Whatcom County kicked off the 2016 high school football season looking as strong as ever, going a combined 8-3. Of the county’s three losses last week, only one came against a non-Whatcom County opponent. Here’s a look at how the 11-man teams shuffle out in the Week 2 power rankings:
1. Squalicum (1)
The Storm turned in a number of big plays on both offense and defense to walk away with a quality road victory over a top-10 opponent. If Squalicum can continue to play like it did at Gig Harbor, there’s plenty of reason to be excited about the move up to Class 3A this year.
2. Mount Baker (2)
It may not have been beautiful, but any time a 1A school can beat a 3A school, they’ll take it. The Mountaineers found a way to get by Roosevelt in Week 1, despite a number of cramping issues that even cost them start running back Jed Schleimer. Sophomore Kaleb Bass stepped up in his first test at QB.
3. Ferndale (4)
The Golden Eagles cranked up the running game in a Week 1 win over a Canadian school, piling up nearly 300 yards on 33 carries. Ferndale probably won’t average nearly 10 yards a carry this week, as they face rival Lynden in a game that seems really weird being played this early in the season.
4. Lynden (3)
Like Ferndale, the Lions beat up on a Canadian school in their final preparation for the early-season showdown with the Golden Eagles. Jacob Hommes was quite impressive in his first start at QB, throwing for 161 yards and three touchdowns and running for 119 yards and two more TDs.
5. Meridian (5)
The Trojans may have started a number of new players at the skill positions in Week 1, but they looked pretty impressive in putting 33 points up against Anacortes. Things likely will get tougher this week, as Meridian will host Blaine, which also has shown an ability to put points on the board.
6. Blaine (6)
Two good signs came out of the Borderites’ 35-21 win over Nooksack Valley last week: 1. Blaine showed good resilience, twice battling back from 14 points down to get the win; 2. all three of the Pioneers’ touchdowns came from 10 or fewer yards out. Stopping the big play was the top goal coming in.
7. Bellingham (7)
Probably a little too soon to call Bellingham’s decision to play an unattached schedule for two years to help build the program a complete success, but early returns now that the Red Raiders are back are definitely positive. Beating a team 21-6 that beat you by four TDs a year ago looks pretty impressive.
8. Nooksack Valley (9)
The Pioneers returned plenty of experience, with 11 returners on each side of the ball. But the one thing Nooksack Valley didn’t get to experience a whole lot in 2015 was playing with a lead. Hopefully they’ll learn how to protect one a little better after losing a 14-point advantage to Blaine last week.
9. Lynden Christian (8)
It’s going to take a little while for the new-look Lyncs to grow into their new-look offense, especially with a number of new skill position players. Last week’s 21-6 loss to Bellingham was disappointing, but give coach Dan Kaemingk and his staff a little time, and things at LC should start looking better.
10. Sehome (10)
The good news is the Mariners were playing a school that had just moved down from Class 3A; the bad news was nothing really worked on either side of the ball for Sehome in its 49-6 loss to Mountlake Terrace. Things definitely won’t get any easier against crosstown rival Squalicum this week.