Colville High senior middle linebacker Alex Pond has been named to the 2011 Associated Press Washington All-State football team (Class 1A).
The teams (4A, 3A, 2A, 1A, 2B, 1B) are annually voted on by writers and editors from around the state.
Pond, named in the fall as the Northeast A League Co-Most Valuable Player on Defense, helped lead the Indians to a second straight Northeast A League championship. Colville finished 6-5 and made the state 1A playoffs.
The 6-5, 220-pounder led the Indians in tackles this fall with 108 (sixth best all-time). He had three fumble recoveries, one interception and blocked three kicks. Of those 108 tackles, 32 of them were solo. He also scored Colville’s only defensive touchdown of the season.
A tight end on offense who also got some early-season reps at quarterback, Pond scored four offensive touchdowns.
The standout three-sport athlete is a four-year starter on the CHS boy’s basketball team and one of the top javelin throwers at the 1A level.
Pond hopes he can play at the next level. That’s the goal.
“I’d like to play (football) in college,” Pond said on Monday before he joined the basketball team for a practice session. “I know I can play somewhere. I just don’t have a clue where at this point.”
Pond says he much prefers playing defense.
“I like hitting people,” says Pond.
Yes, Pond, who figures he’s probably best “at getting downhill quick and making my reads,” offered that linebacker’ punch line with a smile.
Pond figures until CHS defensive coordinator Bill Carpenter interceded a couple of years back, he was destined to be a defensive end. D-end is where Pond might find himself in college.
That would be okay. It would mean that his dream of playing college football had been realized.
On a mostly inexperienced team this fall, Pond knew he had to lead Colville’s defense on the field. But he also had to assume a leadership role as one of the team’s few seniors. That was a new responsibility, but one he embraced.
“I never really had to do that before,” Pond concedes. “We always had leaders. “But I don’t mind. I like to lead by example.”
While the 2010 team rolled through the season unbeaten before losing in the first round of playoffs to Cashmere, a profoundly inexperienced 2011 team wasn’t really expected to accomplish much.
After an ugly start, Pond and his teammates improved enough to annex a second straight Northeast A League title and won a playoff game before losing late to Royal.
Chances are, the 2011 football season will be one that CHS players and coaches remember fondly for a long time. Much was accomplished—little was expected.
“After those first few games, it was really satisfying to get as far as we did with what we had,” Pond says.
Coach Carpenter knows that Pond has the skill set—and the frame—to play somewhere in college.
“He’s a great athlete who has strength and speed to go with that size,” Carpenter said, adding that “for a big guy…for him to play linebacker…we thought was kind of a stretch because of his height and pad levels.
“But he’s a natural (at linebacker). Alex has a great nose for the ball and he did a great job. He was our leader.”
For Carpenter’s money, Pond hasn’t come close to reaching his potential as a football player yet.
“He hasn’t even hit the tip of the iceberg as far as his potential goes,” Carpenter said. “He can easily put on 20 to 25 pounds—and he can play tight end or even tackle. He has that kind of body.”
CLASS 1A ALL-STATE
Player of the Year: Connell running back Matt Hadley, sr.
Quarterback: Billy Green, jr., King’s
Running backs: Matt Hadley, sr., Connell; Evan Truax, sr., Montesano; Jake Clizbe, sr., Kalama.
Wide receivers: Trey Handy, sr., Nooksack Valley; Kade Eppich, sr., Connell.
Tight end: Joshua Schreffler, sr., Cascade Christian.
Offensive line: B.J. Salmonson, sr., Nooksack Valley; Bo Russell, sr., Montesano; Devon Winters, sr., Cle Elum; Kennan VanHollebeke, sr., Connell; Caleb Barnes, sr., Cashmere.
Defensive line: Jesse Wallace, sr., Toledo; Tyson Brook, sr., Connell; Josh Aho, sr., Zillah; Alex Pond, sr., Colville.
Linebackers: Jake Gall,jr., Cle Elum; Cole Schwartz, sr., Chelan; Joshua Schreffler, sr., Cascade Christian; Chandler Salsbury, sr., Connell.
Defensive backs: Austin Baker, sr., Montesano; Brady Widner, so., Zillah; Travis Kretschman, sr., Cle Elum; Jake Archer, sr., Cascade Christian.
All purpose: Devante Harris, jr., Tenino.
Kicker: Braydon Ross, sr., Goldendale.
Punter: Antonio Gonzales, sr., Highland.
Quarterback: Michael Amsel jr., Chelan.
Running backs: Austin Johnson, jr., Kalama; John Murphy, sr., Meridian; Jake Gall, jr., Cle Elum.
Wide receivers: Jake Archer, sr., Cascade Christian; Derick Ross, sr., Zillah.
Tight end: Joe Benedict, sr., Montesano.
Offensive line: Mason Friedline, jr., King’s; Braden Decker, jr., Forks; Bo Russell, sr., Montesano.
Linebackers: Nolin Bare, sr., Goldendale; Austin Johnson, jr., Kalama; Justin Hause, sr., Lakeside; Kyle Weiler,sr., Cashmere.
Defensive backs: Wade Gaston, jr., Goldendale; Karson Kuehner, jr., Life Christian.
All-purpose: Michael Newman, sr., Cle Elum.