High School Football

After a successful 2016 campaign, Ferndale this year will play with renewed ‘purpose’

Ferndale's Cole Semu drags two Capital defenders Nov. 5 at Civic Stadium in Bellingham.
Ferndale's Cole Semu drags two Capital defenders Nov. 5 at Civic Stadium in Bellingham. eabell@bhamherald.com

As they were preparing for the 2017 football season, Ferndale coach Jamie Plenkovich and his assistants asked their senior leaders to come up with a theme for the season – something that would motivate everyone collectively and individually.

“The fact that they came up with it is pretty cool,” Plenkovich said. “When it comes from them, it’s obviously more meaningful than us just saying something. I think the leadership has done a good job of identifying the path they want to be on. That’s what you want you leadership crew to do.”

So, what did the Golden Eagle leaders come up with? What did they feel was the team’s purpose for in 2017?

Well, as it turns out, a purpose is exactly what they came up with.

“The word we set for our team this year is ‘purpose,’” senior Cole Semu said. “It’s a word we bring up when practice is running dry. ‘Purpose’ is what we’re out here doing it for. It’s what we’re putting all this time and hard work in for.”

Not only is playing with “purpose” a team goal, but it means something different to each member of the team. As senior James Hinson said, “Everyone has their own purpose why they play football.”

0829 Ferndale FOOT graphic (2)

“Mine is ‘selfless,’” senior Alex Cleary said. “That’s my purpose. I’ve got to be putting the team in front of myself. ... If I’m starting to get in my own way or make some bad plays or get mad at my teammates, someone like Cole will come up to me and say, ‘Alex, purpose.’ That reminds me, ‘Man, I’ve got to do this right for the team.’”

Last year, Ferndale did a good job of working as a team, as the Golden Eagles finished second in their first year in the 3A Wesco North and won a quad-district playoff game before falling to eventual state runner-up O’Dea in the first round of the state playoffs – Ferndale’s first trip to state since 2012.

A lot of the team’s success can be attributed to a strong, talented group of senior leaders last year.

And that’s something Plenkovich said he hopes he will be able to rely on once again in 2017.

“We’re just in the beginning stages of that journey,” Plenkovich said. “I think they’ve done a good job of taking over for the crew last year and the examples they set. They’ve expanded on it. Every group has a little bit different personality, but we’ve got guys that worked their butts off to get ready for this year in leadership roles. When your best players are your hardest workers, you’re in a good position.”

We need to have some adversity and see how we respond to that when things aren’t going that well. Those are the things that make you grow as a team.

Ferndale coach Jamie Plenkovich

Jamie Plenkovich
Jamie Plenkovich

Though they lost a lot to graduation, the Golden Eagles still have plenty of talent returning.

On offense, Ferndale returns its starting quarterback in Hinson, who passed for 1,125 yards and 17 touchdowns last year. He’ll have one of his two 1,000-yard backs from last season back behind him with Semu’s return, while Gader Fox and Gabe Zwade are expected to split time at fullback. Ferndale will have several options at wing back, Plenkovich said, and Watiko Leighton had a good offseason and could lead a receiving corps that includes Jared Emmert and Conner Obergotsberger.

Up front, the Golden Eagles have one side of their line back with the return of Mikhail Varetskiy and Geirean Hatchett. Cleary also started at the other guard last year, giving Ferndale three returners on the line, though Carter Colon also saw time at tight end last year. Plenkovich said Spencer Crosswhite has looked good taking over at center.

8.4 Ferndale’s average yards per rush attempt, as a team, on 420 carries in 2016.

Ferndale returns both of its defensive ends in Hatchett and Varetskiy, and Fox will allow them to get a breather. Crosswhite and Reid Benson are among a mix of players that will play in the interior. Cleary started all of 2016 at linebacker, while Carter and Zwade will likely see increased roles there this year. In the secondary, Hinson is a three-year starter at cornerback, and Semu returns at safety. Sequoyah Julius also was a starter at corner at the end of the season, while Emmert and Obergotsberger will likely split time opposite Semu at safety.

“I like our group,” Plenkovich said. “I think we’ve got some talent. It’s just a matter of coming together, and I think we’re in the process of doing that right now.”

2017 schedule

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 1

Vancouver College

7 p.m.

Sept. 8

Lynden

7 p.m.

Sept. 15

at South Kitsap

7 p.m.

Sept. 22

Arlington*

7 p.m.

Sept. 29

at Marysville-Pilchuck+*

7 p.m.

Oct. 6

Stanwood*

7 p.m.

Oct. 13

at Oak Harbor*

7 p.m.

Oct. 20

Squalicum*

7 p.m.

Oct. 27

at Marysville-Getchell+*

7 p.m.

*3A Wesco North Division game; +at QuilCeda Stadium

2016 results

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 2

Vancouver Academy

W 41-0

Sept. 9

at Lynden

W 27-20

Sept. 17

South Kitsap

W 56-41

Sept. 23

at Arlington*

W 41-0

Sept. 30

Marysville-Pilchuck*

W 49-7

Oct. 7

at Stanwood*

W 55-14

Oct. 14

Oak Harbor*

W 35-18

Oct. 22

at Squalicum*

L 47-42

Oct. 28

Marysville-Getchell*

W 42-7

CLASS 3A QUAD-DISTRICT PLAYOFFS

Nov. 5

Capital

W 35-7

CLASS 3A STATE PLAYOFFS

Nov. 11

O’Dea

L 42-21

*3A Wesco North Division game

2017 Roster

No.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

Pos.

