High School Football

This will be their third season playing together, and all they want is a little respect

Bellingham receiver Ethan Fields (22) celebrates after scoring a touchdownagainst Sehome Oct. 7 at Civic Stadium.
Bellingham receiver Ethan Fields (22) celebrates after scoring a touchdownagainst Sehome Oct. 7 at Civic Stadium. For The Bellingham Herald

Don’t be surprised if at some point during the 2017 high school football season Bellingham coach Ted Flint decides to roll a set of speakers out to the Red Raiders’ new on-campus artificial practice surface to blast some of soul music queen Aretha Franklin’s greatest hits.

One song in particular – “Respect” – should hit home with his squad.

“We’re trying to build respect as a team,” senior Nicholas Oesterling said, “so other teams respect us for who we are and where we’re going. That’s what we’re going for. ... It’s a positive thing, playing well, doing good as a team, playing clean.”

As the white t-shirts with red capital letters worn by players and coaches would suggest, the Red Raiders have adopted “Respect” as their theme for the 2017 season – the program’s second since returning to the 2A Northwest Conference after spending two seasons as an independent to allow the program to reset itself and build its numbers and confidence.

Last season’s return went relatively well. Even though Bellingham finished sixth in the 2A NWC standings, the Red Raiders feel they held their own in arguably the toughest 2A league in the state.

“We felt we were competitive in every game we played last year, but we only won four of them” Flint said. “We obviously want to stay competitive in every game we’re in this year and increase our wins. We feel we’re at the point we can play with anyone we go against.”

0829 Bellingham FOOT graphic (2)

That’s right, Bellingham respects itself.

“It’s something that we’ve been building toward toward for three years,” Flint said. “We’re just trying to find ways for them to keep building and keep improving. ... ‘Respect’ also means something for each of the letters that we have goals set for – just a way to keep us moving forward and improving.”

Taking that next step certainly makes sense for a squad that returns a large number of three-year varsity players. In fact, Flint said, this is, for the most part, the same varsity roster Bellingham has had for the past two seasons.

This year’s seniors have been building for this season since the team was an independent, and they feel now it’s their time to shine.

“Last year was our first year back in the league, and there were some rough parts,” senior Ethan Fields said. “Now all the seniors, we’ve been playing together for three years. I definitely see us coming together and making a run for the playoffs. ... We need to focus on working together as a team and being selfless.”

We’re way ahead of last year. We have everybody back, so we didn’t need to start over. Plus, they’re an easy group to coach. It’s a blast coaching them.

Bellingham coach Ted Flint

Ted Flint
Ted Flint

It’s also going to take some talent – something the Red Raiders feel they return plenty of this season.

It starts at quarterback, where senior Nick Knutson returns after passing for 1,463 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. He has his top two targets back, in junior Spencer Lee (627 yards, 7 touchdowns) and senior Ethan Fields (329 yards, 2 TDs). The Red Raiders also have their top two rushers from last year back in Connor Wallace (854 yards, 7 TDs) and Fields (242 yards, 3 TDs).

Bellingham also returns three lineman: senior center Aiden Helming, senior guard Brahm vanWoerden and Oesterling.

“Those guys have been running our offense since they got to Bellingham, so they know it and understand it well,” Flint said. “Right now, we’re focusing on making little advancements, because we’ve got everybody back.”

The same is true on defense, where Flint said senior Jade Dudoward will join Oesterling, Helming and vanWoerden up front. The secondary also should be strong with Fields, Lee, Wallace and Knutson. They hope to help Bellingham trim the 31.3 points per game it allowed in 2016.

2010 Year Bellingham last advanced to the postseason, a drought the Red Raiders hope to end this fall.

“I think the experience we have will help them play faster,” Flint said. “They know the schemes, because we’ve been running them for a few years now.”

With that type of talent and experience returning, 2A NWC opponents are advised not to overlook Bellingham this year.

Now all the Red Raiders need, Flint said, is to respect what it takes to be successful.

“We need to prepare the same way every time and not decide ahead of time that they’re better than us or we’re better than them,” Flint said. “Some of the things we ran into last year was deciding those things before we played them. We need to respect ourselves and respect the team we’re playing all the time.”

2017 schedule

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 1

at Lynden Christian

7 p.m.

Sept. 8

Shorewood+

8 p.m.

Sept. 15

Lynden+*

7 p.m.

Sept. 22

Blaine+*

7 p.m.

Sept. 29

at Burlington-Edison*

7 p.m.

Oct. 6

at Sehome+

7 p.m.

Oct. 14

Sedro-Woolley+*

7 p.m.

Oct. 20

at Anacortes*

7 p.m.

Oct. 27

Lakewood+*

5 p.m.

