LYNDEN - The fast forward button seems to be stuck during the second year of coach Galen Kaemingk's second season with the Lynden Christian football team.
Don't worry, that's a good thing.
"I think everything is moving a lot quicker this year," senior receiver Levi Vander Yacht said. "Everybody knows everybody a bit better. We all know what's expected of us. Everybody knows what they're supposed to do on every play. ... I know personally, I don't have to spend as much time thinking about what I'm supposed to do. I already know it. It's a lot faster now. I feel like I'm doing everything a lot quicker - I just play."
That familiarity between the players and the coaching staff has created a lot more effective environment for practice.
"The kids have been a year in the system now, so they know the verbiage and terminology and stuff like that," Kaemingk said. "They know me and I know them, because we've been together for a little bit now. Just the progression the way we're able to get things done and put things in, we're moving a lot faster and doing a lot better."
And the results are already being seen during the first week of practice.
"We look like we know what we're doing and aren't running around like chickens with our heads cut off," senior lineman Blake Te Velde said. "We're so much quicker. Everything we do, even just running drills, is at a much higher pace this year, because we understand what is expected of us. We've made so much more progress this year (than at this point last year)."
Though the familiarity has made them quicker mentally this year, that's not the only area the Lyncs have picked up the pace.
"There's a whole lot more speed on this team," senior quarterback Isaac Reimer said. "We have a whole lot of guys that can hurt you with their quickness this year on the outside and in the backfield. Our overall team speed is so much better."
It's taken a different kind of familiarity for the Lyncs to get that kind of speed boost - a familiarity with the weight room and with conditioning and agility work during the offseason.
"We had a lot of guys work really hard during the summer," Vander Yacht said. "We all spent a lot of time in the weight room and running this year to get better."
The Lyncs like to say they got a little "Kimo-therapy" from Kimo Jandoc, a strength and conditioning coach the school brought in to work in the weight room.
"He really works the kids hard on their core and core strength and cardio," Kaemingk said. "He's not just a weight training coach. He's more of a cardio and core strength conditioning coach, as well. The kids really like what he does. He and the kids have a great rapport. I've been fortunate to watch him work with the kids, and when he asks them to do something, they respond. And you can really see the difference in what he's done for the kids. ... We just have a lot more speed on this team this year."
That, plus some late-season improvement last year, has the Lyncs looking forward to improving upon a 2-8 season from last year.
LC will open its season on Aug. 31 at Omak.
"I think we're an optimistic group this year," Te Velde said. "We have a lot more optimism than we did last year. I think everyone feels that this team is getting better, and that's exciting to be a part of. We all just want to get off to a good start, and see where it goes from there."
Reach David Rasbach at email@example.com or 360-715-2286.
This is the sixth in a series of reports from the 11 Whatcom County high school football teams during preseason practices. Look for The Bellingham Herald's special 2012 Northwest Conference football preview section in the Aug. 31 paper.
Next up: Mount Baker
Reach DAVID RASBACH at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2271.