Players and coach were selected from King and Snohomish counties by Seattle Times sportswriters, correspondents and editors after the regular season.
In the two pictures to the right, The Seattle Times Star Times offensive and defensive all-stars are photographed with dancers in the 2006 production of the Nutcracker Suite.
Justin "O.J." Helwege
Eastlake, WR, 6-5, 192, Sr.
First-team KingCo 4A wide receiver broke several receiving records at Eastlake of Sammamish, finishing the season with 51 catches for 965 yards and 11 TDs. Helwege's height and speed presented a major mismatch for an offense averaging almost 31 points. Wolves finished 9-3 and reached Class 4A state quarterfinals. Was nicknamed "Orange Juice" — which was later shortened to "O.J." — after moving from Florida.
Woodinville, K, 5-9, 165, Sr.
First-team KingCo 4A kicker was big weapon for Falcons' offense, hitting 10 of 14 field goals, with a long of 41 yards. Seven field goals were 31 yards or longer. Also converted 23 of 25 extra points for a team that reached quarterfinals of the Class 4A state playoffs. A third-generation kicker whose grandfather Jerry kicked for Oregon in the 1940s and father Dan kicked at Bothell in 1975. Also a punter who starts at cornerback.
Mount Si, RB, 6-0, 196, Sr.
Two-time KingCo 3A Offensive MVP put up big numbers out of Wildcats' I formation — 1,593 yards and 18 touchdowns on 220 carries. Also threw three TD passes on trick plays, caught two passes for scores and returned a kickoff for a TD. Mount Si finished 10-2, best record in school history, and reached state quarterfinals. Has given verbal commitment to play at Washington.
Auburn, OL, 6-4, 265, Sr.
Named Offensive Lineman of the Year in the South Puget Sound League 3A, Brown is a big reason the Trojans reached the state semifinals for only the second time in school history. Anchored a line that allowed Auburn to average almost 400 yards in total offense. Carries a 3.87 cumulative grade average. Has the size and ability to play at the next level.
Kentridge, OC, 6-4, 260, Jr.
Edwards, a second-year starter, is a physical player known for finishing blocks by going full-speed until the whistle blows. Voted to the All-South Puget Sound League 4A North Division first team as both a center and defensive lineman as the Chargers finished 7-3 and reached the preliminary playoffs for the first time since 2002. Already is considered a Division I prospect.
Kennedy, OL, 6-4, 286, Sr.
Coach Bob Bourgette calls Freitag the best lineman ever to play for Kennedy of Burien. Committed to Washington State before his senior season and went on to earn Seamount League Offensive and Defensive Lineman of the Year. Freitag keys an offense that averages 44 points and 320 rushing yards as Kennedy reached the Class 3A championship game.
Kennedy, RB, 6-1, 210, Sr.
In a program known for turning out prolific running backs, Williams rewrote school record book in four seasons and helped the Lancers reach the Class 3A title game. He averaged 9 yards per carry this year while amassing 1,935 rushing yards and 40 total touchdowns. Williams, who has committed to Washington, has 4,775 career rushing yards and 91 total TDs. Seamount's Co-Offensive MVP as well as earning first-team All-Seamount both ways.
Tahoma, AP, 5-9, 180, Sr.
Epitomized the all-purpose player as a running back, defensive back, punter, kicker and kick returner for the Bears, who won a third straight SPSL 4A North Division title and finished the season 10-1. He was voted a first-team running back and punter and named the Offensive Back of the Year. Scored 20 TDs, including two on interception returns. Also a standout shortstop who has signed to play baseball at Washington.
Rainier Beach, OL, 6-4, 345, Jr.
The Metro League Sound Division Lineman of the Year, Ta'amu overpowered the opposition on both offense and defense. Also was named the Defensive MVP of the Sound Division, but was even more impressive on offense as a guard. Several big-name college programs — including USC, Oregon and Florida State — have shown interest.
Edmonds-Woodway, WR, 6-6, 200, Sr.
Led all receivers in the Seattle area with 14 receiving touchdowns and also returned a kickoff and punt for a TD. His 42 catches for 761 yards helped Warriors earn a spot in the Class 4A state semifinals. Season-best six-catch, 122-yard, three-TD performance lifted Edmonds-Woodway to a 56-7 win over Mountlake Terrace. First-team All-WesCo receiver is being recruited by UNLV and Utah.
Edmonds-Woodway, RB, 6-1, 225, Sr.
Punishing back led the Warriors into the semifinals of the Class 4A state playoffs for the first time in school history. Heard rushed for 1,688 yards and 26 touchdowns despite splitting carries with his sophomore brother, Tony. His 28 total TDs rank second in the Seattle area.
Oak Harbor, QB, 6-3, 195, Sr.
Passed for 2,629 yards and 32 touchdowns, including six TDs in one game and a 20-for-25, two-touchdown performance in a semifinal win over No. 1 Gonzaga Prep. The All-WesCo North Division quarterback led the Wildcats into the Class 4A state title game for the first time in the Whidbey Island school's history. The three-year starter has a 3.7 cumulative grade average. Will play at Washington State.
Oak Harbor, OL, 6-5, 295, Sr.
All-WesCo North Division both ways for two consecutive years. Prefers to play offense, where he anchored an offense that scored 35 points per game. Versatile player has played all offensive-line positions, and was one of the division's hardest hitters as a defensive tackle. Has a 3.5 cumulative grade average. Still weighing his college options.
