Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960

 

By Kevin Hulten
Lakesports.blogspot.com 

Viking football postseason wrap up

 

December 30, 2009

Brennan Frost runs with the ball during an Oct. 30 Viking game.

Viking defensive end Jordan Eckstrom nabbed the highest honors of any Viking player this season, earning Herald First Team All Area honors last week. Other Vikings listed on the All Area scrolls include RB Brennan Frost and S Chameron Lackey, both on the second team.

The All Area teams are drawn from all of the schools in the Herald’s coverage area, including all 19 Wesco teams, the Cascade conference, and smaller private schools. For example, King’s Thomas Vincent was the first team QB.

Prior to the All Area team, the Wesco All League selections were released and the 2009 Vikings, the second place team in Wesco North were well represented.

As a team, the Vikes earned 14 total selections, including five first team selections and two second team selections. Let’s take a look at the players who were rewarded by a vote of their peers and opposing coaches.

Chameron Lackey, Sr. - First Team All Wesco Defensive Back/Second Team Tight End

Lackey, the player we tabbed as the Vikes’ most important returning player in our preseason top ten series, certainly did not disappoint, although his season was cut short by injury. Nonetheless, Lackey finished with 54 tackles and a team-leading three interceptions from his free safety position. On offense, Lackey started two games at quarterback in the wildcat package and was second on the team with 24 receptions. Lackey also rushed for a touchdown and completed two passes.

Brandon Preslar, Jr. - First Team All Wesco Wide Receiver

Sunshine had an excellent season, and was emerging as the Vikes’ top playmaker as the season drew to a close. Ranked number four in our Purple and Gold Pigskin preseason top ten list, Preslar lived up to expectation and then some, and will battle Duke Dolphin for the top spot on next year’s list.

Preslar led Wesco North with 39 catches, compiling 519 yards and two touchdowns along the way. Preslar averaged 13.3 yards per catch, and also proved to be a threat on the ground, rushing seven times for 71 yards and one touchdown. Preslar is an excellent bet to establish season and career Viking receiving records next year as a senior, and is likely to play on Saturdays under scholarship should he continue to improve and increase his foot speed.

Jordan Eckstrom, Sr. - First Team All Wesco Defensive Line/Honorable Mention Offensive Line

Coach Tom Tri told me that heading into the season, he wasn’t sure if Eckstrom would have the stamina to play defense in addition to his key starting role on the offensive line. A returning starter at left guard, big things were expected from Eckstrom in the trenches on offense, and we had him rated sixth in our preseason top ten.

Eckstrom simply blew away all expectations, and earned a coveted first team all conference nod for his work on defense, in addition to an honorable mention commendation on offense. Eckstrom was stout against the run, recording as many as 17 tackles in a game, and had the versatility to shift to defensive end as the injuries mounted for the Vikes. On the season, Eckstrom was fourth on the team with 80 tackles, and led the Vikes with six sacks.

Brennan Frost, Sr. - First Team All Wesco Running Back.

Totaled 1165 yards rushing. Nine yards per carry. Eleven rushing TD’s, one TD catch. Went 24 for 259, three TD’s versus Snohomish on Senior Night. Any questions?

Chase Crowley, Sr. - First Team All Wesco Linebacker

As a senior captain and a returning starter at linebacker, a big season was expected of the elder Crowley brother and boy did he deliver, starting all ten games and finishing second on the squad in tackles, averaging nearly nine per game. Crowley also added a sack and two fumble recoveries, all while handling the play calling duties. Crowley was ranked fifth in our preseason top ten list.

Garek Stuart, Sr. - Second Team All Wesco Offensive Line/Honorable Mention Defensive Line

We missed big on this one, and we’re quick to admit it. Perusing our preseason top ten returners list, and Garek Stuart is nowhere to be found. It was evident from the first day of camp, though, that Stuart was determined to make an impact. Stuart earned the starting position at the vital left tackle spot, and carved out a starting spot at defensive end as well. Playing through a ruptured ACL for the second half of the season, Stuart was a leader in every sense of the word. Stuart finished second on the team with five sacks and also contributed 66 tackles, good for fifth on the team.

Arvid Isaksen, Sr. - All Wesco Honorable Mention Wide Receiver

Isaksen, who ranked tenth on our returners list preseason (as a place kicker), was well on his way to a first team all conference bid at receiver and second team or better at kicker before a devastating foot injury ended his football career prematurely. Isaksen missed the last three games of the season, but still led the Vikes with four receiving touchdowns. Isaksen averaged a sterling 15 yards per catch on his 22 catches, and showed a knack for hauling in passes in the clutch. With range to 50 yards, Isaksen was excellent in his place kicking duties as well, and was Wesco North’s leading total scorer prior to his injury.

Jason Mendel, Sr. - All Wesco Honorable Mention Linebacker

Despite having to fight his way into the starting lineup after the season began, senior linebacker Jason Mendel finished the campaign as one of the Vikes’ most dependable tacklers. Mendel led the the Vikes in tackles over the second half of the year, and finished third overall with 82 tackles. Mendel also showed a knack for creating turnovers, forcing several fumbles, recovering three, and also adding two quarterback sacks.

Jake Bennett, Sr. - All Wesco Honorable Mention Linebacker

Bennett, who earned the starting center position after Kalena Richardson transferred in the summer, also earned a starting spot at defensive tackle. All of this is somewhat surprising, as if from outside appearances, Bennett had the build of a wide receiver...or maybe a tight end if you stretch it. Standing around six foot three, and maybe tipping the scales at 190 on a heavy day, Bennett was forced to do battle with 275 pound fatties on a daily basis....and more than held his own, earning an honorable mention selection from his peers. On the season, Bennett finished sixth on the team with 64 tackles while recovering a fumble and recording two sacks.

Brandon Belcher, Jr. - All Wesco Honorable Mention Linebacker

This is probably the first selection I could really argue with. To put it bluntly, I was shocked that Belcher wasn’t named to the first team. I know that voters have a tendency to honor seniors, and Belcher will return next year, but his on field defensive performance was too much to ignore. Belcher led the team with 90 tackles from his hybrid linebacker/safety position, and definitely led the team on OMG hits. Belcher also contributed on special teams, serving as a long snapper and a return man. Late in the season, Belcher also showed his offensive abil

ity, rushing 11 times for 71 yards and a touchdown. Belcher has declared an interest in competing with Duke Dolphin for running back snaps next year, and that coupled with his outstanding defensive abilities will make Belcher a lock for our preseason top three next year.

Alex Moon, Sr. - All Wesco Honorable Mention Athlete

Fittingly, the only offensive guard in the damned world that runs a 4.59 40 yard dash was selected to the All Wesco team as an athlete. Perhaps it was his 81 yard interception return against Glacier Peak that earned him an ‘athlete’ selection, or perhaps it was the fact that his late season injury caused him to miss to key league games - and therefore missing out on two teams’ worth of votes (as did Isaksen and Lackey, making these three selections all the more impressive). On the season, Moon compiled 58 tackles and two interceptions.

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