High School Football

Do nice guys really finish last? This team hopes not as it tries to end a 6-year playoff drought

Nooksack Valley’s Casey Bauman looks to pick up yardage against Blaine in a Sept. 2 game.
Nooksack Valley’s Casey Bauman looks to pick up yardage against Blaine in a Sept. 2 game. eabell@bhamherald.com

Though he calls himself “the baby” of the 1A Northwest Conference coaches with 18 years experience, Nooksack Valley football coach Robb Myhre has been around long enough, now, that he’s starting to sound like Meridian coaching legend Bob Ames.

No, Myhre isn’t using the words “small” or “slow” to describe his team, and he hasn’t started getting creative with the heights and weights on his roster, yet. But what Myhre is doing is using the phrase “nice kids” when he talks about the Pioneers in 2017.

Though they both mean what they say, Myhre, unlike Ames, isn’t trying to get out of giving a scouting report on his team by talkings about the Pioneers’ personalities rather than their skills.

“They’re a fun group to work with,” Myhre said when talking about his team for 2017. “The nicest group of kids I’ve ever had. After every practice, 10 guys will walk up to me and thank me for practice. ... That’s our seniors for you. That’s just how they are. I don’t know if being nice is a good thing for football, but they are a group of really nice kids. That makes it really fun to be out here and fun to have fun with those guys.”

Now all Myhre and his nice guys want is to continue the fun into November when the playoffs start.

It’s been a few years since Nooksack made a trip to the postseason – 2011, to be exact, and a year longer since its last trip to state – and that’s a trend the Pioneers are desperate to end this fall.

0828 Nooksack FOOT graphic (2)

In fact, they’ve been waiting for this chance, building toward it the past two years. The Pioneers took their lumps when this group of seniors were sophomores, but last year they started to show improvement, finishing the season 5-4 and just missing a trip to the Northwest District playoffs.

“For a lot of us, this is going to be our third year working together as a group of starters,” senior quarterback Casey Bauman said. “We’ve been really looking forward to this year and working together as a team. Our goal is playing through to December, and we’re excited to do it together.”

In addition to their winning personalities and all the experience they’ve gained over the past two years, the Pioneers will rely on team speed this year. As senior lineman Kirk Veldman said, the Pioneers’ “goal is to run teams into the ground this year, so we’ve got to be fast and well conditioned.”

And they better be fast, because they can’t rely on size.

Our league is the toughest 1A league in the state. There’s only four teams in our league, and the fourth-best team could realistically be a top-16 team in the state.

Nooksack Valley coach Robby Myhre

Robb Myhre
Robb Myhre

“We can look big in three spots – Luke (Winter), Casey and Kirk are big boys,” Myhre said. “At our skill positions, we are not big at all. We’re smaller than we’ve been. They’re athletic and fairly fast. We’re not going to be 40-time fast as anyone else, but quickness – we’re quick.”

Perhaps the quickest is senior Tre Silva, who will move to running back but will fill a variety of roles for Nooksack this year with his slippery running style.

He’ll be joined in the backfield by Bauman, who’s already committed to call signals for Montana State after he graduates. He’s in his third year starting for the Pioneers, and Myhre said Bauman had a good offseason working with his receivers, though he also can be dangerous running the ball with his size.

Kyle Veldman will likely be one of Bauman’s favorite targets. Up front, Kirk Veldman and Winter are the two returning starters. Both are big, country-strong kids, Myhre said.

5,207 Yards of total offense compiled by senior quarterback Casey Bauman in his first two years as Nooksack Valley’s starter.

On defense, Baylor Galley and Evan Neitling join a talented, experienced Nooksack Valley secondary that includes returners Levi Tenkley and Jordan Veening among others. Kyle Veldman will be a key component in the middle of the Pioneers defense and will be joined at linebacker by Austin O’Bryan, who returns after missing his junior year for injury. Up front, Kirk Veldman and Winter will again lead the way.

“Kyle Veldman has to lead us defensively,” Myhre said. “We have a lot of guys that are playing new roles for us, but he is the guy that flies around out there. Kyle, Kirk and Luke have to lead that defense and be communicators. ... Hopefully we’ll be aggressive defensively and use our speed.”

2017 schedule

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 1

Blaine

7 p.m.

Sept. 8

at Granite Falls

7 p.m.

Sept. 15

Coupeville

7 p.m.

Sept. 22

Mount Baker*

7 p.m.

Sept. 29

at Meridian*

7 p.m.

Oct. 6

Lynden Christian*

7 p.m.

Oct. 13

at Mount Baker*

7 p.m.

Oct. 20

Meridian*

7 p.m.

Oct. 27

at Lynden Christian*

7 p.m.

*NWC 1A game

2016 results

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 2

at Blaine

L 35-21

Sept. 9

Granite Falls

W 46-21

Sept. 16

at Coupeville

W 47-14

Sept. 23

at Mount Baker*

L 44-36

Sept. 30

Meridian*

W 47-34

Oct. 7

at Lynden Christian*

W 35-32

Oct. 17

Mount Baker*

L 57-36

Oct. 21

at Meridian*

L 47-20

Oct. 28

Lynden Christian*

W 32-21

*NWC 1A game

2017 Roster

No.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

Pos.

