Here are five players who could impact the 2017 football season for Lynden:
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Senior WR/DB: At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, he’s a typical big Lynden receiver, capable of going up and getting the ball. Last year he finished second with 22 catches for 420 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Weidenaar also will continue to be a force in the Lions’ defensive backfield.
Sophomore QB/DB: Heppner, whom coach Blake VanDalen said is a hard worker, cerebral, very competitive and manages the game well, is smart enough to realize he doesn’t need to put the team on his back. He also has the physical skills to take advantage of what a defense gives him with his arm and his legs.
Senior RB/LB: Bates was an All-2A NWC selection last year after he broke Lynden’s single-season tackles record. His ability to fly around the field and make tackles from the middle of the Lions defense sets the physical mentality the Lions will rely on this season.
Junior OL/DE: Selected second-team All-2A NWC, Kettles has the ability to disrupt offenses from his defensive end position on defense. At 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, he’s also an integral part of an offensive line that is a bit bigger than the Lions are accustomed to having.
Senior OL/DE: LaBounty also earned second-team All-2A NWC honors last year, and he will once again pair up with Kettels at defensive end to make life tough on opposing quarterbacks and running backs. LaBounty and Kettels give the Lions “two studs” on the offensive line, VanDalen said.