Video: MaxPreps Male Athlete of the YearOregon's Tim Tawa caps high school career with highest all-around honor.
Two-sport standout Tim Tawa
of West Linn (Ore.)
was driven even as 6-year-old. His dad John recalled a rare weekend when the family wasn't at an organized game for their oldest boy.
Dad laid out some options to fill the time that Saturday and Sunday: Bike ride? Movie? Bowling? Kite-flying?
Young Tim wanted to go to the park.
"He wanted to play soccer," his dad said. "To work on his left foot. … That's just the type of kid he is. He's intense. He loves to practice."
All that practice, all that intensity and attention to detail has paid off.
Tawa is the 2016-17 MaxPreps Male Athlete of the Year.
The 6-foot, 185-pound recent graduate edged a number of accomplished athletes that included MaxPreps Football Player of the Year Tate Martell
of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
, MaxPreps Basketball Player of the Year Michael Porter Jr.
of Nathan Hale (Seattle)
and multi-sport standouts Sage Surratt
of Lincolnton (N.C.)
, Joseph Girard III
of Glens Falls (N.Y.)
, A.J. Epenesa
of Edwardsville (Ill.)
and Blake Dunn
of Saugatuck (Mich.)
Tawa was flabbergasted when he got the news Monday morning.
"Wow, that's unbelievable, I'm speechless," Tawa said. "That's an unbelievable honor. There are so many incredible athletes throughout the country who have accomplished so many amazing things. I have no words."
Tawa backed up a record-setting football campaign with another stellar baseball season.
The senior shortstop and pitcher, who has been committed to play baseball at Stanford since he was a sophomore, went 7-2 on the mound with a 1.38 ERA.
Seeing only a few good pitches all season, he hit .356 with a .496 on-base percentage, .654 slugging percentage and an OPS of 1.150. He stole 14 bases and scored 40 runs as the Lions went 28-5 and lost in the Class 6A state finals.
"I would have loved to win that last one for sure, but I wouldn't change anything about my experiences at West Linn," Tawa said.
The Lions and Tawa had no trouble winning the 6A state football championship, thrashing Central Catholic of Portland 62-7 to complete a 14-0 season.
He earned first team All-American honors by completing 264 of 383 passes for 3,994 yards, 55 touchdowns and just one interception. He also rushed for 456 yards and nine scores, averaged 39.5 yards per punt and made 77 of 81 extra-point tries.
Tawa broke virtually every state career passing mark — even surpassing his coach Chris Miller, who played 10 seasons in the NFL and was the 13th pick of the 1987 draft — with 11,357 yards, 143 touchdown passes and 720 completions.
He also set single-season state marks for passing yards (4,420), as a junior, and his 55 TDs as a senior was one off the record of 56 set in 1997 by Taylor Barton of Beaverton.
"He'll undoubtedly go down as the greatest quarterback in state history," Miller said. "No doubt about it."
And that's just his second best sport. Though Miller and others think he could do quite well in football at Stanford, Tawa will focus on baseball.
There's much more he can do. He's a scratch golfer, boots 60-yard field goals in practices and helped West Linn win two state basketball crowns as a backup to current University of Oregon standout Payton Pritchard. Tawa didn't play basketball this season in order to focus on football, baseball and academics. He was a straight-A student at West Linn, where he led teams to combined record of 160-35 in his three sports.
Miller, a three-sport athlete himself, compared Tawa to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
"There's not much athletically he can't do," Miller said of Tawa. "He can flat-out run. His arm is strong and very accurate. He has a very quick release. He's obviously a great student of the game. He knows what every player on the field is doing. He can beat you so many ways."
As far as that comparison to Wilson: "If you look at their body types at the same stage they're very similar," Miller said. "Very athletic, very strong arms, can really move."
Wilson was a baseball-first athlete, before focusing on football. Tawa said he's all in on baseball and right now he's playing in a wood bat league in California. He met last week with new Stanford coach David Esquer.
"I can't wait for school, coming to Stanford and playing baseball," Tawa said. "I look back at West Linn and think of all the support I had from so many people — all my coaches, school administrators, and of course by friends, family and teammates. It was a special group of people and great place to be a part of. I can't thank everyone enough."Past MaxPreps Male High School Athletes of the Year
2015-16 — Lonzo Ball, Chino Hills (Calif.): Basketball
2014-15 — Kyler Murray, Allen (Texas): Football, baseball
2013-14 — Patrick Mahomes, Whitehouse (Texas): Football, basketball baseball
2012-13 — Derrick Henry, Yulee (Fla.): Football
2011-12 — Anthony Alford, Petal (Miss): Football, baseball
2010-11 — Kasen Williams, Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.): Football, basketball, track and field
2009-10 — Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.): Football, basketball, track and field
2008-09 — Garrett Gilbert, Lake Travis (Austin, Texas): Football
2007-08 — Terrelle Pryor, Jeannette (Pa.): Football, basketball