High School Football

Long before they take the football field, these Lions have already proven their heart

Lynden's Gage Bates makes a tackle during a playoff game against Archbishop Murphy Nov. 26 at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett.
Lynden's Gage Bates makes a tackle during a playoff game against Archbishop Murphy Nov. 26 at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett. eabell@bhamherald.com

There’s nothing Sedro-Woolley can throw at the Lynden football team. Nothing from Burlington-Edison. Not from Anacortes, Bellingham, Blaine or Lakewood, either. Not even anything Archbishop Murphy can do.

No adversity the Lions could possibly face between the white lines during the 2017 season could possibly rival what they’ve already been through together. Long before this season kicks off Friday, they’ve already been through the fire, taken one of the hardest punches life has to offer, and they’re still standing.

In April, Curt Kramme – Hall of Fame coach, winner of seven state titles at Lynden, pillar in the community and father figure to numerous players who have come through the program the past 26 years – died after a yearlong battle with a rare form of cancer.

Blake VanDalen, who coached on Kramme’s staff for 20 years before being named his replacement last spring, has seen the effect the loss of his own friend and mentor has had on the team. And as hard as it’s been, he likes what he’s seen.

“The sense of this team is unity,” VanDalen said. “That just kind of rose up last week. I truly got a sense of how tight these guys are. When you’re playing for something bigger than yourself, that’s the ultimate. And they are. They’re playing for Lynden, but they’re also playing for Coach Kramme. They’re playing for each other. So the No. 1 thing that’s come out of this camp is that they’re playing for unity.”

While that’s one of the biggest traits to have in football, it only takes you so far.

0828 Lynden FOOT graphic (2)

Fortunately, VanDalen said he’s seen plenty of other skills the Lions have to fall back on as they attempt to keep building on the foundation Kramme began more than two-and-a-half decades ago.

VanDalen said he’s not planning any major changes to what he helped Kramme build, but there will be adjustments – same as there are any year.

“What I learned from Coach Kramme is every year, we need to adjust – as coaches – to what we’ve been given,” VanDalen said. “We don’t recruit in high school, so you get what you get. He did a really good job of assessing what we had and adjusting what we do to those strengths.

“I feel like I’ve done the same thing. I sat back and looked at what we had, and fortunately, I have 20 years of teams to draw on. I’ve been able to identify that ‘this team is a lot like that team’ or ‘that really helped there.’”

What VanDalen has noticed is that the Lions will be a hard-hitting squad in 2017.

I’ve taken bits and pieces of what I’ve done and what I’ve learned from Coach Kramme over the past 20 years and fit it to what I think will help this year’s team out.

Blake VanDalen

Blake Van Dalen
Blake VanDalen

Because of that, he said, the defense with seven returners, is a little farther ahead entering the season. Captain Jordan Brockmeyer will lead the defensive line, with his new “little buddy” Payton Scott. Disruptive defensive ends Trey LaBounty and Jacob Kettels are both back and will be spelled by Cole Crass and Carson Bode. Gage Bates is back after a record-setting season at linebacker last year and now has Trevin Melendez and Bodie Human at his side. Even the secondary should be strong with the return of Aaron Weidenaar, Cory Warner and Blake Silves.

“We’re strong, and we’re quick,” VanDalen said. “Hopefully we’ll put it all together. We’re a bend-but-don’t-break style. You may run a lot of plays, but we’re going to make you earn it.”

The offense may take a little time to catch up, but VanDalen said he is confident it will.

309 Games coached by Hall of Fame coach Curt Kramme during his 26 seasons as Lynden. He posted a 248-61 record.

He described new sophomore quarterback Brock Heppner as “cerebral” and a “game manager,” who can take advantage of what a defense gives him both running and throwing the ball. Melendez and Eric Martin-Mann are blue-collar guys that will split the duties at running back, while Weidenaar and Silves should lead a “typical Lynden” receiving corps. LaBounty and Kettels also anchor what figures to be a bigger offensive line than Lynden is used to along with Marty Karb, Kaden Mayberry, Cooper Brown and Crass.

“I think the key will be the same as always: handling adversity,” VanDalen said. “Things don’t always go your way – we’ve learned that in the offseason, and we’ve handled that admirably. ... ‘Setback, Comeback’ is a phrase everybody talks about here at Lynden, but it really means a lot in the big scheme and also in the play-by-play.”

2017 schedule

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 1

Terry Fox

7 p.m.

Sept. 8

at Ferndale

7 p.m.

Sept. 15

at Bellingham+*

7 p.m.

Sept. 22

Sedro-Woolley*

7 p.m.

Sept. 29

Lakewood*

7 p.m.

Oct. 6

at Blaine*

7 p.m.

Oct. 13

Anacortes*

7 p.m.

Oct. 20

at Burlington-Edison*

7 p.m.

Oct. 27

at Eastlake

7 p.m.

*NWC 2A game; +at Civic Stadium

2016 results

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 2

Terry Fox

W 42-21

Sept. 9

Ferndale

L 27-20

Sept. 16

Bellingham*

W 34-14

Sept. 23

at Sedro-Woolley*

W 35-14

Sept. 30

at Lakewood*

W 54-26

Oct. 7

Blaine*

W 31-23

Oct. 14

at Anacortes*

W 35-7

Oct. 21

Burlington-Edison*

W 31-17

Oct. 28

at Sehome*

W 54-0

2017 roster

No.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

Pos.

