The QB tradition at Puyallup High School is well documented. Trying to make his mark along side the likes of the Huard brother is sophomore gunslinger Brendan Illies (6-1 185).
In terms of yards, Illies put up the second most of any sophomore behind only record breaking QB Brett Rypien of Shadle Park. He would finish with 2,960 yards and 33 TDs. Illies could be considered a bit of a dual-threat as he also rushed for 449 yards and 8 TDs. For his efforts he was voted a co-2nd team All-SPSL south player.
He is a two way player for the Vikings, also seeing time as a safety. His numbers this season were impressive, finishing with 50 tackles, two for a loss and five passes defended.
A few weeks ago we got to see Illies out at Cedar Park Christian for one of our Elite Events. The first thing that stood out was the arm strength he possesses. Every pass seemed to have that extra zip that most other QBs just don’t have. He may need work on his overall mechanics, but being just a sophomore he still has plenty of time to refine his game.
Illies is part of an elite group of sophomore QBs in the state of Washington. The 2013 class sent seven QBs to D1 schools and the 2015 class has all the makings of being just as good. With kids like Brett Rypien, Ross Bowers (Bothell), Nolan Henry (Union) and Casey Brink (Bainbridge), QB looks to be the strengths of the 2015 class.
As good as Illies has been on the football field, his future might be the brightest on the baseball diamond. As a freshman he started at catcher and batted .402 with 26 RBIs and 25 runs scored in only 28 games. He was voted a 1st team All-SPSL as a Utility player and 2nd team as a Catcher. He also pitches for the Vikings and his fastball reportedly is up in the 88 MPH range.
2012 ended with a prelim round loss to the eventual state champion Skyline Spartans, but the future does look bright. Along with Illies, the Vikings return leading WR Levi Jordan (5-9 165 Jr) who finished with 62 catches for 912 yards and a 2nd team All-SPSL award. The Vikings also return leading rusher Trevor Whitney (5-11 180 Jr) who rushed 147 times for 649 yards and 5 TDs.
The SPSL South could be up for grabs this coming season. Federal Way has won back to back league championships and are probably the favorite to do so again. The Curtis Vikings and Graham-Kapowsin Eagles should both be very good again and have the pieces to challenge for the top spot. When all is said and done Puyallup has enough talent to make a run into the playoffs, and I expect them to be there.