Just when you thought there weren't any more awards that West Linn's Tim Tawa could win, he goes out and proves you wrong.
Tawa, who graduated from West Linn High School in June following a star-studded athletic career with the Lions, was named the 2016-17 MaxPreps Male Athlete of the Year at the end of June.
When alerted of his selection, Tawa was quoted on the MaxPreps website:
"Wow, that's unbelievable, I'm speechless," Tawa said. "That's an unbelievable honor. There are so many incredible athletes throughout the country who have accomplished so many amazing things. I have no words."
Beyond his awards, however, Tawa was all about winning and he did that like almost no one else in Oregon High School history. He was a member of two West Linn boys basketball state championship teams, played in two state football championships (helping the Lions win the first crown in school history in 2016), and also led the Lions to two baseball championship-game berths, finishing second in both 2015 and 2017.
Upon his selection as West Linn Tidings Athlete of the Year for 2016-17, Tawa explained his focus this way:
"Records are awesome and they're meant to be broken, but they're not what matters to me," Tawa said. "What matters to me is winning, winning for my team, for my coaches and for my community."
So, just how much did Tawa win during his much-celebrated high school career? A lot as it turns out.
As a three-year starter in football, Tawa and the Lions won a Three Rivers League title in 2016, reached the 2015 and 2016 state title games (losing to Jesuit 21-14 in 2015 and beating Central Catholic 62-7 in 2016) and posted a combined overall record of 35-5.
In his sophomore and junior basketball seasons (Tawa chose not to play as a senior), the Lions won two TRL titles and the last two of their four straight state championships, amassing a combined record in those two years of 51-7.
And in baseball, as a four-year starter for Joe Monahan's Lions, Tawa and West Linn won two Three Rivers League crowns, played in two state title games (losing to Sheldon 2-1 in 2015 and falling to Clackamas 5-1 in 2017), and racked up an overall record of 88-34.
Tawa, a 6-foot, 185-pound quarterback and shortstop/pitcher, made sure his last time around the track as a senior was a special one. During football season, Tawa threw for 3,994 yards with 55 touchdowns — one shy of the Oregon record of 56 that Beaverton quarterback Taylor Barton notched back in 1997 — and just one interception. He also rushed for 456 yards in 2016 (including two 100-yard games) and nine touchdowns.
He was no less dangerous during his senior baseball season, hitting .365 with a team-high five home runs, 14 doubles, 24 RBIs, a team-high 40 runs scored and a team-best on-base percentage of .500. Tawa also went 7-2 on the mound with a 1.26 ERA, 70 strikeouts and 24 walks in 55 2/3 innings pitched, and an opposition batting average of .215.
Looking back on his last high school game — that 5-1 loss to Clackamas in the Class 6A state championship game — Tawa said this on MaxPreps:
"I would have loved to win that last one for sure, but I wouldn't change anything about my experiences at West Linn," Tawa said.