Jake Luton is pretty good at tossing the football. Good enough to lead Marysville-Pilchuck to a top-5 ranking heading into last year’s playoffs after throwing for 818 yards and completing 53 of 101 attempts during the regular season.
Those stats came in an offense that featured Washington commit and dynamic running back Austin Joyner. Luton was impressive enough to get looks from the likes of UNLV, Portland State, Idaho State and Wyoming. He eventually signed with Idaho, where he believes he can compete for a starting job immediately
This isn’t a story about a football, though, it’s about a baseball player. Luton also happens to be tremendous on the diamond. He finished last year, as a junior, making first-team all-league as a pitcher and an outfielder, as well as second-team all-state.
“It’s pretty rare,” said Marysville-Pilchuck coach Kurt Koshelnik about Luton making first team at two positions. “Just a little bit of a testament to him. When he pitched against our league last year, he threw really, really well.”
Luton is a leader on a team that won the Wesco 3A North last year and he put up numbers that will be hard to top. He hit .367 with 17 RBI and went 4-1 on the mound with a 1.87 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 30 innings. Those numbers are good enough to get Luton drafted come June when the MLB first-year player draft takes place, which will force him to make a decision on sport and school.
Luton told Northwest Elite Index in October that he wouldn’t rule out playing baseball at Idaho. (Remind you of another quarterback? Jameis Winston, perhaps?)
“I love baseball and would hate to think that this spring could be my last year playing it, so we’ll see, but my first focus is playing football for the Vandals and that’s where my focus will be when I get there,” Luton said.
At 6 foot 6, Luton is able to throw pretty hard, but will also mix it up, throwing a slider and developing a changeup. Koshelnik said when Luton locates his fastball, he’s hard to hit, but his one knock is he can start slow at times.
Add in a solid bat — Koshelnik says Luton has more pop than anyone on the Marysville-Pilchuck roster in awhile — and the senior is a formidable opponent on the mound or at the plate. It’s not his play on the field that might be Luton’s most important quality,though.
“We’ve had a pretty good run of players here at [Marysville-Pilchuck], so I’d say the biggest thing as a sophomore, he didn’t have the leadership qualities that he has now,” Koshelnik said. “It’s more important than making it deep in the playoffs, it’s understanding what we’re trying to do. It helps to provide a little more continuity. It makes things more enjoyable.”
We’re going to start a section on this weekly post highlighting a team to watch. Someone that has had a good week, or is stringing together some wins. This week, we’re going to take notice of Interlake, which hasn’t had a winning record in KingCo since the 2011 season.
Interlake has started 2-0 in league this year, though, bringing a 6-2 record into Wednesday’s game against Sammamish. Not the easiest schedule for the Saints, either, who have beaten ranked teams in Mount Si and Anacortes.
Look below for the updated rankings. It’s interesting to see how balanced the top 10 is in both 4A and 3A.
There are eight conferences represented in 4A, with the Greater St. Helen’s League (Union and Camas) and KingCo (Bothell and Newport) the only ones with two member schools in the top 10. There is a good geographical representation, as well.
The east side of the state is represented by Walla Wall and Gonzaga Prep, the central by Moses Lake, the north (ish, north-ish) by Snohomish. Union, Camas come from the south (Vancouver area), while South Kitsap represents the peninsula. Meanwhile, Puyallup, Bothell and Newport represent the Tacoma-Seattle area.
Similar look to 3A, with Shorewood and Marysville-Pilchuck representing Wesco and Kennewick and Hanford coming out of the small (but competitive) Mid-Columbia Conference. Other than those two conference repeats, the representation is truly state-, and league-wide.
And finally, I’ll stop talking about the rankings and you can look at them. Week 2 rankings, courtesy of Lem Elway, as always:
1. Puyallup (8-0) 1. Shorewood (8-)
2. Bothell (8-1) 2. Timberline (9-0)
3. Gonzaga Prep(8-1) 3. Col River (8-0)
4. So Kitsap (7-2) 4. Kennewick (6-0)
5. Snohomish (6-2) 5. Shadle Park (8-1)
6. WallaWalla (4-0) 6. Hanford (6-0)
7. Union (6-3) 7. Marys.–Pil.(5-1)
8. Newport, Bell. (6-3) 8. O’Dea (5-1)
9. Moses Lake (4-1) 9. Mt. Si (6-2)
10. Camas (6-2) 10. Kennedy (6-1)
1. Tumwater (7-1) 1. Brewster (5-0)
2. Sumner (9-0) 2. Connell (6-1)
3. Selah (7-1) 3. Naches (6-2)
4. WF West (6-2) 4. Cashmere ()
5. Olympic (4-0) 5. Okanogan (3-0)
6. W.Valley (Yak)(7-1) 6. Tenino (5-1)
7. Centralia (5-1) 7. Hoquiam (5-1)
8. Anacortes (5-1) 8. Meridian (4-2)
9. White River (7-1) 9. Tonasket (4-0)
10. Cedarcrest (5-0) 10. Freeman (6-0)