Sharing space is nothing new for the Singler cousins, E.J. and Mitch.
At the start of the football season, the South Medford receivers were brought to the Mail Tribune photo lab, resulting in them occupying the cover of the newspaper's annual football section.
Big things were expected, and they delivered so well they now share space on the Class 6A all-state offensive first unit.
"Not only am I a proud coach," said South Medford mentor Bill Singler, who is Mitch's father, "but I'm a proud uncle and a proud dad."
The selections mark the first time in coach Singler's 11-year tenure that the Panthers have a first-team player. The all-state teams were voted on by 6A coaches, and no other Southwest Conference schools were represented on the offensive or defensive first teams.
The Panthers also placed cornerback Daniel Kinney on the second team and had five players — including linebacker E.J. Singler — receive honorable mention.
It was that talent pool that led South Medford to its first SWC title. The Panthers were 10-2 overall despite a formidable schedule and made it to the state quarterfinals, where they were eliminated by eventual champion Southridge.
And while South exhibited a balanced offense, there was little question where its strength was.
Tight end E.J., a 6-foot-6, 205-pound senior who made for an appealing target, and wide receiver, Mitch, 6-3, 188, who also is a track standout, no doubt gave opposing defensive coordinators nightmares.
E.J. had 57 catches for 802 yards and seven touchdowns this past fall, and Mitch turned in 42 catches for 983 yards — a whopping 23.4 yards per reception — and 10 scores.
In order for the passing game to work, said coach Singler, the line had to protect and the quarterback, in this case Josh Milhollin, had to deliver the ball. After that, it was up to the receivers.
"These two catch the ball in their hands as well as any two receivers I've ever had, college or high school," coach Singler said. "If you watched our team for the past three years, you can count on two hands the number of passes they dropped. They both know how to run routes, get open and catch the football. It was a great luxury for us, and it propelled our football team to new heights the last two years."
As impressive as the numbers were this season, they especially enhance the career statistics of the two, who both boast former first-team all-state fathers. E.J. is the son of Ed Singler, an all-state quarterback for Medford in 1977. Bill was an all-state receiver in 1970.
In their three varsity years, E.J. and Mitch combined for 285 receptions, 5,053 yards and 50 touchdowns.
"If you look at what they've accomplished, my lord," said Bill Singler. "As sophomores, we knew they'd be pretty special. That's when you could get a sense of what they could possibly accomplish as a tandem."
For their respective careers, E.J. had 148 catches for 2,268 yards and 19 TDs, and Mitch had 137 for 2,785 and 31 TDs.
Their stats were actually better as juniors, when South Medford threw 35 times per game. But other options were available in 2008 with a seasoned offensive line and a strong stable of running backs.
Mitch Singler plans to play football in college, but it's uncertain where. He's being recruited by a few NCAA Division I schools, including Oregon State and Nevada, and other smaller universities.
E.J. Singler has signed to play basketball at Oregon.
Kinney, a transfer from Cascade Christian, also played safety and running back and returned kicks.
"Once he settled in and knew what was expected of him, you saw his athleticism start to surface," said Bill Singler. "When the conference season started, you saw Daniel really blossom."
The Panthers' other honorable mention players were running back Patrick Thibeault, offensive tackle Rodolfo Contreras, kicker Sam McLaughlin and defensive lineman Zach Bargé.
Class 6A All-State
QB — Jack Lomax, Lake Oswego, sr.
RB — Malcolm Johnson, Barlow, sr.
RB — Anthony Blake, Jesuit, sr.
WR — Micah Hatfield, Lake Oswego, sr.
WR — Mitch Singler, South Medford, sr.
TE — E.J. Singler, South Medford, sr.
C — Nick Davies, Jesuit, sr.
G — John Wall, Southridge, sr.
G — Andre Lee, Lake Oswego, so.
T — Taylor Hart, Tualatin, sr.
T — Brendan Lake, Lake Oswego, sr.
K — Trevor Harman, Southridge, sr.
DL — Paul Tuma, Southridge, sr.
DL — Jeff Kremer, Lake Oswego, sr.
DL — Taylor Hart, Tualatin, sr.
DL — Matt Dummer, Jesuit, sr.
LB — Will Storey, Lake Oswego, jr.
LB — Kirk Werhane, Southridge, sr.
LB — Jackson Holstein, Lake Oswego, sr.
DB — Keanon Lowe, Jesuit, jr.
DB — Micah Hatfield, Lake Oswego, sr.
DB — Levi Levasa, Tualatin, sr.
DB — Kalen Powell, Southridge, sr.
DB — Nick Rulli, Lake Oswego, sr.
P — Lawrence Calcagno, Canby, sr.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Jack Lomax, quarterback, Lake Oswego, sr.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Paul Tuma, lineman, Southridge, sr.
COACHES OF THE YEAR — Steve Coury, Lake Oswego, and Brad Mastrud, Southridge.
