It was a perfect ending to a great season last week for the Seaside basketball teams.
The state champion Seaside boys swept the individual honors with the announcement of the Class 4A all-state squad, as Bill Westerholm earned state Coach of the Year honors, while senior Jackson Januik picked up the 4A State Player of the Year award for the second year in a row.
Senior Hunter Thompson was named honorable mention.
For the Seaside girls, senior Maddi Utti was named first-team all-state, and was in the running for state Player of the Year, ultimately won by Sutherlin’s Taylor Stricklin.
“We had our banquet last week, coach (Gene) Quilhaugh came down and spoke, and we gave out all the awards,” Westerholm said. “It was a real nice deal. Our season-ending banquet usually doesn’t last that long. We just hand out the awards and that’s it, but we had a lot of fun this time.”
As it should be.
The Gulls won their first ever state championship March 11, when they defeated Valley Catholic 71-63 at Forest Grove High School.
Januik scored a game-high 29 points, with six assists and six rebounds, playing the entire 32 minutes.
He will technically have one more game as a high school player, as Januik, Thompson and Attikin Babb will all take part in the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association (OACA) all-star series, June 16 and 17 in Eugene and Wilsonville, respectively.
After that, Januik’s next stop will be George Fox University, where he will play next season.
Januik had narrowed his choice of colleges to George Fox, Whitworth and Eastern Oregon. In the end, he wanted to be a Bruin.
“George Fox just seemed to work out best,” Westerholm said. “It’s a good opportunity, a good fit, and he will be able to contribute right away. They really wanted him. The coach (Maco “Shark” Hamilton) just finished his fourth year there, and hopefully Jackson will help him get to where he wants the program to go.”
Westerholm was hoping a few big colleges had taken notice of Januik.
“Part of it is playing 4A, and also being 5-8,” he said. “They just don’t see the competitive drive that he has, or the work ethic. I’m not sure you’re going to find a kid who works harder than Jackson. I’d like to see how he would do against some 6-4 guys. Jackson could have 15 assists per game, because he’s not a kid who has to score. He’s unselfish and he’s not in it for the glory. He just does whatever it takes to win.”