Washington’s Top 50 high school football teams: Still lots of exciting talent in No. 3 Lake Stevens’ cupboard. Is this the Vikings’ year for another 4A title push?

SBLive is previewing the Top 50 high school teams in Washington ahead of the fall 2021 season. Here’s an inside look at the Lake Stevens Vikings of the 4A Wesco – the No. 3 team in our countdown.

SPRING 2021 IN REVIEW

5-0 in 4A Wesco (first place).

COACH’S RESUMÉ

  • Tom Tri, 17th season.
  • Overall record: 131-42.
  • Coordinators (base scheme): Offense – Tom Tri (spread). Defense – Eric Dinwiddie (4-2-5).

NOTABLE DEPARTURES

LB/DB Cooper Clairmont

OL Cameron Hunter

QB Tanner Jellison

TE/DL Max Moenoa

WR/DB Gabe Ramsey

DB Ryan Sauter

RETURNING STARTERS

Offense – 3. Defense – 4.

TOP PLAYERS

OL/DL Micah Avery, 6-3, 240, sr.

DB/WR Drew Carter, 6-2, 190, sr.

DB/WR Colby Easterling, 6-0, 180, sr.

ATH/DB Trayce Hanks, 5-7, 175, sr.

RB Jayden Limar, 5-11, 185, jr.

OL Grant Lynch, 6-2,. 280, sr.

QB Grayson Murren, 6-5, 190, sr.

LB Madison Wynkoop, 6-0, 195, sr.

THREE TO SEE

Drew Carter, rover

Tom Tri calls him “passionate and impulsive” – and that is what makes him a playmaking ball hawk in the team’s “Viking” hybrid role.

Trayce Hanks, wide receiver

All signs point to him not only taking over the Gabe Ramsey’s old slot role, but becoming a breakout pass-catching star in this offense.

Jayden Limar, running back

Been limited by an offseason knee ailment, but this is his backfield to lead (including little brother, Jayshon) – and produce big plays from.

FALL SEASON OUTLOOK

Tom Tri and his Lake Stevens squad has had no issues solving the 4A Wesco.

But winning a state championship? That is another matter.

Sooner or later, a program with this kind of track record – this level of talent – is bound to break through. Maybe this is their season.

After all, they claimed their inaugural Lakewood Passing Challenge 7-on-7 tournament to close out summer activities, flashing a group of well-schooled and vastly-skilled players (and they did not even have tailback Jayden Limar with them that day).

“I am hoping that is a problem (for defenses to face),” Tri said, “for 14 or 15 more games.”

Normally, pundits would not be so high on a team that graduated eight offensive starters, including all-4A Wesco first-team quarterback Tanner Jellison, and four of the five starting linemen.

But watch out for first-year starter Grayson Murren, who was such a good athlete backing up Jellison, he played some safety in last spring’s league championship game against Glacier Peak.

“He is under the radar right now,” Tri said. “But colleges will be on him. He is 6-foot-5 … and can reverse dunk. He is pretty nifty.”

Murren has all the weapons he needs to move the ball – Limar as a big-play threat out of the backfield. The junior is so good – eight of his 11 FBS offers have come from Pacific-12 Conference programs.

Out wide, captain Drew Carter could lead the league in receptions – and interceptions from his rover spot. Trayce Hanks has seen enough time as a non-starter in the past – and now gets his chance to shine as a yards-after-catch playmaker out of the slot (and might see snaps at tailback, his old position). Colby Easterling and tight end Isaac Redford will also get their fair share of looks as well.

“I am still very cautiously optimistic,” Tri said. “But our skill guys are very talented.”

No player is more valuable on offense than returning center Grant Lynch. Not only will he anchor an inexperienced but talented group, he calls the snap cadence for the Vikings – something that position has been doing since 2008.

“He starts every play,” Tri said. “It gives the center an advantage, because he can step before he snaps.”

FALL 2021 SCHEDULE

  • Sept. 17 at O’Dea
  • Sept. 24 vs. Archbishop Murphy
  • Oct. 1 at Snohomish
  • Oct. 8 vs. Mariner
  • Oct. 16 at Jackson
  • Oct. 22 vs. Kamiak
  • Oct. 29 at Glacier Peak

(Featured photo by Vince Miller)

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