Six area high school football players captured national recognition last weekend as members of the Seattle Seahawks High School 7-on-7 team.
The group, comprised of 12 Washington state players, won the National Football League’s HSPD National Tournament beating the New York Jets, 37-10 in the championship game at the New Orleans Saints training facility.
Fifteen teams from different NFL markets were represented. The Seahawks finished with a perfect 11-0 record.
Five players were from Skyline High School, including quarterback Jake Heaps, and wide receivers Jake Knecht, Kasen Williams, Gino Simone and William Chandler. Issaquah running back/defensive back Grant Gellatly was also on the team. Skyline head coach Mat Taylor and assistant Chad Barrett directed the group.
Heaps was named tournament MVP, and Barrett was awarded the Coach Character Award as voted on by fellow tournament coaches.
“To have our team meet players and coaches from across the country was a great learning experience and something we really enjoyed,” Barrett said. “The tournament competition was tough, but we showed everybody that we play good football in Washington. It was an honor to represent the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL and the state of Washington.”
All of the student-athletes selected to represent the Seattle Seahawks completed the NFL’s Character Development and life skills sessions during the spring of 2008. The NFL’s nationwide HSPD program focuses on character development and specific skill training and provides participants with a curriculum that focuses on inspiring excellence in the classroom, community, and on the playing field.
Other players on the roster included: D’Mario Carter, Kennedy; Casey Locker, Ferndale; Kirby Moore, Prosser; Nathan Tonani, Ferris; Nolan Washington, Kennedy and Tre Watson, Kennedy.