PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Bellingham can't keep talent off the field in 2013

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDSeptember 5, 2013 

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Bellingham's Nick Hanks on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 in Bellingham.

ANDY BRONSON — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

During its 2012 campaign, the Bellingham football team had only one player that routinely played both offense and defense. This year, coach Steve Wilson expects to use at least six on both sides of the ball, and possibly more.

"We can't keep some guys off the field on one side or the other," Wilson said. "They're just that good."

That's terrific news for a Red Raiders squad that went 1-9 in Wilson's first year, but is seeking a step forward this year, even if it does mean extra conditioning time to prepare to play iron-man football.

"The guys that are going to go both ways, they're sold on the program," Wilson said. "They're into football, and they love the program. Any time you get that much unity involved and they're bought into it, they're going to be that much better in terms of leadership on the field."

By the end of the season, Wilson and his staff hope Bellingham will love playing defense - particularly stopping the run.

Last year, the Red Raiders allowed 3,091 yards and 31 touchdowns rushing. Opponents ate up an average of 7.2 yards every time they attempted to run.

This year, Wilson said he plans to have his front eight - which will include a rotation of defensive ends Braden Farlow, Blair Bennett and Jakob Chamberlin; linebackers Damir Alexandre VonRohrbach, David Burnham, Tanner Aliff and Noah Silverman, defensive tackles Nick Hanks and another still to be selected - selling out to stop the run. Even free safety Elijahwa Ninnemann is expected to split time focusing on the run, and the cornerbacks will be asked to come up in support.

"We're going to have 81/2 guys playing run first, and 21/2 playing the pass first," Wilson said. "We have to stop the run. We're really, really going to emphasize the run. If teams pass on us, oh well. We have to start somewhere."

On offense, Wilson said he believes Bellingham has found a quarterback to make opponents respect the pass. Sophomore Austin Shenton was an All-Northwest Conference first-team pick in baseball as a freshman, and Wilson said, "His arm is special."

He didn't play football last year, so reading defenses could be a learning process, but Bellingham will support him with one- and two-back formations. Aliff, who, Wilson said, "may love to hit a little too much," will be Bellingham's primary bruising back, while the speedy Silverman will add some quickness to the attack.

Silverman also will be one of Shenton's top targets at receiver, while a number of players are competing for the other spot.

Hanks and Farlow will be leaders on an offensive line that will also include Bennett and Chamberlin.

"We're hoping our first-string offensive line is going to be something special," Wilson said.

COACH'S PERSPECTIVE

I think everybody knows their expectations. Guys are on board. They know me better; I know them better. It's just more of a familiarity. ... I think that a progression occurs any time you go from year one to year two." - Bellingham coach Steve Wilson

KEYS TO THE SEASON

1. Conditioned response

With more than half its starters expected to play both offense and defense, Bellingham must get in shape to avoid late-game slides.

2. No more running away

The Red Raiders' rush defense was nearly non-existent in 2012, allowing 7.2 yards per carry. That simply can't happen again.

3. Preach patience

Bellingham will start a sophomore quarterback who did not come out for the team last year. Though he has a strong arm, it may take Austin Shenton a while to understand reading defenses.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Nick Hanks, Senior OL/DL

Along with Braden Farlow, the 230-pounder should become a leader up front for an offensive line that could develop into something special.

Noah Silverman, Senior WR/RB/LB

The speedy Silverman can do a little bit of everything for the Red Raiders. He is one of a number of players Bellingham is counting on to go both ways.

Austin Shenton, Sophomore QB

The NWC already knows about him from baseball after his freshman year, and the Red Raiders believe his strong arm is just as dangerous in football.

Tanner Aliff, Junior RB/LB

The running back that seems to look for contact likely will see a number of the carries this year. He'll also be instrumental in stuffing the run.

2013 SCHEDULE

Sept. 7 Mount Baker (at Civic Stadium) 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 at Burlington-Edison* 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 Squalicum (at Civic Stadium)* 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Blaine 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Sedro-Woolley* 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 Lynden (at Civic Stadium)* 7 p.m.

Oct. 17 Ferndale (at Civic Stadium)* 7 p.m.

Oct. 25 at Anacortes* 7 p.m.

Oct. 31 Sehome (at Civic Stadium)* 7 p.m.