*NWC 2A game; +at Civic Stadium

2016 results

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 2

Lynden Christian

W 21-6

Sept. 9

at Shorewood

W 21-17

Sept. 16

at Lynden*

L 34-14

Sept. 23

at Blaine*

L 24-17

Oct. 1

Burlington-Edison*

L 44-14

Oct. 7

Sehome*

W 56-43

Oct. 14

at Sedro-Woolley*

L 49-18

Oct. 21

Anacortes*

W 32-14

Oct. 27

at Lakewood*

L 47-13

Nov. 3

Shorecrest

L 35-27

*NWC 2A game

2017 Roster

No.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

Pos.

1

Jackson Taylor

6-0

150

So.

RB/LB

2

Spencer Lee

5-10

160

Jr.

WR/DB

3

Morgan Cavalier

6-2

165

So.

QB/DB

4

Timothy Edwards

5-9

150

Jr.

QB/DB

5

Jonny Henry

6-1

165

Jr.

WR/DB

6

Oleg Odushkin

5-8

140

So.

WR/DB

7

Larry Dwyer

5-7

170

Jr.

WR/DB

8

Nick Knutson

6-2

185

Sr.

QB/DB

9

Andre Triplett

5-10

150

So.

WR/DB

10

Ethan Johnson

6-0

150

Jr.

WR/DB

11

Wesley Kurz

5-9

148

Fr.

QB/LB

12

Ethan Berschauer

6-1

185

Sr.

WR/LB

13

Rand Bentley

6-6

205

Jr.

QB/LB

15

Connor Wallace

5-9

165

Sr.

RB/DB

16

Quentin Berumen

5-7

150

So.

WR/DL

17

Noah Johnson

5-11

150

Sr.

WR/DB

20

Connor McKay

5-8

135

So.

WR/DB

22

Ethan Fields

6-0

185

Sr.

WR/DB

23

Mitchell Garza

5-10

140

Fr.

WR/DB

24

Jacob Hallock

6-1

190

Jr.

WR/DB

25

Diego Corona

5-10

155

So.

WR/DB

29

Cody Tolle

5-7

120

So.

WR/DB

30

Ethan Thompson

5-8

135

Fr.

WR/DB

32

Isaac Ninneman

5-11

160

So.

WR/LB

33

Elm Magnus

6-0

185

Jr.

WR/LB

34

Jack Fields

5-10

165

So.

RB/LB

35

Eric Collado

5-7

150

Jr.

RB/LB

40

Saunder vanWoerden

5-10

150

So.

WR/LB

42

Phillip Paez

5-9

150

Fr.

RB/LB

50

Jade Dudoward

5-10

190

Sr.

OL/DL

51

Gideon Bachelder

5-9

165

So.

OL/LB

53

Jonathan Alvarez

5-9

170

So.

OL/DL

54

Brahm vanWoerden

5-10

165

Sr.

OL/LB

55

Tevon Lautenbach

6-2

185

Sr.

OL/LB

56

Matthew Sutherland

5-8

180

So.

OL/DL

57

Jordan Echevarria

5-11

180

Fr.

OL/DL

58

Aiden Helming

5-9

175

Sr.

OL/DL

61

Nick Posey

5-7

185

Jr.

OL/LB

62

Javier Chavez

6-1

235

Fr.

OL/DL

63

Matthias Murphy

6-1

165

So.

OL/DL

65

Jackson Lee

5-9

210

Sr.

OL/DB

66

Christian Butenschoen

6-2

265

Jr.

OL/DL

67

Chris Oesterling

6-2

170

So.

OL/DL

68

Michael Pierson

5-10

200

Fr.

OL/DL

70

Caleb McDonald

5-10

240

Jr.

OL/DL

71

Chase Johanson

6-2

225

Jr.

OL/DL

72

Butch Mullins

6-2

285

So.

OL/DL

74

Julian Donohue

6-0

280

So.

OL/DL

75

Alex Bonesteele

6-1

255

Jr.

OL/DL

79

Alex Beruman

5-11

170

Fr.

OL/DL

80

Evan Hibbing

6-1

165

So.

WR/DB

82

Colton Jovag

5-6

125

Jr.

WR/DB

85

Dane Hutchings

5-11

155

So.

WR/DB

86

Parker Chamberlin

6-2

170

So.

WR/LB

99

Nicholas Oesterling

6-3

190

Sr.

WR/DL

Head coach: Ted Flint

Assistant coaches: Darrin Leber, Mark Jacques, Steven Ayers, Rick Ellis, Paul Stoddard, Braden Farlow, Chris Benson, Cameron Brearley

2016 statistical leaders

Rushing

Player

Att.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Connor Wallace*

128

854

6.7

7

Ethan Fields*

64

242

3.8

3

Joseph Worley

21

111

5.3

2

Dakota Johanson

24

93

3.9

1

Rand Bentley*

5

36

7.2

0

Passing

Player

Cmp.

Att.

Yards

TD

Int.

Nick Knutson*

118

191

1,463

14

8

Receiving

Player

Rec.

Yards

Avg.

TD

Spencer Lee*

36

627

17.4

7

Ethan Fields*

30

329

11.0

2

Joseph Worley

24

266

11.1

5

Connor Wallace*

25

186

7.4

1

Nich Smith

8

75

9.4

0

*Returning player

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