SELAH — Despite everything different about this football season, the reactions after Selah’s final game looked a lot like those seen during a typical year.
As fireworks boomed above Karl Graf Field, tears fell down the faces of seniors as they embraced their teammates and coaches. Many Vikings came over to thank coach Scott Ditter for how he’s shaped their high school careers, prompting reminders that they’ll never be forgotten should they ever need anything.
Even before the final whistle, Selah’s dominance of East Valley allowed Ditter to call timeouts to bring many of his 12 seniors off the field to savor a 43-0 win. Linebacker Jimmy Campos, who recorded two sacks and another tackle for loss, shared a hug with Ditter and then watched as the final seconds ticked away.
“It’s a bittersweet feeling because our season got cut short,” Campos said. “I played a little mad and I’m pretty sure everyone did. No playoffs, so we just left it on the field like it was a state championship game.”
He joined other seniors in reflecting on how far they’d come since two disappointing seasons in 2018 and 2019, or even a frustrating 43-7 loss to open this short season at Prosser. The Vikings bounced back to win four straight, including blowouts the last three games.
Much of that offensive success could be attributed to quarterback Heath Yochum and running back Rollin Levon, two senior captains who turned in one last impressive performance. They combined for three touchdowns and also played key roles in the secondary to preserve Selah’s second consecutive shutout.
“The senior class put in so much work,” Yochum said. “This leadership, it was amazing. I love this team with all my heart.”
He also acknowledged playing with a chip on his shoulder this season, especially after an injury sidelined him at Prosser and forced him to miss a 17-6 win over Ellensburg. Along with 121 passing yards and a touchdown to Jack Kuhn, Yochum sprinted untouched past the East Valley defense for a 45-yard touchdown run, the longest of his career.
As it so often does, Selah’s often started the game relying on Levon, who scored both first quarter touchdowns. By halftime he’d already racked up 12 carries and 118 of his game-high 159 yards, but Levon said he never felt tired.
“It was the last four quarters of my life,” Levon said. “You’ve just got to put your head down and go. Coaches trust you so just put that trust back in them.”
Another senior running back, Jeremy Fife, picked up his first touchdown since he was a sophomore on a 3-yard run to put the Vikings ahead 18-0 in the second quarter. Anthony Huitron, a senior wide receiver and defensive back, caught four passes for 50 yards and added one of Selah’s three interceptions in the second half.
It seemed for much of this school year as if the class of 2020 would never step on the field again for Selah, so Levon said many seniors quit practicing and didn’t play this season. Those who stuck it out ended up grateful for their limited opportunities, and they enjoyed seeing the stands 25% full with the band present for the first time this season on Friday night.
Selah’s senior leaders gave all they could not just for themselves, but in the hopes that they could build some momentum for the Vikings heading into next season. Connor Dailey won his first game at quarterback while learning under Yochum, Levon believes juniors Ethan Garza and Carlos Ramirez possess plenty of potential at tailback, and Campos said the 11th-graders who played this season should form a strong core defensively.
“They’re going to be a good team,” Campos said. “If Inslee gives us our playoffs next year, I’m telling you to watch out for Selah High School.”
On the other sideline, East Valley will lose only four seniors from this year’s team, including veteran two-way player Tyler Stone. The two-time first-team all-league running back struggled to find any openings but still broke a few tackles on his way to a team-high 39 yards.
East Valley finished the season 1-4.
Sel — Rollin Levon 11 run (kick failed)
Sel — Levon 4 run (kick failed)
Sel — Fife 3 run (Jack Kuhn kick)
Sel — Kuhn 15 pass from Heath Yochum (Kuhn kick)
Sel — FG Kuhn 31
Sel — Yochum 45 run (Kuhn kick)
Sel — Connor Daily 45 interception return (Kuhn kick)
Rushing — East Valley, Teghan Moser 1-18, Stone 16-39, Riley Zaldivar 3-7, Christian Flores 2-1, Aiden Estill 4-(-21). Selah, Levon 19-159, Heath Yochum 10-66, Fife 3-10, Michael Adams 3-(-2), Anthony Huitron 2-(-7).
Passing — East Valley, Estill 6-18-3-98. Selah, Yochum 12-22-0-121, Andre Moore 1-1-0-12.
Receiving — East Valley, Teghan Moser 4-91, Teegan Hooper 1-4, Navarro 1-3. Selah, Anthony Huitron 4-50, Jack Kuhn 4-43, Ethan Lakey 3-21, Chase St. George 1-12, Kyle Luke 1-7.