Barrington is no Rypien but he's darn close

THREE-SPORT HIGH school athletes are rare these days, but they are out there. Just ask Cougar footballers like Kevin Kooyman, J.T. Levenseller, Andrei Lintz, Steven Ayers and Jared Karstetter. And now comes Andre Barrington. He'll suit up at linebacker for WSU this fall. But right now he's putting an exclamation mark on what has to rank as one of the all-time great senior years for an athlete.

Andre Barrington, the Pride of Federal Way High, this spring has been tearing his way through the track season. Last week he set a personal best 45 feet, 4 inches in the triple jump to go along with personal bests he recently set in the long jump (21 feet 11.75 inches) and high jump (6 feet 6 inches). In addition, he does the Eagles proud in the 110 meter hurdles, with a season-best 15.02 seconds.

Those feats, mind you, come on the heels of his starring role at guard on the Federal Way basketball team. The Eagles defeated Garfield for the Class 4A state title and finished the season 28-2. Barrington scored 14 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, dished off four assists and produced four steals in the title game, and was voted to the all-tournament team. It was an especially sweet title run because Federal Way was the state runner-up a year ago to a Ferris team led by DeAngelo Casto and Karstetter.

Barrington's hardcourt magic followed a football season in which the two-way standout helped lead the Eagles to their first state playoff victory in 32 years. Barrington rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the third straight season and earned All-State honors for his work at linebacker. The Eagles' playoff run ended in the second round against eventual state champion Skyline and future Cougar Gino Simone.

Barrington's big senior success in three sports is head turning, to be sure. But it's not enough to displace Mark Rypien for the Mother of All Senior Years in High School. At Spokane's Shadle Park High in 1980-81, the future Cougar quarterback and Super Bowl MVP was a Parade All-American in football, plus an All-State pick in football, basketball and baseball. In hoops, he helped the Highlanders win the state title in a donnybrook with Mercer Island.

BARRINGTON ISN'T THE only member of his recruiting class who is having some fun outside of football this spring. Over the weekend, future Cougar Casey Locker collected four hits and five RBI and improved his pitching record to 5-1 as Ferndale collected a pair of baseball victories. The Golden Eagles are now 13-5 on the season and need one more win to secure the top seed in the Northwest District Tournament.

Locker, who projects as a safety at WSU, led Ferndale to an 11-1 record in football last fall. In the process, he earned Class 3A All-State honors for his work at quarterback and all-classifications All-State recognition from the Seattle Times for his efforts at defensive back. Like Barrington, Locker is also a basketball player. Ferndale had winning records the past two seasons -- the first time in 16 years that the Whatcom County school has reached that milestone.

Another incoming new Cougar footballer with some serious cred on the basketball court is 6-foot-5 defensive end/tight end Travis Long of Spokane's Gonzaga Prep. He earned All-State recognition in football last fall and then, with his formidable presence in the post, helped the Bullpups advance to a No. 4 finish in the state 4A basketball playoffs. With a 3.88 GPA, he was recently named a recipient of the Greater Spokane League Scholar-Athlete award.

• From the tid-bits file comes this ironic fact: Darren Markle, the well-muscled Boise linebacker who is coming to WSU this fall, is into yoga. Yep, the guy known as a weight-lifting maniac (he bench presses 400 and squats 600-plus) was actually doing yoga the night before he signed his letter of intent with WSU, the Tri-City Herald reported back in February.

• Earlier this year in Northern California, the Napa County Board of Supervisors adopted a proclamation honoring the Justin-Sienna High School football team for its outstanding 2008 season. One line in the proclamation noted that senior defensive tackle Justin Clayton is the first athlete in the history of the 42-year-old school to be offered a full scholarship to play football in the Pac-10. For those of you not paying attention over recent months, Clayton is coming to WSU. Justin-Sienna High, by the way, is run by the same order of priests who operate Seattle's O'Dea High.

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