3

Conner Obergotsberger

5-9

175

Sr.

RB/DB

4

Daniel Stewart

5-11

160

Jr.

K

5

Marcos Ortiz

5-8

150

Sr.

WR/DB

5

Taylor Lupo

5-8

130

Jr.

WR/DB

6

Zack Dowers

6-0

195

So.

QB/DB

7

Watiko Leighton

6-0

165

Jr.

WR/DB

8

Michael Bernard

5-5

140

So.

RB/DB

9

Jordan Smith

5-11

155

Sr.

WR/DB

11

Cooper Taxdahl

5-8

135

So.

QB/WR/DB

12

Jared Emmert

6-1

175

Sr.

WR/DB

13

James Hinson

6-3

200

Sr.

QB/DB

15

Isaac Stgeorge

5-8

165

So.

WR/DB

17

Carson Moyes

5-9

160

Jr.

QB/DB

20

Jacob Broselle

6-0

165

So.

RB/DB

21

Cole Semu

5-10

200

Sr.

RB/DB

22

Sequoyah Julius

6-0

160

Jr.

WR/DB

23

Gabe Zwade

5-10

190

Sr.

RB/LB

24

Jarid Poole

5-11

180

Sr.

RB/DB

25

Nick Leavitt

5-11

145

So.

RB/LB

26

Sean Gomes

5-7

175

Sr.

RB/LB

28

Jaron Green

5-9

135

So.

WR/DB

29

Gadar Fox

6-0

205

Jr.

RB/DL

30

Kaleb Morgan

5-5

135

So.

RB/DB

31

Austin Mcmanus

5-6

140

So.

WR/DB

32

Jaden Schwartz

5-8

165

Jr.

RB/LB

34

Carter Colon

6-3

205

Sr.

TE/LB

35

Alfonso Billy

5-6

145

Sr.

WR/DB

36

Jaden Brown

5-11

160

Jr.

RB/DB

38

Bryan Ebe

5-10

165

Jr.

RB/DB

39

Dillon Snook

5-11

170

Jr.

RB/LB

42

Colby Tegt

6-2

185

So.

TE/DL

43

Christopher Werth

5-10

175

Jr.

TE/LB

44

Austin Minturn

6-0

200

So.

RB/LB

45

Patrick Bello

5-8

165

Jr.

RB/LB

47

Reynaldo Aponte

5-7

175

Sr.

WR/DB

48

Dylan Letchworth

6-3

160

Jr.

WR/DB

50

Aaron Slocum

6-3

240

Sr.

OL/DL

52

Brett Westford

5-11

190

Jr.

G/DL

53

Uriah Guilory

5-10

200

Jr.

OL/LB

54

Russell Miller

5-7

210

So.

OL/DL

55

Tyler Demorest

6-0

200

So.

OL/DL

56

Alex Cleary

6-0

200

Sr.

OL/DL

57

Elias Barragan

6-1

270

So.

OL/DL

58

Trae Anderson

6-1

160

So.

OL/DL

59

Zach Russell

5-5

150

So.

OL/DL

61

Spencer Crosswhite

6-0

220

Sr.

OL/DL

62

David Garcia

5-9

205

So.

OL/DL

63

Patrick Willett

6-0

300

Sr.

OL/DL

65

Edward Aponte

5-10

235

Jr.

OL/DL

66

Geirean Hatchett

6-5

250

So.

OL/DL

67

Shawn Godinez

5-9

200

Jr.

OL/DL

71

Logan Hildebrand

6-4

220

Jr.

OL/DL

72

Noah Stamulis

5-7

240

So.

OL/DL

73

Darius Washington

5-10

265

Jr.

OL/DL

74

Bebeck Aujila

5-7

200

Jr.

OL/DL

75

Darius Walker-Perkins

6-3

250

Sr.

OL/DL

76

Mikhail Varetskiy

6-2

220

Sr.

OL/DL

77

Nathan Oostra

6-0

240

So.

OL/DL

78

Sir Charles

5-8

240

So.

OL/DL

80

Austin Roughton

5-9

150

Sr.

WR/DB

81

Jayden Janisch

6-2

150

So.

TE/DB

82

Reid Benson

6-1

230

Sr.

TE/DL

83

Jared Jones

6-1

140

So.

WR/DB

84

Alyk Wharton

5-10

185

So.

TE/LB

85

Trent Schneider

5-5

120

So.

WR/DB

87

Tyler Hoffmaster

5-10

200

Jr.

TE/LB

88

Micah Oostra

6-3

165

Sr.

WR/LB

89

Thaddious Vann

5-9

140

So.

WR/LB

Head coach: Jamie Plenkovich

2016 statistical leaders

Rushing

Player

Att.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Ben Broselle

115

1,305

11.4

19

Cole Semu*

138

1,117

8.1

10

Justice Powell

100

972

9.7

13

Gabe Zwade*

17

53

3.2

0

Gader Fox*

8

32

4.0

0

Passing

Player

Cmp.

Att.

Yards

TD

Int.

James Hinson*

76

129

1,125

17

3

Receiving

Player

Rec.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Ben Broselle

20

473

23.7

5

Jacob Kildall

17

225

13.2

2

Justice Powell

19

203

10.7

4

Cole Semu*

9

134

14.9

4

Watiko Leighton*

2

21

10.5

1

*Returning player

Related stories from Bellingham Herald

  Comments