school football teams meet for the first time in three years at 7 p.m. Friday when the Issaquah District rivals tangle at Liberty. Skyline enters the game as the reigning 4A state champion.

The Spartans also won the 4A title in 2008 and the 3A title in 2007. Liberty finished second in the 3A state tournament last season. The Patriots are expected to battle defending 3A state champion Bellevue for the 3A KingCo title this season.

Liberty returns outstanding skill players in Jake Bainton, Chandler Jenkins and Trey Wheeler. Bainton, a wide receiver, and Jenkins, a running back, were first-team all-league selections last season. Wheeler, a quarterback, earned second-team all-league honors last season. He is regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in the state this season.

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