Two Interlake football players will test their skills against the best high school football players in Washington.
Interlake Saints 2017 graduates Duncan Varela (quarterback) and Naoki Harmer (safety/wide receiver/kick returner) were selected to compete in the East vs.West all-state football game on June 30 in Moses Lake. Harmer will play football this fall at Montana Tech and Varela will play for the University of Puget Sound. Harmer is thrilled to play football with his good buddy one more time before they head their separate ways for college.
“I’m going to miss playing with Duncan. We’ve played together for four years and we have a good connection on the field all the time. It has been an honor playing on the same team as Duncan,” Harmer said.
Varela is excited about competing against the best football players in Washington.
“It will be fun to see how well I match up against the guys that are the best in the state. It will be pretty cool,” Varela said.
The signal caller said it will be a different experience playing a football game in the final week of June as opposed to the fall.
“It is going to be weird playing an actual game in the summer. I’m pretty excited. I have been practicing (throwing), running and working out as much as possible,” Varela said.
Harmer said he expects to play safety in the all-state game but also hopes he gets a chance to return a kick or two.
“I’m excited because I know some of the guys who are playing in the game so I will kind of have a feel for what it is going to be like. I will also get to know some new players that I don’t know and will get to play against a high level of competition. I’m excited for it and to see what the players are like around Washington,” Harmer said.
Varela is ecstatic he will continue his football career just 44 miles south of Bellevue at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.
“They recruited me pretty heavily and they seemed like they really wanted me. That is a good feeling to have. I had gone to their camps in the past and was familiar with the school. I just felt like it was a better fit than the other schools that were recruiting me,” he said.
Harmer, who will play college football much further than home than Varela (587 miles), said Montana Tech has a history of winning.
“The last couple of years they (Montana Tech) have won their conference. I wanted to be part of a winning program like that. The facilities there are so nice for a small school. Hopefully I can make an impact this coming year. That is what I’m trying to do in my first year,” Harmer said.