There are only two of them, but it could be confusing to keep track of them, because Lynden Christian receivers Levi Vander Yacht and Truman Van Dalen always seem to be on the go.
"Boy do they run a lot," Lyncs football coach Galen Kaemingk said in a phone interview. "They run a lot in practice; they run a lot in games. It seems like they have to run all day long, and they do. They're in very good condition."
And you can bet they're going to test the fitness level of just about any opponent's secondary, as well.
So far, the senior receiving duo seems to be a step or two ahead of most anybody they've gone up against.
Through the first three weeks of the 2012 season, and heading into a Friday, Sept. 21, game against Anacortes, Van Dalen (12 receptions, 210 yards, 1 touchdown) and Vander Yacht (seven catches, 191 yards, 1 TD) stand fifth and sixth, respectively, among Northwest Conference receivers.
"We've gotten off to a really good start this year," Vander Yacht said in a phone interview. "We both have nearly 200 yards receiving, which is just about half of what we got all of last year. I think we've both improved big time over last season."
And the biggest reason for that improvement, both said, is a long, hard summer sweating in the weight room and conditioning drills.
Like many of their teammates, Vander Yacht and Van Dalen took advantage of the school's bringing in strength and conditioning coach Kimo Jandoc over the summer for some specialized instruction.
"I think our Kimo workouts are really helping us a lot," Van Dalen said in a phone interview. "As a team, we decided we wanted to become really good, especially the seniors. You can't become really good if you're not willing to put in the work during the summer. The seniors wanted to set a good example for the rest of the younger players on what it's going to take to be successful for this program."
Vander Yacht and Van Dalen certainly appear to be leading that charge.
Not only did the pair work hard during the offseason to prepare for all the running they would need to do in practice and game day and improve their footwork for running routes, they've brought the perfect mentality into everything they do.
"Both of those guys are so unselfish," Kaemingk said. "There is no jealousy between them. Obviously, they each want the ball. But I think they have the patience and understanding that it's not always going to come their way. Our first game (Aug. 31 at Omak), Levi had a big night (98 yards and a touchdown). Truman didn't have much. But the next week against Friday Harbor, you could tell they watched the tape, because they doubled Levi most of the night, and Truman had a big game for us (seven catches, 115 yards). They both have tremendous patience - much more than you see the guys on TV have."
That's not to say there isn't a little friendly competitive spirit between the two, though.
"He pushes me all the time," Van Dalen said. "I know he's working hard to be a better player on and off the field, and he pushes me to get better. He's always talking to me, pushing me, and I try to do the same for him. We both just want to be the best we can be."
As defensive backs, Vander Yacht and Van Dalen realize the benefit of having two strong receivers and how that puts a whole lot more pressure on a defense than just a single option.
"With two of us, they're going to have to work a whole lot more, and that's just going to tire them out more," Vander Yacht said. "One week it might be me, one week it might be him - all that really matters is what the scoreboard says at the end of the night. I know if he's doing his job and I'm doing mine, the secondary is going to have to work really hard to stop us."
And with added conditioning of Vander Yacht and Van Dalen this offseason, that certainly could mean trouble for opponents late in games.
"Last year, we were always tired in the third or fourth quarters," Van Dalen said. "I know I was exhausted. Now, I feel like I'm stronger as the game progresses, and I feel like I've got plenty of energy when the game is on the line."
Vander Yacht and Van Dalen definitely know how to win in the clutch, as they were both guards on Lynden Christian's Class 1A state championship boys' basketball team last winter.
After spending last winter trying to work the ball in to Isaac Reimer in the post on the court, they are now on the receiving end of passes from Reimer, and the bond seems to be strong.
"You can see those three really have a trust level with each other," Kaemingk said. "Isaac trusts that they're going to be in a certain spot at a certain time and run a certain route - maybe almost too much at times. Sometimes he tries to squeeze it into places he shouldn't because he has so much trust in those guys."
But more often than not, Vander Yacht or Van Dalen are going to come down with the ball and a big catch for the Lyncs. And with their improved speed, either is capable of turning a big catch into a game-changing play.
So far, it's been paying off, as LC has started the 2012 season 2-1.
"It's nice to get off on the right foot and get some wins," Vander Yacht said. "Last year, we didn't get our first win until the end of the season. This year, we already have two wins, and we're looking to slowly get better throughout the course of the season."
Reach David Rasbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2286.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2271.