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All-Region Football: Ty Snider, Ridgefield

Senior excelled on offense and defense for Spudders

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
6 Photos
Ridgefield High senior Ty Snider, who is our All-Region football player of the year, is pictured at his school?s stadium Friday morning, Dec. 10, 2021.
Ridgefield High senior Ty Snider, who is our All-Region football player of the year, is pictured at his school?s stadium Friday morning, Dec. 10, 2021. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Ty Snider didn’t so much question if he’d fit in at Ridgefield High School, but rather, how quickly can he?

Especially with new teammates at an unfamiliar football program. This coming after two seasons of playing Class 1A football and years of schooling at King’s Way Christian Schools.

“I immediately felt like I was family,” Snider said. “And it sounds cliché, but none of the guys treated me any different from the start.”

That fit-in factor was instant. And fun is what comes to mind first for Snider, The Columbian’s All-Region football player of the year, when reflecting on Ridgefield’s memorable 2021 fall season.

It included a 2A Greater St. Helens League title, an undefeated regular season, two home playoff victories and a spot in the state quarterfinals. It was the school’s best finish at state since Ridgefield’s undefeated Class A season in 1995.

Snider believes this season is a launching pad for what’s to come at Ridgefield, and he couldn’t be more proud to be part of it.

“It was a great way to go out,” the senior said, “and it’s just a good stepping stone for the program.”

Snider entered high school at King’s Way Christian as an undersized 5-foot-9 receiver and departs as a 6-4 sure-hands, go-to player who shined this fall in all three phases for the Spudders. He led Clark County in receiving yards (1,136), total touchdowns (20, including 16 receiving TDs) and catches (61) and was named the 2A GSHL offensive MVP. He also was an all-league honoree on defense at safety.

Snider is the second small-school (2A, 1A, B) player of the year in football since The Columbian’s All-Region high school sports awards began in 2001.

While Ridgefield is home now, it didn’t start that way.

Prior to enrolling at the school last fall, Snider spent all his previous school years at King’s Way Christian. That included two years of varsity football for the 1A Knights.

But when King’s Way announced a pause on its high school football program in July 2020, it threw Snider and others for a loop. (The school has since reinstated high school football.)

He wasn’t ready to give up football, so Snider took it upon himself to make something happen. He was part of a trio of King’s Way players to join Ridgefield; last spring’s condensed COVID-19 season was their first as a Spudder.

“Everything kind of aligned perfectly where not only I could find the best fit for me,” Snider said, “and be as happy as I can be, but also some of my other friends had to make those tough decisions, too. And I think it worked out for everyone in the long run.”

Since Scott Rice became head coach in 2019, the Spudders have reached the state playoffs twice and are 21-6 in three seasons. Rice calls Snider a game changer because no matter where he is on the field, the senior makes things happen.

That includes special teams as a kick-return specialist. A prime example came in the team’s 2A state playoff win over Orting when Snider’s 73-yard kickoff return for a score electrified the crowd and turned momentum into Ridgefield’s favor. He also finished with seven catches for 135 yards in a game Ridgefield trailed for the first time all season only to shut out Orting in the second half.

“When he catches the ball on special teams,” Rice said, “he’s going to do something with it. He has a natural savvy to him as far as how to play the game and how to get himself into windows.”

That didn’t come overnight. In fact, a growing football IQ is what Snider points to when he evaluates his own improvement and development. None greater than the past two seasons in Ridgefield, a place where his roots now run deep.

“I think a huge part of being a good football player is kind of understanding what you can do and not stretching your limits,” Snider said. “I feel like I’m a lot smarter on the football field and make smarter decisions. Kind of growing into my body and feeling the game out a lot better.”

ALL-REGION FOOTBALL TEAM

Player of the year: Ty Snider, Ridgefield

OFFENSE

QB: Jackson Esary, Kalama

Do-everything quarterback led Chinooks to undefeated season, second 2B title in four year.

RB: Jaydin Knapp, Skyview

4A GSHL offensive MVP part of 1-2 punch that powered Storm’s rushing attack.

RB: Cody Wheeler, Hockinson

Bulldozing back a consistent force for the 2A state playoff-qualifying Hawks.

WR: Tobias Merriweather, Union

Notre Dame signee shined on offense as a top receiver, defense as a lock-down corner and a speedster on special teams.

WR: Lance Stuck, Seton Catholic

Go-to receiver averaged 18.5 yards per catch with 12 touchdowns. Led Cougars to first-ever playoff appearance.

WR: Isaiah Cowley, Ridgefield

Shined at receiver and in the backfield for the Spudders. Team’s second-leading receiver at more than 600 yards in 12 games.

TE: Tanner Beaman, Skyview

Two-way all-4A GSHL player made an impact at tight end and linebacker. Signed with Portland State.

OL: Hazephaniah Po Chang, Skyview

Big, physical presence on both sides of the ball for the Storm. One of 4A GSHL’s three two-way all-league linemen.

OL: Ryan Kawalek, La Center

6-foot-3, 300-pound powerful left tackle was 1A Trico’s lineman of the year.

OL: Tyson Jacobson, Camas

Papermakers’ success in the run game started up front with Jacobson at center.

OL: Matt Kinswa, Ridgefield

All-2A GSHL tackle was an instrumental part of the Spudders’ offensive line.

OL: Brady Phillips, Kelso

Helped pave the way for 3A state-bound Hilanders, who averaged 32 points per game.

P/K: Sonny Pitts, Union

Mr. Automatic with his leg. All-league kicker and punter owns the school record for longest FG.

DEFENSE

DL: Landon Gardner, Castle Rock

Few in the region dominated the edge like Gardner, the two-time 1A Trico’s defensive MVP.

DL: Ty Evans, Skyview

Dominant on both sides of the line for the 4A state playoff-qualifying Storm.

DL: Holt Williams, Camas

Part of a dominant front-7 that held five opponents to one touchdown.

DL: David Kaliea, Evergreen

Veteran lineman had the size, speed and strength to shine up front.

LB: Luke Jamison, Camas

Part of 1-2 punch to help set the tone on defense for 4A GSHL champions. League’s co-defensive MVP.

LB: Jairus Phillips, Camas

4A GSHL co-defensive MVP (along with Jamison) strong defense and short-yard rusher in the backfield.

LB: AJ Domingos, Hockinson

Little got past the 2A GSHL’s defensive MVP. Averaged 13 tackles per game and had 14 sacks.

LB: Jalen Salavea, Skyview

All-league linebacker registered 84 tackles. Also had two touchdowns via punt return, interception return.

DB: Colby Cooper, Kelso

3A GSHL’s defensive MVP also team’s leading receiver, all-league honoree on offense.

DB: Darren Cepeda, La Center

Wildcats’ run to another 1A Trico League title, playoff appearance started with 1A Trico League’s MVP leading the way.

DB: Jaydon Jones, Union

Titans’ all-league defensive back also was team’s leading rusher.

DB: Kyle Chen, Mountain View

Lockdown corner has been a 3-year starter for the Thunder.

AP/RET: Thor Stepina, Prairie

Made an instant impact as a first-year Falcon. Named 3A GSHL’s multi-purpose MVP.

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