1

Adam Dugger

5-11

190

Jr.

TE/LB

2

Casey Bauman

6-6

220

Sr.

QB/ LB

3

Kyle Long

5-6

130

So.

WR/ LB

4

Brennan Blankers

5-9

155

Sr.

WR/LB

5

Nick Averys

5- 11

155

Jr.

WR/CB

7

Evan Neitling

5-9

160

Jr.

RB/DB

10

Keldon Weidkamp

5-9

155

So.

QB/ LB

11

Halston Boersema

6-1

140

Jr.

WR/ DB

Sr.

Colton Clayton Brower

5-7

140

Fr.

QB/DB

14

Baylor Galley

5-9

150

Jr.

WR/ DB

15

Austin O’Bryan

5-8

170

Jr.

WR/ LB

20

Connor Passe

6-1

155

Sr.

WR/LB

21

Cameron Bauman

5-11

150

So.

WR/ LB

22

Devin Lackey

5-7

155

Jr.

RB/ LB

23

Braden Leyba

5-9

150

So.

RB/LB

25

Tre Silva

5-9

160

Sr.

WR/DB

27

Kyle Veldman

6-0

215

Sr.

WR/LB

28

Ryan Veening

6-3

205

So.

WR/ LB

31

Travis Cunningham

5-8

150

So.

WR/ DB

34

Cole Eldridge

5-11

160

So.

WR/DB

42

Jordan Whittaker

5-8

145

Fr.

RB/LB

44

Kaden Sherwood

5-10

190

So.

OL/LB

51

Hayden Hester

5-9

220

Jr.

C/ DT

52

Easton Zylstra

5-11

200

So.

T/ DE

53

Clawson Alex

5-7

230

Fr.

T/DT

55

Luke Winter

6-1

230

Sr.

G/ DE

56

Dane Winter

5-9

180

So.

G/ LB

57

Jordan Prink

6-0

225

Jr.

G/ DT

60

Levi Harlan

6-1

205

So.

T/ DE

61

Colton Hickey

6-3

240

Sr.

G/ DE

62

Cy Encinias

6-3

260

Jr.

T/DT

64

Hunter Morgan

5-6

170

So.

C/DT

65

Landon Bruland

6-3

180

Jr.

T/ DE

66

Conner Bruland

5-9

150

So.

G/ DE

68

Kirk Veldman

6-1

280

Sr.

T/DT

72

Mason Lentz

6-0

260

So.

OL/DT

73

Chase Regier

6-0

230

Jr.

OL/DT

74

Joey Leazer

6-1

220

Jr.

G/DT

78

Cooper Clawson

5-8

190

Jr.

G/ LB

79

Devon Huskey

5-11

280

Sr.

C/DT

80

Scout Whittern

5-11

155

Fr.

WR/DB

81

Clancy Coppinger

6-3

150

So.

WR/ LB

82

Jordan Veening

6-5

190

Sr.

WR/DB

86

Levi Tenkley

6-0

160

Sr.

WR/CB

87

Caden Wade

5-4

Sr.0

Fr.

WR/DB

88

Jeff Boykin

5-5

145

Fr.

WR/LB

NA

Teddy Martin

5-10

160

Fr.

OG/DE

NA

Liam Carter

5-11

165

Fr.

T/DE

NA

Abell-Hopkins Quantrell Tremaine

5-10

160

Fr.

QB/ LB

NA

Felipe Castaneda

5-6

150

Fr.

WR/LB

NA

Aiden Conner

5-9

140

Fr.

WR/DB

NA

Jacob Franson

5-7

155

Fr.

G/LB

NA

Mathew Lankhaar

5-6

Sr.0

Fr.

WR/DB

NA

Uriel Lopez

5-6

150

Sr.

WR/K

NA

Brady Peninger

5-8

130

Fr.

WR/DB

NA

Tyler Perez

6-0

145

Fr.

WR/DB

NA

Alex Theisen

5-4

130

Fr.

WR/DB

Head coach: Robb Myhre

Assistant coaches: TJ Ackerman, Justin Bronn, Jessy Dykstra, Ben Ball, Tyler Perry, Britt Lentz, Josh Clawson. Jason Clawson

2016 statistical leaders

Rushing

Player

Att.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Colton Kautz

122

735

6.0

12

Casey Bauman*

115

408

3.6

8

Tre Silva*

47

273

5.8

4

Austin O’Bryan

10

68

6.8

1

Devin Lackey*

13

35

2.7

0

Passing

Player

Cmp.

Att.

Yards

TD

Int.

Casey Bauman*

200

312

2,787

24

8

Receiving

Player

Rec.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Kyle Veldman*

44

633

14.4

3

Colton Kautz

20

565

28.3

8

Michael O’Bryan

52

541

10.4

2

Tre Silva*

35

447

12.8

4

Jeremy Dykes

25

331

13.2

3

*Returning player

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