National praise for future Cougar Simone

A SEATTLE-BASED team of football prospects recently won a national 7-on-7 football tournament. Loads of athleticism and talent comprised the squad but one of the wide receiver's competitive fire had already turned the head of Bob Lichtenfels, the East and Midwest Region Recruiting Manager at That player was Gino Simone.

Before the squad, representing the Seattle Seahawks in a tournament against 15 teams from NFL markets across the country, took home the title with an undefeated 11-0 record, Lichtenfels got an eyeful when he watched Gino Simone hit the turf in Vegas.

"I don't normally get a chance to see a bunch of kids from Washington unless it is on film, Lichtenfels told subscribers on the CF.C Luxury Suites message board. "But this spring I was lucky enough to be able to coach the Washington state entry in the New Level Athletics 7-on-7 Passing Camp at UNLV.

"We had some talented young guys like Jake Heaps and Kasen Williams, but Gino Simone is a 'baller."

Whenever Washington State has enjoyed a high level of success on the gridiron, such as the three consecutive 10-win seasons from 2001-2003 when they finished in the Top 10 of the final polling, it has always been characterized by Cougar players who refuse to let anyone outwork them.

Simone looks to be cut from the same cloth.

"I loved coaching the kid," said Lichtenfels. "He gives 100 percent and leaves nothing on the field. He is one of those guys who is never the fastest, he won't jump the highest, he isn't the strongest or the most athletic, but he will bust his hump for you every single day -- and on every play -- and he will outwork everyone.
"This is a great get for the Cougs."

The Seattle-based 7-on-7 National Tournament Winning Roster:
D'Mario Carter, LB/RB, Kennedy
William Chandler, WR/DB, Skyline
Grant Gellatly, DB/RB, Issaquah
Jake Heaps, QB, Skyline
Jake Knecht, WR/DB, Skyline
Casey Locker, S/QB, Ferndale
Kirby Moore, DB/WR, Prosser
*Gino Simone, WR/DB, Skyline
Nathan Tonani, LB/FB, Ferris
Nolan Washington, DB/QB, Kennedy
Tre Watson, DB/RB, Kennedy
Kasen Williams, WR, Skyline

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