Here are five players who could impact the 2017 football season for Bellingham:
Senior OL/DL: Helming is one of three returning offensive lineman for the Red Raiders in 2017. As the center, he’ll be responsible for making adjustments and leading up front, as Bellingham attempts to improve on the 4.6 yards it averaged per rush attempt last year.
Senior RB/DB: Wallace led the Red Raiders with 854 yards and seven touchdowns on 128 carries in 2016 (6.7 average). He also caught 25 passes for 186 yards and a TD and is a vital part of the Red Raiders’ defensive secondary.
Senior WR/DB: Fields, as a defensive back, was Bellingham’s only first-team representative on the All-2A NWC team in 2016, and he was just as important on the other side of the ball. He was the Red Raiders’ second-leading rusher (242 yards, 3 TDs) and second-leading receiver (329 yards, 2 TDs).
Senior WR/DL: Oesterling was a second-team All-2A NWC offensive lineman last year. Along with Helming and Brahm vanWoerden, he gives the Red Raiders three returners up front, and he should be an athletic force on the defensive line.
Senior QB/DB: Knutson passed for 1,463 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2016. His top target was junior Spencer Lee, who earned second-team All-2A NWC honors with 627 yards and 7 TDs. Knutson also is a steadying force in Bellingham’s defensive secondary.