Oregon State University was always Camas quarterback Jake Blair’s preferred destination. So when the Beavers offered Blair a preferred walk-on spot last week, the three-star dual-threat quarterback committed on the spot.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” Blair said.
Blair, who led the eventual 4A champion Papermakers to a perfect record before breaking his collarbone in Week 8 last year, had offers from Georgetown, Idaho and Ivy League’s Columbia University. Despite a recruiting season marred by the coronavirus pandemic, Blair held out hope for that elusive Pac-12 offer. Camas coach Jon Eagle helped put Blair back on Oregon State’s radar and soon after, the walk-on offer came.
“I’m a northwest guy,” said Blair, a high school senior.
Blair’s younger brother, Zach — a 2023 grad — committed to play baseball for the Beavers earlier this year.
Blair knows the road to play time as a walk-on quarterback is tough, but is eager to put in the work to get on the gridiron in his college career.
“It’s just like starting high school again,” Blair explained. “You’re at the bottom of the depth chart and you just have to work your way up.”
Blair threw for 1,136 yards and 15 touchdowns on 103 pass attempts over eight games in his junior year at Camas.
Hudson’s Bay’s Martin chooses EWU
The reigning 3A Greater St. Helens League girls basketball player of the year is headed to Cheney. Hudson’s Bay senior Jaydia Martin, who averaged 20.6 points, 10 rebounds and 4.1 steals per game last year, announced her commitment to play basketball at Eastern Washington University late Friday night.
“It was definitely a big weight off my chest,” Martin said. “It was a little scary because of corona and everything. I’m thankful to be able to play at a D-I school and know all my work paid off.”
Martin, who only started playing in the bigger AAU circuit tournaments last year, had little time in front of college coaches. But with Upper Left Region — Prairie graduate Ashley Corral’s AAU team — Martin was able to get scrimmage film and improve her chances of landing on a college roster. She had offers from the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and Saint Martin’s University.
“It was very nerve-racking,” Martin said of the process. “I didn’t know if I’d be able to go to a school and get a scholarship.”
EWU went 4-26 last season in the Big Sky Conference. The Eagles view her as a forward, she said, and run a similar offense to Martin’s club team, something that appealed to her.
Martin also hopes to continue leading Bay’s girls basketball team if a season happens this January. The Eagles, led by Martin, advanced to the Tacoma Dome for the first time in program history last winter. They return four starters and a bevy of young talent as they drop to the 2A GSHL.
Prairie names new soccer coaches
Prairie soccer has new leadership in both the boys and girls programs. Allison King will take over the girls high school team and Jason Staley will head the boys, Prairie athletic director Jason Castro announced in a news release last week.
They will replace Michael Thyron, who coached for more than 20 years at Prairie.
King was formerly an assistant at Ridgefield under coach Robby Trimbo. She previously headed Wilson High School in Portland from 2013 to 2016.
Staley spent 11 years as a boys varsity head coach, most recently at Ridgefield, where he led the team to four consecutive league and district titles from 2010 to 2013. He was named 2A GSHL Coach of the Year three times and holds a record of 64-12-2.
“Michael’s teams were known for being hard nosed and tough but also for exuding high amounts of character on and off the pitch,” Castro wrote. “While Allison and Jason have big shoes to fill, we could not be more thrilled to land two experienced and passionate soccer coaches of their caliber.”
The Prairie girls finished 8-10-1 last year and were eliminated in the bi-district playoffs. The Prairie boys season was canceled last spring, but the Falcons finished 9-6-5 in 2019 and were a game away from advancing to state.