Not a bad way to cap the season.
To be sure, even though senior Tyler Forshaw wasn’t aiming for postseason accolades when he took to the gridiron this fall for the Olympic League champion Sequim High Wolves’ squad, he wasn’t about to disregard them.
Four weeks after being named the league’s defensive MVP, Forshaw was named to the Associated Press’ all-state 2A first team as a defensive back.
“I really didn’t even think about it,” he says. “One day my dad saw that it was in the paper.”
The 5-foot 9-inch cornerback led the Wolves with nine interceptions and added 76 tackles, 29 of them solo hits.
Sequim gave up just 12.9 points per game in nine regular season games.
“As a cornerback, I’m thinking pass first,” Forshaw says. “No matter who it is, I feel like I can step up and cover him.”
While Forshaw certainly made his mark on the defensive end, the Wolf was as dangerous on the offensive side of the ball. Teamed with a corps of speedy receivers each of the past three seasons, Forshaw emerged as the Wolves’ top receiver in 2011, snagging 52 catches for 774 yards and four scores, earning him all-Olympic League first-team status.
In addition, he was the league’s most dangerous return specialist. Despite not being kicked to for much of the season, Forshaw was named to the league’s first team as a kick returner.
Add to that a flair for the dramatic. Forshaw’s over-the-defender touchdown catch with 11 seconds remaining lifted the Wolves over upset-minded Eatonville 40-34 in the class 2A state play-in game on Nov. 5.
But it was a game much earlier in the season, a non-league match-up on Sept. 10 with powerhouse Meridian, that Forshaw calls his best game. The Wolves matched up with the state 1A runner-ups from 2010, and the Trojans boasted a pair of tall, tough receivers.
“Whatever side he (their top receiver) was on, I wanted to cover him,” Forshaw recalls.
It worked, as Sequim battled toe-to-toe with the top-10 Trojans. Still, the Wolves needed a 35-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Frank Catelli to a streaking Forshaw with 90 seconds left to emerge with a 29-22 victory.
The Wolves went on to a 6-1 league mark and their seventh league title in eight seasons. Sequim then edged Eatonville courtesy of that last-minute, Jack Wiker-to-Forshaw pass play to advance to the class 2A state playoffs.
But the Wolves’ ride quickly ended, running into a buzz saw that was WF West. The Bearcats eliminated Sequim in a 52-21 rout.
“In my mind, we expected to win games in the playoffs,” Forshaw said. “Every year it seemed we’d get better and better. This year, it didn’t work out. But it was a good season.”
Forshaw can’t recall how old he was when he started football, but a picture from his Wolfpup youth football days shows a youngster of about 9 or 10. He started as a cornerback, then moved to receiver, then to quarterback.
By the time he hit Sequim High School’s field as a varsity player, he was doing a little bit of everything, excelling at kick returns, catching passes and shutting down the Olympic League’s top receivers.
Forshaw says he’s undecided about playing football in college, noting that a former Sequim High assistant is looking into a scholarship at a Midwest college.
If not, Forshaw says he’s headed south for some sunshine, looking at applying to Arizona State to study engineering, architecture or possibly radiology.
But there’s still some unfinished business at Sequim High. In a few months, it’s baseball season.
Forshaw’s classmate, Frank Catelli, also was named to the Associated Press all-state football team on Dec. 16.
Catelli was named an all-state linebacker after totaling 84 tackles and four sacks in just seven games, his season cut short because of an injury.
Other West Sound-area players named to the all-state team include: Neah Bay sophomore Josiah Green, the AP state player of the year in the 1B classification; Central Kitsap defensive lineman Kyle Lanoue, honorable mention in the 4A classification; and North Kitsap’s Andrew Urquhart (tight end) and Kyler Gracey (kicker), honorable mentions in the 2A classification.