With help from coaches, fans, media and local sports historians, Scorebook Live has put together its lists of the best athletes — male and female — to emerge from every county in the state of Washington. We looked back as far as the turn of the 20th century, and we examined the totality of each athletes’ career, not only what they did in high school.
As comprehensive as our lists are, we also want to hear your opinions. We have included polls where you can vote for the best male and female athletes by county. You can also leave your comments below or hit us up on Twitter @sblivewa.
From Greg Biffle to Randy Myers to Richie Sexson, Clark County has produced several world-class male athletes. Take a look at Scorebook Live’s list of the top male athletes to ever come out of Clark County and cast your vote in the poll.
(The list is in alphabetical order.)
BEST MALE ATHLETES IN CLARK COUNTY HISTORY
High School: Camas (class of 1988)
Sport: Stock car racing
Notable fact: Biffle has made several appearances on TV shows and movies, perhaps most notably in a special feature scene in “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”
Of all the accomplished athletes that grew up in Clark County, perhaps the most recognizable name made his impact behind the wheel. Biffle is an accomplished NASCAR racer who spent his entire career with Roush Fenway Racing, and amassed dozens of wins over a lengthy career that netted him in the high eight-figures worth of career earnings. Biffle was the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year, and won the Busch Series in 2002. He logged 19 wins on the NASCAR Cup Series. Today, he is a NASCAR analyst for NBC Sports.
High School: Prairie (class of 1997)
Notable stats: Broke the single-game scoring record when he put up 47 points against Camas, surpassing Richie Sexson’s previous record (42). The record remains unbroken.
Dickau’s jersey hangs right outside of Prairie High School’s gym for a reason. Everywhere he went, he brought a tireless work ethic and always seemed to get better.
The 6-foot point guard terrorized opponents with his sharpshooting and playmaking. After leading the Falcons to the state semifinals as a senior in 1997, he rose to national prominence as both a college and pro athlete.
After collecting Gatorade state player of the year honors in 1997, he led Gonzaga to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2001 and 2002. In 2002, his senior season, he became the first Gonzaga basketball player to be named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press.
As a senior, he averaged 21 points and 4.7 assists per game for the Zags. Dickau shot 46.2 percent from 3-point range over the course of his college career. He played six seasons in the NBA, which included a stop with his hometown Portland Trail Blazers. His best season was 2004-05 when he averaged 13.2 points and 5.2 assists for the New Orleans Hornets.
Dickau also played varsity golf for two years and currently has a three handicap.
High School: Evergreen (class of 1980)
Notable stats: During the Major League Baseball strike of 1995, Myers returned home, enrolled at Clark College and played on the basketball team in the middle of his pro baseball career.
Randy Myers is widely known as an MLB closer and perhaps the most accomplished member of the “Nasty Boys” trio alongside fellow relief pitchers Norm Charlton and Rob Dibble on the 1990 World Series champion Cincinnati Reds.
The lefty is arguably the most decorated athlete to ever come out of Clark County.
The Evergreen graduate played at Clark College, and remained deeply involved after his days as a student athlete. Myers’ accomplishments stretched far beyond 1990. He was a four-time MLB All-Star selection and thrice the league leader in saves in his 14 seasons in the pros.
In the 1990 World Series, the “Nasty Boys” did not concede an earned run in 8 2/3 combined innings pitched. Myers was the NLCS MVP that year. He currently sits 12th all-time in total saves, with an ERA of 3.19.
High School: Prairie (class of 1993)
Sport: Baseball, basketball, football
Notable stats: Hit 45 home runs in two different MLB seasons.
In high school, Sexson was often the best player on the court or field no matter what sport. An all-state selection in football and basketball, Sexson is the greatest all-around athlete to come out of Clark County, and could have reasonably pursued any of the three sports he played at the next level.
But he was drafted out of high school in the 24th round of the 1993 MLB Draft and spent four years climbing through the minors until making his MLB debut in 1997 with Cleveland. His breakout year came in 1999, when he hit 31 homers and drove in 116 runs. He was traded to the Brewers in 2000, where the first baseman strung together two all-star seasons and hit 45 home runs in a season two different times.
He returned to his home state in 2005 when he signed a five-year, $50 million deal with the Seattle Mariners. Sexson played 11 seasons in MLB, and is commemorated in the halls of Prairie High School to this day. Those who saw him compete in high school recall a stud linebacker on the gridiron and a lumbering presence on the hardwood. Sexson originally signed to play basketball and baseball at University of Portland.
(Richie Sexson feature photo by Keith Allison)
Jeff Bockert, Prairie (football) – Those who saw Jeff Bockert in person recount witnessing a monster on the gridiron — “a man-child,” one spectator recently recalled. A linebacker alongside Richie Sexson, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound behemoth went on to play for Washington, then transfer to Portland State where he became an All-American.
Travis Claridge, Fort Vancouver (football) – Maybe the best offensive lineman to ever come out of the state of Washington, Claridge was a USA Today and Parade high school All-American, and the first freshman to start on the line at USC. He was a second round NFL Draft pick in 2000 and played four years in the league. He died, tragically, in 2006.
Steve Dils, Fort Vancouver (football) – Was named the top passer in the country as a quarterback at Stanford in 1978. Went on to play 10 years in the NFL for the Vikings, L.A. Rams and Falcons.
Clem Eischen, Fort Vancouver (track and field) – Won two state track titles in the mile at what was then called Vancouver High School. He went on to run the 1,500 in the 1948 London Olympics.
Alan Embree, Prairie (baseball) – Veteran MLB relief pitcher who secured the final out in the 2004 ALCS against the New York Yankees, the year the Red Sox went on to win the World Series. Also was football and basketball player at Prairie.
Richie Frahm, Battle Ground (basketball) – The scoring menace in the Greater St. Helens League went on to star at Gonzaga, where he was a two-time first team All-WCC selection, and played three and half seasons in the NBA.
Taylor Rank, Evergreen (football) – Running back who led Plainsmen to a 2004 4A state title, helping put SW Washington football on the map. Rank rushed for 211 yards and three touchdowns in the title game. He went on to play at South Carolina, and is now an internationally-competitive CrossFit competitor.
Michael Roos, Mountain View (football) – A first team All-American and the Division I-AA O-lineman of the year at Eastern Washington in 2005, Roos was a third-round pick in the NFL Draft and went on to play 10 years in the league, earning a Pro Bowl selection in 2008. In high school, the versatile two-way player also was an all-league selection in basketball and threw javelin. The famed red turf of Eastern Washington’s football field is named “Roos Field” in the Mountain View grad’s honor.
David Wood, Hudson’s Bay (basketball) – He wasn’t even the best player on his high school basketball team, but a late growth spurt and unrelenting work ethic helped Wood, a 6-foot-9 post, amass a 20-year pro basketball career (1987-2007), including eight meaningful years in the NBA.
(Editor’s note: Prairie grad Alan Embree, an accomplished major league lefty reliever, was added after publication.)