Here are five players who could impact the 2017 football season for Blaine:
Senior QB/DB: Ellis has been waiting for his chance to start at quarterback, “since he was in third grade,” coach Jay Dodd said. Dodd said he put in a lot of work to get stronger during the offseason, and that’s already paying off. He also has a personality that will make teammates want to follow.
Junior WR/DB: Blaine’s only returning skill position player that saw a lot of time last year, Abshere grabbed 21 passes for 328 yards and five touchdowns in 2016. He’s part of an receiving corps that Dodd and Ellis both expressed excitement over during preseason practices.
Senior TE/LB: Dodd said he might have been, “the best defender on the field,” at a Central Washington University camp over the summer. The Borderites obviously will lean on him heavily to set the tone for what figures to be a stingy defense. He also gives Blaine three returners up front on offense.
Senior OL/DL: A physical presence on both lines for the Borderites. Schmidt was a first-team All-2A NWC selection on the offensive line and a second-team pick on defense. Dodd said he lost some weight during the offseason and is in great condition.
Senior OL/DL: The Borderites expect to be a hard-hitting team in 2017, and Markuson is part of the reason why. Like Schmidt, he’s a returner along both lines. He earned second-team all-2A NWC honors at defensive line last year, but could see some time at inside linebacker, Dodd said.