Community First Auto Group Athletes of the Month
Napavine senior Wyatt Stanley and Mossyrock junior Paige Moorcroft have been selected as the Community First Auto Group Athletes of the Month for December. Photo credit: Grant Clark.

Napavine senior Wyatt Stanley, who started as quarterback on the Tigers’ state championship football team, and Mossyrock junior Paige Moorcroft, a middle blocker on the Vikings’ state runner-up volleyball squad, have been selected as the Community First Auto Group Athletes of the Month for December.

Wyatt Stanley, Napavine football

Wyatt Stanley
Stanley (No. 10) capped his senior season by leading the Tigers to the Class 2B state football championship. Photo credit: Grant Clark.

After finishing second in state the last two seasons, Stanley guided the Tigers to the Class 2B state championship with a 34-16 victory over Liberty (Sprangle) at the Tacoma Dome.

Stanley was his usual dominant self against the Lancers, running for two scores and throwing for a pair of TDs to help top-ranked Napavine finish the season with a perfect 14-0. It marks the Tigers’ third state football title overall and the first since 2008.

“This is not only a huge win for our football team, but a big win for our community,” Stanley said. “Our community was behind us all season. Without them I’m not sure we would have been able to get it done. So it’s a pretty special event not just our football team, but our community too.”

The victory in the state finals capped an incredible senior year for the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Stanley. The Tigers opened their run towards the state crown by defeating Kalama, 41-6, in the opening round before hammering Pe Ell/Willapa Valley, 41-7, in the quarterfinals.

In a state semifinal matchup with second-ranked Toledo, Stanley threw for 203 yards and 3 touchdowns and added a 4-yard scoring scamper to power Napavine to a 31-28 win over the Indians, sending the Tigers to the title game for a third consecutive year.

“Last year, we came up short. We were leading in the fourth quarter,” Stanley said about the Tigers’ 36-34 state championship loss in 2015 to Okanogan. “This year, we were up 18 with six minutes left and I was still worried sick. So, to be able to get it done this year, there’s no better feeling.”

Stanley, the Southwest Washington 2B League All-Mountain Division Offensive MVP, finished the year with a remarkable 3,197 passing yards and 46 touchdowns.

Paige Moorcroft, Mossyrock volleyball

Paige Moorcroft
Moorcroft (back row, center) helped the Vikings finish second at the Class 2B state volleyball tournament. Photo courtesy: Mossyrock High School.

A year after finishing fourth at the Class 2B state volleyball tournament, the Vikings put together their greatest season in program history by advancing to the state championship match and bringing home the second-place trophy.

Moorcroft played a large role in that happening.

The 6-foot middle blocker paced Mossyrock in kills (257) and blocks (70) this season. She also registered 98 digs and 43 aces while serving at 90 percent (268/298).

“She is a committed leader on our team. She demands excellence from herself and her teammates,” Mossyrock coach Alex Nelson said about Moorcroft. “This year she excelled in offense as she runs a variety of different attacks. Throughout regular league and district, she was often our kill leader and did so with the best hitting percentage. She also serves tough for us while maintaining a 90 percent serving average. As a middle blocker, she is the first line of defense and led the team in blocks the entire season.”

A second team all-league and honorable mention all-state selection, Moorcroft also earned recognition for her grades this year as she received all-academic honors as well.

Behind the play of Moorcorft, the Vikings finished third in the ultra-competitive 2B Central League before heating up once the postseason kicked in.

Mossyrock defeated Darrington, 3-0, in the opening round at state, then produced the biggest upset at the tournament when they rallied to best three-time defending state champion and top-ranked Colfax in the quarterfinals, winning 25-20, 19-25, 19-25, 25-21, 15-13. Colfax failed to drop another set at the state tournament, sweeping its next three opponents to finish fifth.

Advancing to the semifinals for a second straight year – a program first – Mossyrock knocked off league foe Napavine, 3-1, to secure its first trip to the state finals.

The title match at the Yakima SunDome against league rival Kalama, which had swept Mossyrock twice during the regular season, turned out to be a thrilling finale with the Vikings ultimately losing in five sets (23-25, 25-17, 25-15, 15-25, 15-13).

Mossyrock finished the year with a record of 19-4, including wins over 2A schools W.F. West and Centralia during the regular season.

Community First Auto Group will be selecting an athlete of the month during the school year with all recipients being entered into a pool for a scholarship opportunity. The Athlete of the Year will be chosen at the end of the year with one male and one female student athlete receiving $500.

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