Dustin Eaton was a devastating offensive force, by land and by air.
On water, Naselle's junior quarterback probably would have scored a few touchdowns, too.
Eaton's lethal versatility made him a slam-dunk choice by The Daily News' sports staff for our high school football all-area Most Valuable Player. In addition to earning first-team all-league honors at linebacker for the second consecutive season, Eaton amassed over 2,500 yards from scrimmage and scored 41 total touchdowns. Those gaudy numbers gave him the edge over our Offensive Player of the Year, Kalama senior Jake Clizbe, and our Defensive Player of the Year, Rainier senior Brad Tripp.
Toledo coach Terry Holmes nipped Woodland boss Mark Greenleaf for our Coach of the Year pick after leading the Indians to a 10-2 record, a share of the Trico title and an upset win over Meridian in the state playoffs.
Clizbe was one of the fastest 1A football players in the state and helped set the tone for Kalama's playoff renaissance with his explosive running ability. The tailback was named MVP by the coaches of the Southwest 1A Trico Division after piling up approximately 1,500 yards from scrimmage and 18 total touchdowns, including several via kick return, one on an interception return and one on a pass.
Tripp wasn't just the best defensive player we saw this year. He's one of the area's best defenders ever. An intelligent, punishing, unblockable middle linebacker, Tripp's selection as our Defensive POY marks his third consecutive year being recognized at a first-team all-area level. Tripp was first-team all-state as a linebacker in 2009 and 2010 and a lock to earn that status again.
He started at middle linebacker in every season of his high school career. Therein, perhaps, lies the most staggering metric: With Tripp at middle linebacker from 2008-2011, Rainier went 43-10, won 10 state playoff games (including a state title) and played in three state championship games.
Holmes helped guide Toledo through the vagaries of the Trico Division to a perch at the top, despite a rash of injuries to key Indians' playmakers during a crucial portion of league play.
Toledo was the only unranked 1A team to reach the state quarterfinals.
The Daily News all-area football team
- MVP: Dustin Eaton, jr., Naselle
- Coach of the Year: Terry Holmes, Toledo
- Offensive Player of the Year: Jake Clizbe, sr., Kalama
- Defensive Player of the Year: Brad Tripp, sr., Rainier
- Lineman of the Year: Mitch Staeffler, sr., Rainier
- Breakout Performer of the Year: Cy Whitmire, jr., Woodland
- Senior of the Year: Adam Shoup, sr., Woodland
- Freshman of the Year: Eli Whitmire, fr., Woodland
- QB: Tyler Puzey, Clatskanie
- RB: Josh Berteaux, Ilwaco
- RB: Cody Meier, Toledo
- TE: Kevyn Brower, Rainier
- OL: Ryley Queener, Naselle
- OL: Seth Scrabeck, Naselle
- OL: Zach Lacey, Woodland
- OL: Joel Kirkland, Rainier
- OL: Shane Kelly, Mark Morris
- WR: Jacob Yordy, R.A. Long
- WR: Nick Strange, Naselle
- KR: Austin Moore, Castle Rock
- QB: Ethan Oomittuk, Kalama
- RB: Nikko Asbell, Mark Morris
- RB: Wyatt Parker, Wahkiakum
- TE: Eric Rosellini, R.A. Long
- OL: Tanner Bradshaw, Woodland
- OL: Trevin Leeland, Naselle
- OL: Bobby Lamantia, Mark Morris
- OL: Michael Cryderman, Toutle Lake
- OL: Jesse Cook, Rainier
- WR: Nick Fuller, Woodland
- WR: Brenden Greenfield, Naselle
- KR: Hiro Kusakabe, Mark Morris
- DL: Robert Eaton, Naselle
- DL: Jesse Wallace, Toledo
- DL: Brandon Rauth, Mark Morris
- DL: Tanner Hoven, Naselle
- LB: Brent McAleny, Toledo
- LB: Ryan Littlefield, Mark Morris
- LB: Austin Johnson, Kalama
- LB: Ethan McGlone, Rainier
- DB: Matt Cathcart, Rainier
- DB: Slate Miller, Kelso
- DB: Storm Engen, Clatskanie
- DL: Levi Shipman, Castle Rock
- DL: Jacob Wemmer, Clatskanie
- DL: Ronnie Boone, Toledo
- DL: Erik Birnel, Woodland
- LB: Kohl Bergseng, Wahkiakum
- LB: Arnie Yoder, Toledo
- LB: Morgan Kinnear, Woodland
- LB: Levi Godinho, Castle Rock
- DB: Marshall Dean, Rainier
- DB: Zack Hayes, Toutle Lake
- DB: Lars Blix, Wahkiakum