*NWC 2A/3A game

2012 RESULTS

1-9, 1-6 NWC 2A/3A

Aug. 31 at Mount Baker L 55-12

Sept. 7 Burlington-Edison (at Civic Stadium)* L 56-23

Sept. 14 at Squalicum (at Civic Stadium)* L 42-20

Sept. 21 Blaine (at Civic Stadium)* L 36-28

Sept. 29 Sedro-Woolley (at Civic Stadium)* L 54-13

Oct. 5 at Lynden* L 43-13

Oct. 12 at Ferndale* L 54-0

Oct. 19 Anacortes (at Civic Stadium)* W 28-21

Oct. 26 at Sehome (at Civic Stadium)* L 18-6

Nov. 1 Granite Falls (at Civic Stadium) L 54-14

*NWC 2A/3A game

2012 STATISTICAL LEADERS

RUSHING

Player Att. Yards Avg. TD

Marques Reynolds 82 438 5.3 0

Melvin Deal 44 182 4.1 0

Justin Pruett 40 153 3.8 3

PASSING

Player Cmp. Att. Yards TD Int.

Justin Pruett 114 238 1,293 15 2

RECEIVING Rec. Yards Avg. TD

Darice Haywood 35 501 14.3 7

Kyle Redmond 27 338 12.5 5

Nicholas Estrada 22 239 10.9 2

*Returning player

2013 ROSTER

No. Player Yr. Ht. Wt.

2 Colin Bigelow Jr. 5-7 152

3 Evan Brown Sr. 5-10 154

4 Noah Silverman Sr. 5-8 140

5 Hunter Hadfield Sr. 5-8 150

6 Tristan Hurley Sr. 5-11 155

7 Tyre Riley-Tucker Fr. 5-8 135

8 Austin Perkins Fr. 5-9 142

9 Isaiah White Jr. 5-9 152

10 David Jacob DeYoung Fr. 5-6 140

11 Chance Poasa So. 5-11 152

12 Cason Plancich So. 5-6 150

13 Kailen Hayes Jr. 6-0 190

14 Damir Alexandre VonRohrbach Sr. 6-0 180

15 Jake Frazier So. 5-11 190

16 Gabriel Mooney Jr. 5-10 165

17 Jace King Fr. 5-10 140

20 Cole Allain Fr. 5-10 140

21 Elijahwa Ninnemann Jr. 6-1 187

22 Rowan Howard Sr. 6-0 180

23 Kole Jorgenson So. 5-11 140

24 Austin Shenton So. 5-11 197

25 Austin Moniz Jr. 5-8 150

26 Will Crawford So. 5-10 155

27 Alden Roberts Jr. 5-10 165

28 Jacob Thompson Jr. 5-10 140

30 Nicholas Smith Fr. 6-1 140

31 Samuel Isaacson Fr. 5-9 150

32 Tanner Aliff Jr. 5-11 170

33 Dante Koplowitz-Fleming Jr. 6-2 170

34 David Burnham Sr. 5-7 175

40 Randy Stevenson Fr. 6-0 170

41 Josh King Fr. 5-10 155

42 Kelton Connors Fr. 5-9 150

45 Melvin Deal Sr. 6-0 250

50 Ben Axlund Fr. 5-10 155

52 Kenny Mendez Fr. 5-10 160

53 Tony Robinson Fr. 5-10 165

54 Trenton Helming So. 5-10 200

55 Nick Collins Fr. 5-8 180

56 Braden Farlow Sr. 6-0 200

57 Spencer Marshall-Rodenberg Jr. 5-10 205

59 Nick Hanks Sr. 6-0 230

60 Zachary Cole Fr. 5-7 150

61 Dylan Nogel Fr. 5-10 160

62 Dakota Johanson Fr. 5-10 150

63 Caleb Latham Sr. 5-4 220

64 Blair Bennett Jr. 6-0 190

70 Gerardo Moreno So. 6-1 240

71 Tim Mumford Fr. 6-1 200

72 Theo Vinup So. 6-2 220

73 Hunter Bills Fr. 6-0 180

74 Luke Moreau Jr. 5-11 260

75 Jakob Chamberlin So. 6-3 205

78 Matt Sofka So. 5-0 260

79 Mark Snyder Fr. 5-10 200

80 Tyler Aven Fr. 5-9 147

81 Chris Thompson Fr. 5-7 145

82 Mitchell Osorio Fr. 5-9 135

83 Eric Thompson Jr. 5-9 145

Reach Sports Editor David Rasbach at 360-715-2271 or david.rasbach@bellinghamherald.com .

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