YAKIMA - Several area graduating seniors competed in the 25th annual Earl Barden Classic East-West football game June 22 in Yakima.
“All of our local boys players performed really well,” said Omak High School varsity football coach Nick Sackman who coached the offensive and defensive linemen and was one of three assistant coaches.
The East easily won the affair, 37-6.
Those selected to play for the East included Omak’s Kanen Ables and Navarro Nanpuya, Tonasket’s Jordan Thrasher, Lake Roosevelt’s Steven Flowers, Brewster’s Alfredo Nila and Okanogan’s Chet Craigen.
“Kanen Ables played quarterback and threw two touchdowns,” said Sackman. “Navarro Nanpuya played defensive tackle and made some great tackles. He got the quarterback one time causing the ball to pop up in the air allowing us to get an interception.”
Ables put the East on the scoreboard early on a 72-yard touchdown pass to Troy Yarter of WF West High School in Chehalis.
The East led 14-7 at the half before shutting out the West in the second half.
Ables threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Royal’s Angel Farias in the second half.
“Jordan Thrasher played well including a great catch and run play,” said Sackman. “Aflredo Nila played linebacker and made some very nice tackles.”
Flowers did not play due to illness and Craigen did not play, the coach said.
“It was a great experience for me,” said Sackman, who was coaching for the first time in the Classic, where the defense kept the West scoreless in the second half.
“The players and coaches were a wonderful group to be around,” said Sackman. “I learned a lot of football, made some great relationships and was able to coach some amazing young men.”
Ables plans to play football at Whitworth University in the fall while Nanpuya will be wrestling at North Idaho College.
“Kanen played very well,” said former Quincy coach Bill Alexander, who was the event director.
Scott Ditter of Selah was the head coach of the East.
The other assistants were Jeff Weeks of Selah and Brian Gardner of Northwest Christian.
The all-state game featured 80 of the best players from the 2A/1A/2B/1B high school classifications.