Sports

"Eklund, Oliver named to AP All-State football team"

"Fifty-six times Ryan Eklund and Demeadri Oliver connected during last fall’s South Puget Sound League football season.It seems only appropriate that the pair of Decatur seniors would continue their connection. On Saturday, they were linked once more named to the Associated Press All-State Football Team.“I was actually pretty surprised,” said Eklund, who was passed over on the SPSL South Division team in favor of Bethel quarterback Scott Bucar. “It’s hard to believe It almost hasn’t set in yet.”It’s quite an accomplishment, considering that as a freshman, Eklund didn’t play football. That season he tried out for the Decatur golf team and was cut.Through the urging of then coach Kent Rodseth, Eklund tried out for football and finished with more than 1,700 yards passing as a junior.This season, Eklund passed for 2,172 yards with 18 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. He completed over 62 percent of his passes and averaged 241.3 yards per game through the air.Oliver’s accent to the all-state team was equally impressive, considering he caught just 15 passes as a junior.“I just wanted to make my last year the best, said Oliver, who is being contacted by Montana State and Boise State of the Big Sky Conference. “I missed two game because I was hurt. I knew I could have had more (receptions) than that.”The 56 were good enough to set a new Decatur record, eclipsing the 48 caught by Wes Nurse in 1998. Olivers 56 receptions covered 940 yards and were good for seven touchdowns.“It’s just awesome that our school and our football team has two players on the all-state football team,” Eklund said. “Our record wasn’t as good as it could have been, but it’s awesome.”Eklund and Oliver credit their success with the work they put in throwing, catching and lifting over the summer, attending several camps, including UCLA.Eklund’s rise has also caught the eyes of college recruiters. Washington State coach Mike Price is scheduled to visit Eklund and his family Thursday. Eklund will visit Pullman, Stanford and San Diego State on consecutive weekends in January.“I’m still kind of deciding what college. It’s between WSU Stanford and San Diego State,” Eklund said. “It’s still all up in the air.”Eklund can’t make his choice official until the early signing period in February, but he is expected to decide before that."

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