Running back Seth Tercero was a force out of the backfield for a Mount Vernon football team that went 8-3 and advanced to the Class 4A State Tournament.
For his efforts, he is the Skagit Valley Herald Offensive Football Player of the Year.
"Of course we had our goals," Tercero said. "As a team, we wanted to make the playoffs. For me, personally, I wanted to have over 1,000 yards rushing and double-digit touchdowns."
All was accomplished this season.
The senior led the county with 194 carries for 1,351 yards, an average of 7.0 yards per rush, and was held under 100 yards only once.
That despite missing two games because of injury and being pulled at halftime in a couple others as the Bulldogs had the games under control.
Tercero scored 19 touchdowns and accounted for 114 points to lead the county in scoring.
"Coming into this season, I wanted to work on my speed," he said. "There were a couple of times last year where I was stopped on big runs by ankle tackles. I didn't want that to happen anymore. I also wanted to be stronger."
So Tercero and several teammates found themselves a sports performance facility and began training. Tercero said his strength, agility and overall speed improved.
"It made a big difference," he said. "There were a couple times when I was making a big run and I was thinking about my form and the fundamentals of running. Then when I scored, I thought, 'Hey, that training paid off.'"
Those long runs came courtesy of an offensive line that benefited from simplified blocking schemes.
Tercero said the Bulldogs’ running backs coach became the offensive line coach this season and it made a big difference.
"Last year, the blocking was very complex," he said. "This year, it was much easier for those guys up front."
And Tercero could tell the difference as running lanes grew wider.
"This year, instead to tiny holes to run through, I had huge holes," he said. "It was easy to get between two guys. It was great. I felt really comfortable."
It also helped that the Bulldogs found an effective passing attack.
The threat of the pass meant teams could no longer key on Tercero.
"This year, we passed really well," he said. "That's what made us a playoff team. Teams could no longer put eight, nine guys in the box. Passing opened our offense up."
Tercero has played running back since he first put on shoulder pads and helmet. It was the contact he enjoyed.
Now at 6 feet and 210 pounds, he's a load to deal with. Often, it is him delivering the blow on the defender.
"I really like the physicality of the positions," he said. "I like to hit people. It wasn't always easy. It's been hard to figure out how to keep a low center of gravity. I had to get that muscle memory, even at full speed, to keep my pad level low."
With a 3.80 grade-point average, Tercero has options when it comes to playing at the next level. He'd like to study civil engineering.
While just where he'll end up next season is being decided, he was on the sidelines during a recruiting trip to Pullman when Washington State dismantled Arizona.
He's also gotten interest from Eastern Washington and Central Washington.
"It will have to be a school that's a good fit for both college and sports," Tercero said.