Football Roundtable: Who's the All-Area MVP Favorite?


With fall camp officially underway, and football season within sight, what better way to get prepared for the 2022 season than reading some of Chronicle staffers' most educated season predictions? 

In this edition of The Chronicle’s preseason roundtable, Alec Dietz, Josh Kirshenbaum, and Aaron VanTuyl pick their All-Area MVP favorites. Read the Saturday, Aug. 20 edition for the trio’s most anticipated regular season game. 

Alec’s Pick: Gavin Fugate, W.F. West

A true dual-threat quarterback with plenty of targets and weapons around him, and an experienced offensive line, Fugate is primed for a huge senior season in Chehalis this fall. 

Though he suffered a collarbone injury that held him out for the last few games of the 2021 season, Fugate threw for 1,313 yards and rushed for 535 with 25 total touchdowns. He quickly rehabbed from his injury and was then an all-area baseball player last spring. 

With a bevy of receivers like Cameron Amoroso and Gage Brumfield to toss it to, it might be cliche, but the big time quarterback could have the makings of a special season at W.F. West. 

Josh’s Pick: Dylan Spicer, Tenino

He’d have to grow a couple inches and bulk up a lot before anyone confuses him with Takari Hickle. But last season as the Beavers’ No. 2 tailback, Spicer still racked up the stats, with 13 touchdowns and 1,174 yards on the ground.

Indeed, looking at clips, Spicer came close to Hickle in yards (8.8 yards per carry vs. 9.2) and scoring (averaging a touchdown every 10.2 runs vs. one every 9.4). 

This year with Hickle off in Corvallis suiting up for a different sort of Beaver, Spicer could well find himself getting the sort of workload the Chronicle’s 2021 all-area MVP was carrying – and in Tenino’s offense, that sounds like 25-30 carries per game. If Tenino wants to match its success from last year and improve on it, it’ll need him to carry it well.

Aaron’s Pick: Ashton Demarest, Napavine

You’d have to go back at least a decade to find a season where Napavine didn’t have a Stanley or a Demarest under center at some point— and Napavine’s been a state contender pretty much that entire stretch.

Demarest was an all-league first-team pick a year ago. He threw for more than 1,600 yards and 24 touchdowns, then ran for another 500 with five more scores. With running back Gavin Parker and receiver Lucas Dahl out of the picture — and Demarest now an upperclassman — he’ll have even more responsibility under center and more chances to call his own number. 

The Tigers are an easy pick to contend for a state title and they’re going to score a ton of points; likewise, Demarest is an easy pick for a league MVP award and he, too, is going to score a ton of points.