Blaine didn't have to look too far to fill its two spring sports coaching vacancies, as it selected Sean Linville its new baseball coach and Carey Bacon its new track and field coach to replace two Borderite coaching legends.
Though Linville has coached the Ferndale baseball program the past nine years and led the Golden Eagles to their only three Class 3A State Tournament appearances in the program's history, he's a Blaine resident and works in Blaine.
In fact, he's even coached in orange and black the past seven years as a member of Jay Dodd's staff for the football team.
Linville takes over for Gary Clausen, who retired from the post after 31 years.
"It's pretty exciting," Linville said in a phone interview. "I've known coach Clausen forever. There are always expectations when you take over a program for a guy that has led the program for 31 years."
Linville takes over a program that went 4-15 last year and missed the 2A Northwest District Tournament but drops down to the 1A ranks.
He admits that will quite an adjustment from coaching at one of the Northwest Conference's biggest schools and battling through a very difficult 3A Northwest District Tournament against even bigger schools from north of Seattle.
The Golden Eagles almost did that last year, falling just a win short of the state tournament and finishing 16-8 overall. Assistant Donny Hennigs moves up to replace Linville at Ferndale.
The Golden Eagles are scheduled to travel to Pipeline Fields for a non-conference game on March 18, before Blaine will head to Ferndale for an April 12 Northwest Conference showdown.
"I still know so many kids on that team, and I was there for so long," Linville said. "One of my best friends took over as coach there, and I think he'll do great. I'm going to be following Ferndale closely and pulling for them, but not that day, obviously. That's going to be a weird day."
Bacon, who also coaches Blaine's cross country team, has been a track assistant for a number of years for Mike Grambo, who retired from the program after 23 years.
Bacon takes over a program that has produced 20 individual champions the past six years and won a team title in 2009 as one of the smallest 2A schools in the state. The Borderites drop down to 1A this year.
Lynden's John Shine was selected a Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Athlete of the Week for Week 26 after he helped the Lions to a third-place finish at the Class 2A State Tournament last weekend in Yakima.
Shine averaged 14 points, 5.66 rebounds, 1.66 assists and one steal per game during three-day tournament and was selected to the all-tournament team.
Honorable mention: Bellingham's Olivia Halverson, Ashley Spink and Alyssa Porter; Blaine's Breanna Chau and Alexis McElwain; Ferndale's Hannah Carlson, Koral Weidkamp and Kendra Bodger; Nooksack Valley's Lindy Swanson; Sehome's Hallie Messenger and Squalicum's Meghan Lowry were selected to the honorable mention All-Northwest Conference team in girls' basketball. Honorable mention winners were not included in the initial release from the NWC.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2271.