QB — Michael DeHaan, Beaverton, sr.
RB — Kirk Werhane, Southridge, sr.
RB — Tony Gonzalez, McKay, sr.
WR — Keanon Lowe, Jesuit, jr.
WR — DeAndre Taylor, Lincoln, sr.
TE — Jacob Wark, Jesuit, jr.
C — Brandon Knieriem, Canby, sr.
G — Zach Ka'ahanui, Central Catholic, sr.
G — Jered Richter, Tualatin, sr.
T — Brenton Spickerman, Jesuit, sr.
T — Charles Siddoway, Sheldon, sr.
K — Kevin Miller, Centennial, sr.
DL — Owa Odighizuwa, David Douglas, jr.
DL — Zach Ka'ahanui, Central Catholic, sr.
DL — Grant Kelley, Southridge, sr.
DL — Curtis White, Sheldon, jr.
LB — Kellen Mastrud, Southridge, sr.
LB — Antip Kuznetsov, Canby, sr.
LB — Jon Byers, David Douglas, sr.
DB — Jackie Coburn, Beaverton, sr.
DB — Daniel Kinney, South Medford, sr.
DB — Kenneth Acker, Grant, sr.
DB — Dominic David, South Salem, sr.
P — Dakota Cavens, Roseburg, sr.
Quarterback — Jordan Johnson, Sheldon, jr.; Brian Widing, Canby, sr.
Running back — Taylor Johnson, Redmond, sr.; John Grill, Tualatin, sr.; Laurence Calcagno, Canby, sr.; Patrick Thibeault, South Medford, sr.
Wide receiver — Brad Noonan, Beaverton, sr.; Jacob Bohince, Hood River Valley, sr.; Matt Nylen, Clackamas, sr.; Ryan Lacey, Lincoln, sr.
Tight end — Julian Barton, Canby, sr.; Michael Mehlhaff, Gresham, sr.; Michael Leunen, Redmond, jr.; Brian Teague, David Douglas, sr.
Center — Mitch Gaulke, West Linn, sr.; Max Wohlhuter, Grants Pass, sr.; Sam Mears, Hood River Valley, sr.; Koby Pederson, McNary, sr.
Guard — Levi Johnson, Grants Pass, sr.; Joey Paul, Barlow, sr.; Connor Hefenieder, Beaverton, sr.; Travis Horton, Tigard, sr.; Drew Miner, Sheldon, jr.; Zack Sramek, West Linn, sr.; Will Cowan, McNary, sr.
Tackle — Rodolfo Contreras, South Medford, sr.; Luke Hartwig, Lincoln, sr.; Dexter Morrison, Centennial, sr.; Rik Brooks, Canby, sr.; Alex Bogrand, Jesuit, sr.; Michael Herbert, South Salem, sr.
Kicker — Keith Kostel, Tigard, sr.; Sam McLaughlin, South Medford, sr.; Josh Kay, South Salem, sr.; Tom Yaremko, Central Catholic, sr.
Defensive line — Zach Bargé, South Medford, sr.; Mitch Gaulke, West Linn, sr.; Paul Harris, McNary, sr.; Rik Brooks, Canby, sr.; Jacob Wark, Jesuit, jr.; Blake Heim, Lake Oswego, jr.; Travis Horton, Tigard, sr.; Adron Collins, David Douglas, sr.; Tim Pinkerton, Grants Pass, sr.; Eric Mischler, Lincoln, sr.; Alex Phompat, Beaverton, sr.; Nick Roberts, Gresham, sr.
Linebacker — John Grill, Tualatin, sr.; E.J. Singler, South Medford, sr.; John Tardieu, Grants Pass, jr.; Jake Krichevsky, Beaverton, sr.; Laurence Calcagno, Canby, sr.; Kelvin Cain, Grant, jr.; Taylor Martinek, Jesuit, jr.; Michael Mehlhaff, Gresham, sr.; Alex Poti, Tualatin, sr.; Hayes Garrity, Westview, jr.; Joey Paul, Barlow, sr.; Josh Weaver, Roseburg, jr.
Defensive back — Kyle Richardson, Canby, sr.; Karl Acker, Grant, sr.; Dimitrios Finney, David Douglas, sr.; Ryan Miller, Grants Pass, sr.; Brian Zinsmeister, Lake Oswego, sr.; Kawika Bernal, Tigard, sr.; Sean Fagen, Central Catholic, sr.; Jacob Bohince, Hood River Valley, sr.; John Campbell, Sheldon, jr.; Tyson Giza, Sprague, sr.; Robert Casteel, Westview, sr.; Kyle Gustafson, Tigard, sr; Malcolm Johnson, Barlow, sr.
Punter — Kyle Chamberlain, Sunset, sr.; Tom Yaremko, Central Catholic, sr.; Jordan Walker, Milwaukie, jr.; Robby Martinez, West Salem, sr.
Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 776-4479, or e-mail email@example.com