TACOMA — Kalama senior Alex Dyer played 13 games of his final high-school football season alongside his sister, in a way. While Alex was carving up defenses in leading the Chinooks to a second consecutive state title, Averi was playing volleyball on a University of Providence team that recently finished play in the NAIA National Championships.
Two star athletes who grew up under one roof competing on the biggest stages.
“It’s almost like a competition between us,” Alex said. “It’s just us trying to one-up each other.” Averi, though, didn’t get to watch little bro play any of his senior season. Until Friday.
In a surprise to both Alex and their mother, Angela, Averi caught a plane from the volleyball championships in Iowa and arrived at the Tacoma Dome to see Alex lead the Chinooks to a 34-25 win over Napavine in the Class 2B State Football Championship.
“That was a huge surprise and he was excited,” Angela said. “That was my biggest thing was she didn’t get to watch him his senior year, not one game and to make it for this game, it’s just amazing.”
It’s the first local football team to win back-to-back state championships since the WIAA started crowning champs in 1973, turning Alex and company into local celebrities of sorts.
“In a small town like this, it’s amazing,” said Angela, a 1989 graduate of Kalama. “Just to walk through town and have (Alex) do amazing, people congratulate you. And it just makes you feel a part of it. I can’t imagine living anywhere else beside Kalama.”
Averi was just one member of another strong Kalama contingent at the Tacoma Dome. The small town always turns out in full force for its sports teams, and this fall was no different.
First-year athletic director Kevin Wright, who moved from 3A Capital to take his first AD position, got to enjoy state-trophy runs from the girls’ soccer, football, volleyball and cross country teams. And the one consistent throughout was the fan support.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Wright said. “We’ve got great coaches, great kids, great community. … It’s not just kids, it’s not just parents. It’s the community.’”