Tornados Football Competes With State’s Best at Pacific Lutheran Camp

By Jacob Dimond / jake@yelmonline.com
Posted 6/28/22

The Yelm Tornados football team culminated its 2022 spring football season by competing in Pacific Lutheran University’s 11 on 11 passing camp.

The camp featured 32 high school teams from …

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Tornados Football Competes With State’s Best at Pacific Lutheran Camp

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The Yelm Tornados football team culminated its 2022 spring football season by competing in Pacific Lutheran University’s 11 on 11 passing camp.

The camp featured 32 high school teams from different classifications from throughout Washington state.

The Tornados were featured in a pool of five teams, which featured some of the strongest athletes in the state.  Yelm was set to scrimmage against Tacoma’s Lincoln High School, Graham Kapowsin, Sumner and Emerald Ridge throughout the afternoon.

Prior to the spring football season, Yelm’s head coach Jason Ronquillo said “if the athletes are willing to learn, work and build a special bond with each other, it should lead to a successful summer.”

Ronquillo wanted athletes to take the spring season one day at a time, or brick by brick. Once June 25 rolled around, Ronquillo was ready to see the work the team put in come to fruition.

“The PLU camp is a great way for us to measure the progress we’ve made as a team through the month of June,” Ronquillo said. “Plus it allows our kids to play against some of the best teams in the state.”

The best teams in the state that Ronquillo referred to put up a combined record of 35-10 last fall. Lincoln had a 6-3 record with a district playoff appearance, Sumner went 9-2 with a loss in the quarterfinals, and Emerald Ridge went 5-5 with a loss in the district playoffs. Graham Kapowsin went 15-0 last season, which included a state championship victory as well as a win over Collins Hill (Georgia) in the Geico High School bowl.

The competition was stout, but the Tornados stood up to the challenge. In the scrimmages, each team got 12 offensive plays before switching to defense for 12 plays.



Ronquillo was pleased with not only the energy from his team, but the energy and atmosphere of the entire camp.

“The environment and energy at the PLU camp is unmatched in any one day camp we’ve ever been to,” Ronquillo said.

Offensive lineman William Snodgrass saw the PLU camp as an opportunity to see where the Tornados stacked up against some of the state’s best teams.

“I thought the PLU camp allowed us to show how dominant we can be on both sides of the ball,” Snodgrass said. “Many teams look down on us for being a small, country-town school, but we have some of the most talented football players I’ve ever seen.”

The 6-foot-6, 345-pound lineman looks to dominate the left guard position this season. He is taking over for former guard Kolby Henry, who made the transition to center this off-season. Snodgrass said the PLU camp and spring ball feature opportunities for him and his teammates to get better collectively.

“I feel like we, as a team, got better by competing against some of the top teams in the state at the 3A and 4A level,” he said. “We’ve improved a lot since last year and the PLU scrimmages allowed us to see where we stand as a team.”

Eighteen different colleges and universities were in attendance at the camp to watch and scout some of the state’s top high schoolers. They included the University of Washington, Southern California, Oregon State, Hawaii, Idaho, Simon Fraser, and Central Washington, among others.

Prior to the camp, many athletes had the opportunity to be coached by college coaches and players in the PLU showcase.

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