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Local gridiron standouts play in East/West game
MARYSVILLE — They’ve competed against each other for the past two high school football seasons.
But for one week this summer, Marysville graduate Zach Schumann and Arlington graduate Blake Peterson padded up and stood side-by-side for the East/West All-Star Football Summer Classic, played on July 1, in Spokane.
“It was strange playing with guys I’ve competed against,” Peterson said. “It was a lot of fun. I had a chance to get to know a lot of the guys. Zach and I got to be good friends.”
The one-time foes also teamed with players from Lake Stevens, Oak Harbor, Shorecrest, Everett and Snohomish.
“It was a great way to end our high-school football careers,” said Schumann, who played offensive tackle while in high school. “The game itself was a blast, but it was a little weird playing football in June and July. We weren’t used to it.”
Coaches from every conference in western Washington submitted a list to the Washington State Football Coaches Association with players they believed deserved a spot on the 25-man roster. The nominated players then filled out a form stating why they should be on the team.
“It was pretty intense,” said Peterson, who played linebacker in high school. “I had to write basically an essay about myself. That’s a hard thing to do, but once I got started it went pretty well. I was just so excited about getting the opportunity to play. It’s a team that has the best players from all the schools in Washington. It was a tremendous honor.”
After submitting the application, Schumann and Peterson waited two months before they found out if they made the team.
“I couldn’t believe it when I found out,” Schumann said. “I was selected among some of the best players in western Washington. I was appreciative and honored.”
In the end, the East defeated the West, 19-0. But the score didn’t really matter to Schumann or Peterson, who said it was irrelevant. More important was the experience they gained. The game served more as a course for college football.
“It really wasn’t a high school football game,” Peterson said. “It was more of a sign of what college football could be like. Everyone on that field is probably playing in college. The speed and caliber of players we played against was amazing.”
The warm-up served the two Snohomish County athletes well. Peterson has started workouts for the Pacific Lutheran University football team. Although he hasn’t selected a school, Schumann is planning to attend and play football at a junior college in California.
“A game like the All-Star game really opens your eyes,” Schumann said. “It was completely beneficial for us. It helped us get out of the high school frame of mind. We’re going to be in college and we’ll be playing against the best from high school.”
The game probably didn’t improve relations between the football teams at Arlington and Marysville-Pilchuck High School, but it did unite two of their best.
“We don’t really like Arlington,” Schumann said. “But I am glad that Blake and I got to know each other. He is a good guy and I hope we stay in touch.”