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Sav'ell Smalls named semifinalist for Butkus Award honoring nation's top linebacker: Washington high school News & Notes

Kennedy Catholic five-star outside linebacker is the top 2020 recruit in Washington, eighth in the country.

Kennedy Catholic 5-star linebacker Sav'ell Smalls was named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, which honors the top high school linebacker in the country.

Smalls was one of 15 semifinalists from across the country.

A high school athlete from Washington has never won the award, according the website's list of previous winners.

Smalls, a senior University of Washington commit, has been an instrumental force in a revamped defense that has held defenses to just over 14 points per game to complement its dynamic pass-heavy offense (48.9 points per game).

Smalls leads this week's News & Notes from high school athletics across the state of Washington:

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  • O'Dea offensive guard Owen Prentice was offered by Arizona State on Thursday. Prentice, who holds together a stout offensive line for the No. 1 team in the state, also has offers from four other Pac-12 schools, including Washington and USC.
  • No. 7 Puyallup senior running back/defensive back Kyler Johnson had season-ending surgery this week, he announced on Twitter. Johnson threw a touchdown and had a pick-six in a Week 7 win over Olympia.
  • Former Curtis High School standout and NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas is starting for an NBA team again. Fred Katz of The Athleticprofiled the 30-year-old, whose tumultuous last couple years has been marred by injuries.
  • Justin Brien was named the next head baseball coach at Central Kitsap this week. The Cougars went 8-11 overall, 6-8 3A South Sound Conference last season.
  • The Washougal Panthers are on the brink of the 2A state playoffs for the first time in 1999. Meg Wochnick of The Columbian profiled linebacker and four-year standout Brevan Bea.

And one national high school story ...

  • Nearly three years ago, the case of an unarmed Mesquite High School (Tex.) freshman murdered by a white police officer made national headlines. In what would have been his senior year, Jordan Edwards' high school community and team are honoring his memory, as chronicled by Joe Hoyt of the Dallas Morning News.