11 Local Football Players Make East-West Football Game


Nearly a dozen area football players will suit up for the annual the Earl Barden East-West All-Star Classic football game this summer.

The game, set for June 25, is an all-star game that includes the best players around the state in the 2A, 1A, 2B and 1B classifications.

The players are divided into two teams, the East and West, with six local players joining the West Team and five with the East Team.

On the West Team is Toledo’s Wyatt Nef and Joshhill Tilton, Napavine’s Gavin Parker and Lucas Dahl and Onalaska’s Ismael Baires and Marshall Haight.

Nef, listed as a RB/WR/DB on the West roster, piled up 1,547 rushing yards, 629 passing yards and 29 total touchdowns for the Riverhawks on offense. On defense, he tallied seven interceptions as a defensive back and added 56 tackles and three forced fumbles.

Tilton, one of the top linemen in the Southwest Washington 2B Football League, racked up 22 tackles for loss and five sacks on defense. On offense, he cleared the way for three Riverhawk ball carriers to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards on the season.

Parker, listed as a RB/LB, averaged almost 11 yards per carry, with 1,457 total rushing yards and 24 total touchdowns for the Tigers. 

Dahl was Napavine’s top weapon on the outside, and perhaps its most versatile playmaker, with 849 receiving yards, 509 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns.

Baires was a first-team defensive lineman for a stout Loggers’ d-line, while Haight (RB) rushed 242 times for 1,916 yards and 27 touchdowns with a 7.9 yard-per-carry average.

The West Team is coached by North Kitsap head coach Jeff Weible and Viking assistants Dave Snyder and Chris Richardson, along with Toledo’s Mike Christensen.

On the East Team are Rochester RB/DB Talon Betts and Tumwater’s Ashton Paine (WR/DB), Payton Hoyt (RB/DB), Austin Terry (TE/DB) and Justin Walter (C). 

Betts, who has committed to Eastern Washington University, was one of the most dangerous skill position players in the region. He took three kickoffs to the house for touchdowns and was only kicked to seven times all year. The Warrior tailback also accumulated 1,142 rushing yards, 307 receiving yards and scored 17 touchdowns in just nine games.

Paine, a preferred walk-on for Washington State University,  picked off three passes, deflected five and totalled 20-plus tackles and two sacks as a defensive back for the Thunderbirds.

Hoyt rushed for 1,171 yards and 24 touchdowns and ran three punts back for TDs. On defense, he made 19 tackles, including a crucial stop to save a TD in the 2A state semifinals.

Terry, who has signed with Boise State University, is the co-MVP of the 2A Evergreen Conference after catching 15 passes for 237 yards and four TDs as a tight end, while adding 36 tackles and four sacks on defense.

Walter, a first-team all-EvCo center, paved the way for a devastating T-Birds’ offensive attack and has offers from several colleges, including George Fox, University of Puget Sound and Willamette University.

The East Team is coached by Royal head coach Wiley Alred, Knights’ assistant coach Jeremy Scroggins, Goldendale coach Aaron Cochran and Connell coach Wayne Riner.

The Earl Barden East-West All-Star Classic is set for 1 p.m. on June 25 at East Valley High School in Yakima (Moxee), Washington.