East meets West for three future Cougars

THREE FUTURE COUGARS will be showcasing their talents at the Class 4A/3A East-West all-star game at Everett Memorial Stadium this Saturday. For one, it would behoove organizers to bring an extra helmet. Following this weekend, the trio will arrive at Washington State sometime in the next four weeks as their Cougar careers officially kick off on August 3, the first day of the 2007 fall camp.

QB Marshall Lobbestael (6-3, 195), the 2006 Associated Press and Seattle Times state Class 4A Player of the Year, is the West's starting quarterback.

Protecting him up front will be offensive lineman Kevin Freitag (6-3, 290), of whom WSU offensive line coach George Yarno told CF.C subscribers that of the incoming prep hosses, he was the most physically prepared to play as a freshman.

Also a physically imposing presence at 6-3.5 and 298 pounds, defensive tackle B.J. Guerra out of Moses Lake will represent the East. The Moses Lake High graduate was the 2006 Defensive Player of the Year in the 4A Columbia Basin League.

LOBBESTAEL THIS past season tossed for 34 touchdowns and 2,776 yards in leading Oak Harbor to the 4A state title. Also an outstanding basketball and baseball player, Lobbestael was one of only four prep players in the state, along with Freitag, to earn the Seattle Times Blue Chip designation.

His prep coach, 31-year coaching veteran Dave Ward, says he knew early on he was coaching a future Pac-10 quarterback.

"I know Pac-10 coaches are looking for height and for arm strength and Marshall has that -- plus his accuracy is pretty incredible," Ward told CF.C earlier this year.

FREITAG WAS mentored by Bob Bourgette, on staff at Burien's Kennedy High for 34 seasons. This past season, he witnessed Freitag break four helmets, something quite rare for any player and certainly so for an offensive lineman.

"He's just a fierce, fierce player. We had to bring an extra helmet everywhere and for the last part of the year, we had to bring two extra helmets for him because of it. That's just the way he plays. It baffled me and it baffled the manufacturers," Bourgette told CF.C earlier this year.

Bourgette also drew some double takes when he said Freitag was at this point, further ahead as an offensive lineman when compared to Cougar legend Mike Utley.

"Oh, I got all kinds of flak about that," says Bourgette. "And Mike laughs about it. Mike was a two time All-American, but Mike was a better defensive player than he was on offense. Mike then was about 6-7 and 220 pounds but he was so aggressive and cat-quick, he played more defense for us. But as far as an offensive, high school lineman, at this point of his career, Kevin is ahead."

GUERRA, AFTER being tabbed pre-season All-State by several publications, did not disappoint his senior campaign.

He was a Times red chip selection, along with offensive lineman Steven Ayers (6-4, 275) of Bellingham (Sehome) and fullback Logwone Mitz (6-2, 220) of Redmond, and was also named first-team AP All-State.

A standout basketball player to boot, the Tri-City Herald's Ben Reynolds said of Guerra; "the most dominating force in the Columbia Basin 4A League," and, "the soft-spoken Guerra has tormented and beat up offensive lines, garnering the attention of two, sometimes three blockers trying to keep him under wraps. And sometimes that isn't even enough."

The Class 4A-3A East-West All-Star game will be played on Saturday at Everett Memorial Stadium at 1 p.m.

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