1

Aaron Weidenaar

6-3

200

Sr.

WR/DB

2

Kobe Elsner

6-1

165

Jr.

WR/DB

3

Blake Silves

6-0

185

Jr.

WR/DB

4

Elijah Vander Haak

5-10

170

Jr.

WR/DB

5

Bo Bovenkamp

6-1

180

Sr.

WR/DB

6

Preston King

6-0

170

Jr.

WR/LB

7

Trevor Abitia

5-9

150

Sr.

WR/DB

8

Eric Bode

5-7

140

So.

WR/DB

9

Carson Bode

6-3

175

Jr.

WR/DE

12

Owen Bode

5-10

150

Jr.

WR/DB

13

Brock Heppner

6-1

180

So.

QB/DB

14

Cory Warner

5-10

165

Sr.

WR/DB

15

Pablo Martinez

5-5

150

Jr.

WR/DB

17

Eric Martin-Mann

5-7

160

Jr.

RB/DB

18

Isaiah Baseden

6-0

165

Sr.

K

20

Steven Dilorenzo

5-7

165

So.

RB/DB

21

Jordan Elsner

6-1

160

So.

WR/LB

22

Gage Bates

5-9

165

Sr.

RB/LB

23

Austin Anderson

5-9

155

So.

QB/DB

24

Marko Samoukovic

6-0

160

So.

K/WR

27

Grant Vander Yacht

5-9

160

Jr.

WR/DB

29

Trevin Melendez

6-0

185

Jr.

RB/LB

30

Elijah Diacogiannis

5-11

145

So.

WR/DB

33

Max Gallegos

5-11

185

Sr.

WR/DB

34

Brendan Kleindel

5-10

150

Jr.

WR/DB

36

Johnathan Glattfelder

5-6

135

So.

WR/DB

37

Jordan Brockmeyer

5-8

170

Sr.

RB/DL

38

Payton Scott

5-9

180

Jr.

RB/LB

43

Cannon Scheffer

6-0

180

Jr.

OL/DL

44

Adrian Velasquez

5-7

155

Jr.

RB/LB

45

Ethan Peterson-Scotter

5-6

135

So.

WR/DB

46

Gurpreet Brar

5-9

152

So.

RB/LB

47

Terrel Peavy

5-7

150

Jr.

WR/DB

50

Kevin Antonio

5-8

220

Jr.

OL/DL

53

Jack Berry

5-11

150

So.

RB/LB

54

Bodie Human

5-6

145

So.

RB/LB

56

Kaden Mayberry

6-0

220

Jr.

OL/LB

58

Dashawn Elke

6-1

165

So.

OL/DL

59

Cauy Shagren

6-0

200

Sr.

OL/DL

60

Shane Schnase

6-0

180

Sr.

OL/DL

61

Jarren Jackson

5-7

200

Jr.

OL/DL

65

Lane Smith

5-10

150

Jr.

OL/DL

68

Marty Karb

6-0

195

So.

OL/DL

71

Cole Crass

6-3

230

Sr.

OL/DE

72

Cooper Brown

6-1

220

Jr.

OL/DL

73

Jacob Kettels

6-5

260

Jr.

OL/DE

75

Houston Dejong

6-2

250

Jr.

OL/DL

76

Trey Labounty

6-8

230

Sr.

OL/DE

77

TJ Maeurer

5-10

175

So.

OL/LB

79

Bernard Harrison

6-0

165

So.

RB/DB

80

Elijah Lyons

6-1

155

So.

WR/DB

82

Dakota Baar

6-4

160

Jr.

WR/DE

85

Derric Lloyd

6-0

190

Sr.

WR/LB

86

Nathan Doering

6-0

170

Jr.

WR/DB

88

Lukas Lohrer

6-0

185

So.

WR/DB

89

Nathan Peavy

5-10

165

So.

WR/DB

94

Beilner Isaac

5-10

165

So.

OL/DL

96

Harley Vandenberg

6-4

180

So.

OL/DL

99

Anthony Baird

5-11

140

Jr.

WR/DB

Head coach: Blake VanDalen

Assistant coaches: Terry Kaemingk, Blake Witman, Scott Noteboom, Eric Spady, Jaremy Martin, Zach Vis, Jordan Wittenberg, Jack Petersen, Ed Bomber, Mike Regis, Hank Roorda, Nathan Gomes, Micah Smith

2016 statistical leaders

Rushing

Player

Att.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Jacob Hommes

237

1,471

6.2

20

Brody Weinheimer

154

956

6.2

12

James Marsh

14

109

7.8

2

Trevin Meldendez*

17

76

4.5

1

Eric Martin-Mann*

5

36

7.2

1

Passing

Player

Cmp.

Att.

Yards

TD

Int.

Jacob Hommes

216

121

1,815

23

8

Receiving

Player

Rec.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Rylan Severson

59

815

13.8

11

Aaron Weidenaar*

22

420

19.1

2

Landon DeBruin

23

383

16.7

5

Blake Silves*

9

112

12.4

2

Brody Weinheimer

9

101

11.2

2

*Returning player

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