Griffin Shea of Tumwater High School is one of the state’s top two-way athletes from the 2016 recruiting class and to this point has flown relatively under the radar.
The 6-foot-1, 185 pounder was named League MVP this season by the Evergreen Conference coaches.
“Being named the league MVP has always been a goal of mine,” Shea told Northwest Elite Index. “Even though I received these honors, I can’t go without everyone knowing that it was a team effort. Without my team I wouldn’t have anything. Kiro 7 player of the week, the Olympian All Area Team, and the Tacoma News Tribune team are huge honors I take with great pride.
“I strive to be the best I can be on and off the field, and I believe that these honors show it very well. All the hard work and dedication we all put in paid off and I am happy for everything we have accomplished.”
On Wednesday, Shea was named First Team All-State by the Associated Press for his work as a defensive back.
Shea lines up all over the field for the Thunderbirds, but probably projects highest as a S/LB hybrid. Offensively he could line up as a wing back, half back, split end, while defensively he usually tasked with covering the opposing team’s top receiver. He is also one of the state’s better kick returners.
Playing at Tumwater you are almost assured of two things, getting to the Tacoma Dome, and being well coached.
“Playing for a program like Tumwater is an experience that you will never forget,” Shea said. “It is all about family and shaping the guys into young men. Three-quarters of the crowd is alumni, which is amazing to see. I look forward to coming back to seeing who will be wearing my number just like the others will.
“We are a huge family, anyone who has played there will tell you that. We all care for each other and will help anyone who needs it.”
Shea is a classic Tumwater football player that brings athleticism and a high football IQ. He credits his success to the program and legendary coaches Sid Otton and Pat Alexander.
“Playing for Coach Otton and Coach Alexander (Coach A) is every kids dream when you grow up in Tumwater,” Shea noted. “They both know the game like the back of their hand. Coach Otton is like a father figure who I know can help me with whatever I need in life. He has been there for many people and they both have huge hearts. Coach Otton has the most respect any could ever have and he has earned every bit of it.
“Coach A is the exact same and if you go to a game, you’ll notice that he doesn’t have a headset on. He calls all the plays by feel and looks of the game from the field. They both have a feel for the game like none-other. They both are the best coaches you could ask for.”
Recruiting has been a bit slow for Shea. He has been hearing from a few Big Sky schools, but most contact has been with the University of Montana, including a game visit earlier this year. Shea has seen the most interest from the lower levels and is planning on an official visit to Pacific University in the coming weeks.
Shea is very much under the radar still and should garner more attention as we get closer to signing day in February.