The West Linn football team proved it in the Three Rivers League.
The Lions proved it again in the playoffs.
And the rest of the state took notice, with West Linn players honored at nine spots in balloting for the 2019 Class 6A all-state teams.
West Linn seniors Ryan Seth and Casey Tawa walked off with the biggest honors, with Seth honored as a first-team lineman on both sides of the ball and Tawa named first team as both a wide receiver and defensive back.
Seth, a 6-foot, 282-pound center and noseguard, helped the Lions average more than 41 points per game and eventually earn a berth in the Class 6A state quarterfinals.
On defense, Seth and the Lions helped hold opponents to just 24 points per game, with Seth finishing his year with 63 tackles (40 solo), including a team-high 9.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss. He was also named co-Defensive Lineman of the Year in the TRL.
"Being a two-way first teamer was special for me because it showed me that all the work I have done payed off," Seth said. "My senior year was the most enjoyable year of football I've ever had. Working with my teammates day in and day out for our aspirations was truly special and I'll remember it for the rest of my life."
Likewise, Tawa — a 6-0, 185 Rice University commit — played huge roles on both sides of the ball for West Linn, ending his year with 32 tackles (24 solo), along with one interception and 11 passes defended, while also catching 70 passes for 1,245 yards and 18 TDs.
"Being a two-way first teamer means a lot to me because it reflects all the hard work that my teammates and I put in over the summer and throughout the season, and it reflects the outstanding coaching I received from coach (Chris) Miller, coach (Aaron Skinner) and coach (Alex) Molden among others," Tawa said. "My senior season was one of the highlights of my life so far because of my brothers playing on the field next to me and the incredible coaches we had on staff."
Also honored on offense were senior quarterback Ethan Coleman (honorable mention), junior running back Gavin Haines (honorable mention) and senior tackle Luke Popma (honorable mention).
Additional players honored on defense for West Linn included junior linebacker Cole Peters (second team), junior linebacker Thomas McNamara (honorable mention) and senior defensive back Chase Fletcher (honorable mention).
Lake Oswego senior running back Casey Filkins was named Class 6A Offensive Player of the Year, Tualatin senior linebacker John Miller was named Defensive Player of the Year, and Central Catholic's Steve Pyne was named Coach of the Year after leading the Rams to the state championship.
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