And a big part of that came from Bea, a junior and the 2A GSHL’s offensive most valuable player. As the Panthers’ second-year quarterback, he threw for 2,559 yards and 30 touchdowns to seven different receivers. He also rushed for 581 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. The latter were both second-best on the team behind all-league running back Liam Atkin.
Like the humble player he is, Bea gave teammate-first credit for his success from the receivers making plays to the offensive line creating running lanes or pass protection.
What’s different from a first-time sophomore starter on a three-win team in 2021 to the quarterback that led one of three Clark County teams to reach the state playoffs?
Quite a bit, highlighted by maturity, leadership and growth. Off-season work, Bea said, whether it was team workouts, 7-on-7 opportunities or private training, paved the way to make his junior year a memorable one.
Opportunities for players to expand their skills through 7 on 7 continue to rise. Some may argue 7-on-7 isn’t true football, and yes it’s not tackle football, but Bea reaps the benefits.
“It’s the reps,” he said, “throwing constantly and helping me get timing down with receivers. Just trying to perfect my passing game as much as I can. I kind of view it as, ‘Why shouldn’t I do it?’ ”
Bea is a Washougal guy through and through, and this generation of Beas are well-known standout athletes in recent years at Washougal. Holden Bea is the youngest of 10 Bea grandchildren and the latest in line of great athletes to walk Washougal’s halls.
In fact, one of his more memorable moments had nothing to do with on-field performance. It came pregame of Washougal’s first home playoff win in program history Nov. 5 against Shelton, when Bea and his cousin, senior linebacker Garrett Mansfield, led the team onto the field out of its traditional inflatable Panther head. Not only was it another family-shared memory, but Bea knows what the significance of that game alone and the 2022 season as a whole meant to the Washougal community.
The program last won a league title in 1999, and one has to go back to 1994 for the last time it hosted a playoff game before this season.
“It was really cool to be a part of,” Bea said. “Just the atmosphere the community brought to all the games helped out with all of that And all the players are really thankful for that. It was fun to experience.”
All-purpose: John Charles, Hockinson
Hawks’ multi-tool player was a standout receiver, running back, kicker and a special teams returner.
OL: Fox Crader, Evergreen
6-foot-6 Oregon commit was a force to be reckoned with on the Plainsmen’s line.
OL: Ben Kapelka, Prairie
Experienced lineman was a key factor in the Falcons’ ground attack.
OL: Brady Phillips, Kelso
Air Force commit, 3A GSHL co-defensive MVP controlled the line of scrimmage.
OL: Ryan Kawalek, La Center
Wildcats’ 6-foot-3 left tackle is now the two-time 1A Trico lineman of the year.
OL: Joe Merlino, Union
Two-way all-4A GSHL lineman made a big impression in his first season as a Titan.
K/P: Ethan Ouchi, Camas
4A all-GSHL player earned all-league honors in three positions: kicker, punter and defensive back.
DL: Ty Evans, Skyview
Whether on offense or defense, the senior two-way all-leaguer dominated up front.
DL: Adam White, La Center
Leader of the Wildcats’ front-7 was 1A Trico’s defensive player of the year.
DL: Holt Williams, Camas
Two-time all-region pick at defense line was a steady force for the playoff-bound Papermakers.
DL: Koby Kast, Evergreen
Senior had size, speed and strength to dominate up front for the Plainsmen.
LB: Jalen Salavea, Skyview
4A GSHL defensive MVP consistently racked up double-digit tackles at middle linebacker.
LB: Wyatt Bartroff, Ridgefield
2A GSHL defensive MVP set the tone for the defense on the playoff-bound Spudders.
LB: Garrett Mansfield, Washougal
Totaled 123 tackles (91 solo) on the league-champion and state-bound Panthers.
LB: Clayton Maus, Union
Leader of Titans’ defense also had eight touchdowns (receiving, rushing, INT return) as a first-year ballcarrier.
DB: Jonathan Landry, Evergreen
Not much got past the 3A GSHL co-defensive MVP and four-year starter at cornerback.
DB: Kyle Chen, Mountain View
Four-year starter in the secondary also was a key part of Thunder’s offense at receiver and tight end.
DB: Jacob Martin, Mountain View
Senior was a lockdown corner and sure-handed receiver for the playoff-bound Thunder.
DB: Zach Blair, Camas
Great athlete who excelled on both sides of the ball for a Papermaker team that won another 4A GSHL title.