Bellevue, DB, 6-1, 185, Sr.
Three-year, two-way starter at one of state's most prominent football programs was a two-time All-KingCo 3A first-team defensive back and repeat Star Times selection after being named to The Times' all-state team as a defensive back last season. Block, who had three interceptions, also quarterbacked offense, rushing for eight TDs and throwing for seven. Led top-ranked Wolverines to the Class 3A state finals.
Woodinville, LB, 6-0, 215, Sr.
First-team All-KingCo 4A linebacker follows footsteps of brother Luke, a Star Times selection last year. Hippely had 77 ½ tackles, 13 for loss, to finish as school's career leader in tackles. Led aggressive, physical Falcons defense that surrendered only 85.8 rushing yards per game during the regular season, best in KingCo 4A, and gave up seven points or less seven times. Team finished 8-4, reaching quarterfinal round.
Bothell, LB, 6-0, 235, Sr.
KingCo 4A Defensive MVP keyed one of state's stingiest defenses, which gave up just 7.25 points per game in conference games. Hudson, who had 4 ½ sacks, was also first-team KingCo 4A tight end, catching two touchdown passes. Helped Bothell win KingCo 4A title and beat Pasco in epic nine-overtime quarterfinal state playoff game. Cougars are 12-1 entering Saturday's Class 4A state championship game.
Mount Si, DL, 6-3, 215, Sr.
KingCo 3A Lineman of the Year terrorized quarterbacks with 13 sacks. Also a second-team All-KingCo tight end, catching a touchdown pass and winning double-overtime game by running in a blocked field-goal attempt for a score. Wildcats from Snoqualmie finished 10-2, best record in school history, and reached 3A state quarterfinals. Sings, acts and won first place for music-video direction at Northwest High School Film Festival.
Issaquah, LB, 5-11, 205, Sr.
KingCo 3A Co-Defensive MVP was heart and soul of Issaquah's defense. Three-year starter was extremely versatile player with enough size and toughness to stuff the run and enough speed to play safety, where he started his high-school career. Recorded 73 ½ tackles and three interceptions, helping Eagles finish 8-3 and reach first round of Class 3A state playoffs.
Tahoma, DL, 6-4, 265, Sr.
Voted Defensive Lineman of the Year in the South Puget Sound League 4A North Division and also earned first-team honors as an offensive lineman. A rare three-year starter at defensive end for Tahoma of Maple Valley. Known for his blocking technique, Powers is drawing recruiting interest from several colleges, including Washington State.
Auburn Riverside, LB, 6-4, 235, Sr.
Voted the Co-Defensive Back of the Year in the South Puget Sound League 3A after leading the Ravens to a school-record seven victories. An unselfish player who moved from tight end, where he will play for Oregon, to quarterback to maximize his team's potential. A 4.0 student, Paulson rushed for 11 TDs, passed for five and also returned three interceptions for scores.
Auburn, DB, 6-2, 217, Sr.
Versatile, talented athlete was first-team All-SPSL 3A at quarterback, defensive back and punter, and was Offensive Back of the Year and Co-Defensive Back of the Year. Kiilsgaard, who has a 3.95 cumulative grade point, rushed for 23 TDs and threw for 13 in leading Auburn to the Class 3A state semifinals. Will play for Stanford. Also an exceptional baseball player.
Rainier Beach, DB, 5-9, 175, Sr.
Speedy Washington-bound cornerback helped the Vikings from Seattle's Rainier Valley rebound from an 0-2 start to earn a seventh consecutive trip to the 3A state playoffs. McDowell, who had 45 tackles and three interceptions, was also a first-team All-Metro Sound receiver who had 1,110 yards receiving and on kick and punt returns.
O'Dea, DB, 6-1, 210, Sr.
The Metro Mountain Division Defensive Co-MVP led the Irish to a 13th consecutive state berth. Washington recruit was also a big contributor as a running back, averaging 8 yards per carry and scoring seven touchdowns. In the Seattle school's state playoff win over Franklin Pierce, he scored the go-ahead touchdown in overtime, then ended the game with an interception.
Bainbridge, DL, 6-2, 210, Sr.
Named the Metro Sound Division Defensive Co-MVP, defensive end had 47 solo tackles, 6-½ tackles for loss and 4-½ sacks. As a tight end, he led his team with 524 receiving yards and had 427 return yards and 10 total touchdowns. Plans to play lacrosse at Air Force or Johns Hopkins.
Nathan Hale, P, 6-3, 203, Sr.
Rasp averaged 42 yards per punt as the Raiders from Seattle enjoyed their best season in years. After totaling just one win the past two seasons, Hale won five this year and played in its first postseason game since 1980. Rasp was also an all-league receiver, catching 25 passes for 558 yards and seven touchdowns. Washington is one of several Division I programs interested in him as a punter.
Eastside Catholic, Coach
Led Eastside Catholic, the smallest Class 3A school in the state with just 353 students, to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1995. The Crusaders from Bellevue rebounded after losing two games in three weeks on last-minute touchdown passes to win five in row. Overcame two 21-point deficits to earn a winner-to-state playoff victory over Meadowdale of Lynnwood.
Selecting the Star Times teams
Best of the best Star Times all-area teams are chosen by Seattle Times editors, reporters and freelancers who cover high-school sports. Selections must be from schools in King and Snohomish counties, or from WesCo, Metro and SPSL 3A leagues.